Biography

More a sex goddess than an actress, the statuesque Raquel Welch was one of the most popular celebrities of the 1960s and 1970s. While she appeared in dozens of films, they earned little notice, her success depending almost exclusively on her stature as a buxom pin-up. Born Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, she began taking dancing lessons as a child and by her teens was already winning beauty contests. At the age of 18, she married high school sweetheart James Welch; the couple had two children before divorcing in 1961. After working in Dallas, TX, as a waitress and model, Welch relocated to Hollywood in 1963; within three days, she had already landed a manager, Patrick Curtis, and soon they formed a promotions company, Curtwell Enterprises. After appearing in Life magazine in a revealing bikini, she began working on the ABC series Hollywood Palace, and in 1964 made her feature debut with an unbilled appearance in the Elvis Presley vehicle Roustabout. Welch next appeared as a prostitute in 1964's A House Is Not a Home, followed by another uncredited appearance a year later in Do Not Disturb. In 1965, she scored her first lead role in the pop musical A Swingin' Summer, resulting in a contract with 20th Century Fox, which cast her in the sci-fi hit Fantastic Voyage before loaning her to the British horror studio Hammer. There she starred in a 1967 remake of One Million Years B.C.; clad in little more than strategically placed strips of fur, Welch's publicity stills appeared everywhere, and she became a major sex symbol -- still, few went to actually see the movie itself. Despite the publicity, Fox was clearly wary of her talents, and did not ask her to return to Hollywood; instead she remained in Europe, starring with Edward G. Robinson and Vittorio de Sica in 1968's The Biggest Bundle of Them All and with Monica Vitti and Claudia Cardinale in Le Fate. While in Paris, Welch and manager Curtis married, issuing a series of provocative wedding night publicity photos.

After appearing as Lust incarnate in Stanley Donen's seven-deadly-sins comedy Bedazzled, Welch finally returned to the U.S. Fox used her judiciously in pictures like the 1968 James Stewart Western Bandolero! and the Frank Sinatra mystery Lady in Cement. Following in 1969 was 100 Rifles, a controversial Western which paired Welch with Jim Brown, and a year later she earned her first real starring role in the disastrous Myra Breckenridge. Her situation was unusual; she was certainly a star and a household name, yet few people ever went to see her movies -- neither 1971's Hannie Caulder nor the following year's Fuzz did anything to alter the dilemma, and when the 1973 roller-derby melodrama Kansas City Bomber also tanked at the box office, Welch divorced Curtis and returned to Europe to appear in Bluebeard. While both 1973's The Three Musketeers and its sequel The Four Musketeers were well received, she earned little credit for their success, and when the 1976 black comedy Mother, Jugs and Speed failed, Hollywood largely washed their hands of her.

Welch instead turned to nightclubs, concert stages, and television; she also continued making films in Europe, including 1977's The Prince and the Pauper and L' Animal, co-starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. In 1980, she was tapped to star in Cannery Row, but was fired a month into production; she filed suit against MGM for damages, and was awarded 11 million dollars. Welch spent the

entirety of the 1980s away from theaters, focusing primarily on television productions like 1982's The Legend of Walks Far Woman and 1987's Right to Die, in which she delivered one of her strongest performances as a woman suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. After an absence of over a decade, in 1994 Welch returned to cinema in the comedy The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.

Throughout the decade, she also made a number of infomercials and exercise videos, and in 1995 also starred in the short-lived nighttime soap opera CPW. In 1997, she took over for Julie Andrews in the troubled Broadway musical Victor/Victoria, which closed less than a month after Welch's debut performance. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

More a sex goddess than an actress, the statuesque Raquel Welch was one of the most popular celebrities of the 1960s and 1970s. While she appeared in dozens of films, they earned little notice, her success depending almost exclusively on her stature as a buxom pin-up. Born Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, she began taking dancing lessons as a child and by her teens was already winning beauty contests. At the age of 18, she married high school sweetheart James Welch; the couple had two children before divorcing in 1961. After working in Dallas, TX, as a waitress and model, Welch relocated to Hollywood in 1963; within three days, she had already landed a manager, Patrick Curtis, and soon they formed a promotions company, Curtwell Enterprises. After appearing in Life magazine in a revealing bikini, she began working on the ABC series Hollywood Palace, and in 1964 made her feature debut with an unbilled appearance in the Elvis Presley vehicle Roustabout. Welch next appeared as a prostitute in 1964's A House Is Not a Home, followed by another uncredited appearance a year later in Do Not Disturb. In 1965, she scored her first lead role in the pop musical A Swingin' Summer, resulting in a contract with 20th Century Fox, which cast her in the sci-fi hit Fantastic Voyage before loaning her to the British horror studio Hammer. There she starred in a 1967 remake of One Million Years B.C.; clad in little more than strategically placed strips of fur, Welch's publicity stills appeared everywhere, and she became a major sex symbol -- still, few went to actually see the movie itself. Despite the publicity, Fox was clearly wary of her talents, and did not ask her to return to Hollywood; instead she remained in Europe, starring with Edward G. Robinson and Vittorio de Sica in 1968's The Biggest Bundle of Them All and with Monica Vitti and Claudia Cardinale in Le Fate. While in Paris, Welch and manager Curtis married, issuing a series of provocative wedding night publicity photos.

After appearing as Lust incarnate in Stanley Donen's seven-deadly-sins comedy Bedazzled, Welch finally returned to the U.S. Fox used her judiciously in pictures like the 1968 James Stewart Western Bandolero! and the Frank Sinatra mystery Lady in Cement. Following in 1969 was 100 Rifles, a controversial Western which paired Welch with Jim Brown, and a year later she earned her first real starring role in the disastrous Myra Breckenridge. Her situation was unusual; she was certainly a star and a household name, yet few people ever went to see her movies -- neither 1971's Hannie Caulder nor the following year's Fuzz did anything to alter the dilemma, and when the 1973 roller-derby melodrama Kansas City Bomber also tanked at the box office, Welch divorced Curtis and returned to Europe to appear in Bluebeard. While both 1973's The Three Musketeers and its sequel The Four Musketeers were well received, she earned little credit for their success, and when the 1976 black comedy Mother, Jugs and Speed failed, Hollywood largely washed their hands of her.

Welch instead turned to nightclubs, concert stages, and television; she also continued making films in Europe, including 1977's The Prince and the Pauper and L' Animal, co-starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. In 1980, she was tapped to star in Cannery Row, but was fired a month into production; she filed suit against MGM for damages, and was awarded 11 million dollars. Welch spent the

entirety of the 1980s away from theaters, focusing primarily on television productions like 1982's The Legend of Walks Far Woman and 1987's Right to Die, in which she delivered one of her strongest performances as a woman suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. After an absence of over a decade, in 1994 Welch returned to cinema in the comedy The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult.

Throughout the decade, she also made a number of infomercials and exercise videos, and in 1995 also starred in the short-lived nighttime soap opera CPW. In 1997, she took over for Julie Andrews in the troubled Broadway musical Victor/Victoria, which closed less than a month after Welch's debut performance. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 80

Birthday 1940-09-05

Place of Birth Chicago, Illinois, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2017 Date My Dad(10 episodes) as Rosa
2017 How to Be a Latin Lover as Celeste
2016 The Ultimate Legacy as Miss Sally May Anderson
2013 House of Versace as Lucia
2009 The World of Peter Sellers
2008 The Captain(5 episodes) as Charlene Van Ark
2006 Forget About It as Christine DeLee
2002 8 Simple Rules(1 episode)
2002 Jim Brown: All-American as Herself
2001 Tortilla Soup as Hortensia
2001 Legally Blonde as Mrs. Windham Vandermark
2001 Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood as Herself (archive footage)
1999 The Early Show(1 episode)
1999 Get Bruce! as Herself
1998 Chairman of the Board as Grace Kosik
1997 The View(1 episode)
1996 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch(1 episode) as Vesta
1996 Spin City(3 episodes)
1996 E! True Hollywood Story(1 episode)
1996 Sex, Censorship and the Silver Screen as Narrator
1995 Central Park West(29 episodes)
1994 Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror as Herself
1994 The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult as Raquel Welch
1993 The Flintstones : Hollyrock a Bye Baby as Shelly Millstone (voice)
1993 Tainted Blood as Elizabeth Hayes
1989 Seinfeld(1 episode)
1989 Trouble in Paradise
1988 Scandal in a Small Town as Leda Beth Vincent
1987 Right to Die as Emily Bauer
1982 The Legend of Walks Far Woman as Walks Far Woman
1982 Wogan(2 episodes) as Herself
1982 Wogan(1 episode)
1981 Wanna bet, that..?(1 episode)
1981 Electric Blue 005 as Herself (archive footage)
1978 Mork & Mindy(1 episode)
1977 Stuntwoman as Jane Gardner
1977 The Prince and the Pauper as Lady Edith
1976 The Muppet Show(1 episode)
1976 Donny & Marie(1 episode)
1976 Mother, Jugs & Speed as Jugs
1975 Saturday Night Live(1 episode)
1975 The Wild Party as Queenie
1975 Cher(1 episode)
1974 The Four Musketeers as Constance de Bonancieux
1973 The Three Musketeers as Constance de Bonancieux
1973 The Last of Sheila as Alice
1973 The Three Musketeers(2 episodes)
1972 Bluebeard as Magdalena
1972 Kansas City Bomber as K.C. Carr
1972 Fuzz as Det. Eileen McHenry
1971 Hannie Caulder as Hannie Caulder
1971 Sin as Elena
1970 Myra Breckinridge as Myra Breckinridge
1970 Raquel! as Herself
1969 The Magic Christian as Priestess of the Whip
1969 Flareup as Michele
1969 Bracken's World(1 episode)
1969 100 Rifles as Sarita
1968 Lady in Cement as Kit Forrest
1968 Bandolero! as Maria Stoner
1968 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In(1 episode)
1968 The Biggest Bundle of Them All as Juliana
1967 Fathom as Fathom Harvill
1967 Bedazzled as Lust
1967 The Oldest Profession as Nini
1966 One Million Years B.C. as Loana
1966 Shoot Loud, Louder... I Don't Understand as Tania Montini
1966 The Queens as Elena
1966 Fantastic Voyage as Cora
1966 Salvador Dalí's Fantastic Dream
1965 A Swingin' Summer as Jeri
1964 Roustabout as College Girl in Blue
1964 The Baileys of Balboa(1 episode)
1964 Bewitched(1 episode)
1964 Shindig!(1 episode)
1964 Wendy and Me(1 episode)
1964 The Rogues(30 episodes) as Miss France
1964 A House Is Not a Home as Call Girl
1962 The Virginian(1 episode)
1953 The Academy Awards(2 episodes)
1952 Today(1 episode)

Production

1971 Hannie CaulderExecutive Producer

Crew

1994 Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of HorrorThanks

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