Raquel Welch was an American actress who defied all odds and worked tirelessly to achieve success. The legendary actress passed away on the 15th of February, aged 82. Farewells are always a bittersweet affair, made sweeter by memories. As we bid adieu to the actress and model, let us flip through a few pages of her life and career.
Raquel Welch was born in Chicago to an ordinary family. There were no silver spoons that cushioned her life. In fact, she has lived a life filled with ups and downs. She worked her way to the top and built a lasting career with her relentless hard work and determination. Before a major breakthrough that rocketed her to the spotlight, Welch played several minor roles in movies like A House Is Not a Home and Roustabout.
Raquel was 26 when she bagged the role of Loana in One million years B.C. This role pinned her on the map of Hollywood. Along with an interesting professional life, Welch had a happening personal life. Between the years 1959 and 2003, Welch went through four marriages and four divorces. Previously, Jo Raquel Tejada married James Welch, who was also her first love. Even though she divorced him in 1964, she never changed her surname again. Welch also had two children with James, namely, Damon Welch and Latanne Welch. After the fourth divorce, Raquel, who had a strong personality, decided not to have another tryst with marriage. Despite the inevitable downsides that are part of any human life, Welch lived a full and fruitful life.
An Interesting Career
Even before playing the iconic role of the cavewoman, Welch had begun to carve a place for herself in the industry. The tagline “The End of the Great Girl Drought” was used to describe Welch on the cover of a magazine she featured in. She was also recommended to the production house, 20th Century Fox. Following this, she starred in two superhits that were released in 1966, the first being her evergreen role as Loana in One Million Years B.C. The sensual deerskin fur bikini she wore in the movie was iconic given the fact that it was the first time an actress wore a bikini in film. Soon enough, Welch became an international sex symbol. The second superhit was her role in “Fantastic Voyage,” where she played the role of a medic. Following these breakthroughs, Raquel had the career many dreamed of. Here are some of Raquel Welch’s best roles!
10 Unforgettable Raquel Welch Movies
Loana in One Million B.C.
Loana will always be Welch’s iconic character, catapulting her to fame in the blink of an eye. More than the acting, her popularity grew because of the deerskin fur bikini she wore throughout the movie. In fact, despite having only three lines in the film, Welch became more popular than anyone else. This role, though, came with its drawbacks. She got stereotyped as a sex symbol, a label that is incredibly hard to shake off. Raquel defied the stereotypes by explaining how capable she is but also accepted the status because, according to her, it was an achievement.
Cora in Fantastic Voyage
Raquel Welch played the role of a medic team member in the movie. Cora enters the picture when a brilliant scientist in the country develops a medical problem. She saves the scientist, Jan Benes, by using miniaturization technology. The movie definitely doesn’t match the logic of the current times, but back in the 1960s, it was considered groundbreaking.
Constance in The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers was released in 1973. This movie was also set in ancient times. Raquel Welch plays Constance Bonacieux in this film. In the movie, she played the role of a dressmaker to the Austrian queen and the love interest of Michael York. The role was substantial as it broke several stereotypes, proving that Welch was skilled at comedic roles too.
Kit Forrest in Lady In Cement
Raquel Welch played the role of Kit Forrest in the movie Lady in Cement which was released in the year 1968. She plays the love interest of Frank Sintara in the movie. In Raquel’s own words, the character of Kit was more of an alcoholic who used to be head over heels for Frank Sintara. It is a must-watch for people who enjoy a little mystery and suspense.
Sarita in 100 Rifles
The movie 100 Rifles was released back in 2006. The movie revolves around Sarita, who is a Yaqui freedom fighter, and Lyedecker, who is a lawman. Lyedecker intervenes in a huge plan and is put in prison. He meets Raquel Welch, aka Sarita, there. This action drama has been a great source of entertainment to date!