The life story of Raquel Welch – was every man’s dream!

This is the life story of Raquel Welch – was every man’s dream!

My first husband didn’t know how to cook, my second husband probably needed to cook because that would be his only talent, while the third one only knew how to cook and nothing else!

During the 1960s and 1970s, Raquel Welch was considered one of the most desirable women on the planet, and although she tried to break the myth of herself as the goddess of sex in her autobiography “Deeper than the cleavage”, even in the eighth decade of life, many still perceived than a sex symbol.

In one of the best films of all time, “Escape from Shoshenka”, the protagonist digs a tunnel for years to escape from prison, and hides the entrance with posters provided by a prison friend. As time goes on, the posters change: on the first is Rita Hayworth, a sex icon of the forties, on the next Marilyn Monroe whose figure marked the fifties, and on the third the sex symbol of the sixties – Raquel Welch in a skimpy leather bikini than a cave woman in the movie “Million” years before Christ ”. When director Frank Darabont asked her for permission to use her picture to show the passage of time, the actress was flattered, but also a little worried.

– In the film, Tim Robbins needs more than twenty years to break through the tunnel and gain freedom. Sometimes I wondered if I would ever break into the light of freedom behind that picture from the poster – she wrote in 2010 in her autobiography “Deeper than the cleavage”.

The question was not without grounds, because Raquel Welch was always perceived more than a goddess of sex than as an actress. Although she was without a doubt one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the sixties and seventies, her films, which never achieved special success at the box office, contributed less to that, and more the status of a busty pin-up girl dreamed of by men of all ages.

– The moment I appeared in a leather bikini on that famous poster, my life completely changed and everything that had anything to do with my true ‘I’ disappeared. Everything was overpowered by that sex symbol, a woman who imprinted herself in the collective consciousness than a body without a voice… I am living proof that a picture speaks more than a thousand words, because everything that has happened to me since then comes from that one picture stopped in time. And, ironically, although I was perceived as the embodiment of sex appeal, at that time I was a single mother of two small children. But who could imagine a girl from a poster holding one child in her arms and pushing another in a stroller? But now I feel it is my duty to discover the truth and dispel the myth of myself, which I have long had to do, to finally show what I really am.

That’s how Raquel Welch begins her autobiography, which she published a few weeks before her 70th birthday (2010) – entitled “Beyond the Cleavage” (Deep than the cleavage) in order to show the public her true “I”. In the book, she describes how, on the set of “A Million Years”, than a young and up-and-coming actress – it was only her second film she made for “20th Century Fox” – she turned to director Don Chaifi to present her ideas for some scenes.

– Don, I was thinking something. I read the script a bit and thought – she told him, and Chafi answered her:

– Don’t!

And exactly that film in which she was not allowed to think, but only half-naked jumping “from rock A to rock B”, as the director explained to her, and in which the whole text consisted of a single funny sentence: “I Loana… ti Tumak “, Raquel Welch defined her career and defined her as the most sexually desirable woman of that time.

It sounds almost unbelievable, but than a teenager, that sex icon only gave its appearance a grade of “passing”.

Earlier years

Raquel Tehada was born on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, but the family quickly moved to California and grew up in sunny San Diego and later in La Jolla, with a younger brother and sister. Father Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo, was an aeronautical engineer from La Paz in Bolivia, a rigid and strict man who complained to his wife and children about every little thing, so everyone around him walked on tiptoe. She described her mother, Josephine Sarah Hall Raquel, than a real lady, a college-educated woman who worked outside the home – “she got up at dawn to get ready for work, and I sat on the edge of the tub and watched her put on make-up” – and did is also all household chores, from cooking, washing and ironing to gardening and car washing. She also found time to sew beautiful dresses for her daughters on her singer, drive the children and read them Andersen’s fairy tales before going to bed, and at the same time she was always well-groomed, harmoniously dressed and never walked around the house with curlers in her hair.

But, that capable woman still suffered from the wife of a tyrant who did not show her a shred of tenderness even in the best moments, and he knew how to be aggressive during outbursts of anger.

Her father, Armando, was a man who likes to quarrel, scolds children for every little thing and abuses her mother mentally and physically.
When she turned 16, she confronted her violent father for the first time, with what came to her hand, because he poured hot milk on her mother, just because he didn’t like lunch.

“I took the poker from the fireplace, came to him and threatened to hit him with all my might.” She was not punished then, because both her father and mother were left in complete shock after her miscarriage.

“It was instinctive, my mother was a wonderful woman, and he didn’t respect her at all,” the actress pointed out.

“All my friends were doing curls, so I wanted to too. And when I came home with a beautiful haircut, my father pushed my head under the faucet to make it all right, and later made me cut my hair for a man’s haircut. Never”. I didn’t forgive him for that, I was only 13 years old, “Rakel said.

– The mother was in the father’s power. I didn’t want to be like her in that, but I think I’m like her in many other ways. In any case, I inherited femininity from her. But obediently listening to a demanding man? No way! Besides, after four husbands, I don’t think I’m a good candidate for a wife, because I love my independence too much.

She inherited an olive path from her father and a name that sounded unusual to her friends, so they gave her the nickname Rocky. It all bothered her than a child, but much later, when the studio bosses wanted to change her name to Debbie, she flatly refused.

When she entered puberty, she was initially critical of her appearance, because in her environment, the definition of beauty included blonde hair and blue eyes. But she soon realized that her exotic complexion, lush figure with broad shoulders and slender waist, and long legs carved in ballet classes she had attended for years, attracted men strangely: they stared at her in the street, followed her, shouted at her, showed obscene gestures and invited her to get in the car. She was embarrassed at first, but soon got used to it. And discovered sex.

Not directly, because it was the fifties, but through film and music, through stars like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis, whom she watched live when she was fourteen.

– It was like a sexual hurricane, a natural force, and it miraculously stimulated my adolescent libido – she wrote in her autobiography.

Much later, in 1964, she met Elvis on the set of “Roustabout,” the first film she made in Hollywood, and was amazed to see him in a “washed out,” decent version, “as if they had washed all the sex out of him.” The great womanizer immediately became interested in her, but she did not give up.

“I didn’t want to be just another girl he slept with,” she wrote.

She fell in love for the first time at the age of only fifteen, with her peer James Welch, and she immediately knew that she wanted children with him. They had fun throughout high school, but while he dropped out of school in the fourth grade and went to work on a fishing boat, she studied for graduation and at the same time participated in the Miss election, first jokingly, and later seriously, because she realized that beauty titles could help her in the acting career she started dreaming about. She graduated with honors and received a scholarship to study acting in San Diego, but as soon as Welch returned from the ship, she left everything and in 1959 fled with him to Las Vegas, where they were married.

In the same year, their son Damon was born, today a computer engineer and actor, and in 1961 a daughter Tanya, who also became an actress. However, Raquel was unhappy because she was still dreaming of a career in film.

– Should I concentrate on living with James, or follow my ambitions – she wrote in her autobiography and made, as she says, “the most difficult decision of life”: she left her husband, took the children and moved to Dallas where she stayed for a while. Worked than a waitress and model for a department store, and then decided to return to California. She arrived in Hollywood in 1963 – without a husband, without a car, with two hundred dollars in her pocket, two small children and without any useful connections and acquaintances.

– It was pretty hard. At that time, children were undesirable. Even the apartment was difficult to rent, because in ninety percent of the advertisements, they made it clear that they did not accept children. The two children were extremely unsuitable luggage for a young actress who wants to break through.

A turning point in life

However, she proved to be very resourceful: within three days, she had a manager, the enterprising Patrick Curtis, who specialized in rising young actresses, and soon secured her several smaller TV and film roles, including in the musical “A Swingin Summer”. , where her alluring figure in a bikini was noticed by the heads of the 20th Century Fox studio and offered her a contract. For “Fox” she recorded the SF hit “Fantastic Journey”, and then in Europe, on loan to the British studio “Hammer”, “A Million Years”, in which she took off her bikini again, this time leather – and the sex symbol of global size.

The publicity was huge, the poster sold millions of copies, Raquel Welch appeared on more than a hundred world magazine covers, but despite that, few people watched the film, and Fox was a little skeptical about her talent, so they didn’t insist on returning to Hollywood. So she continued filming in England and Italy, and in 1967 she married Curtis in Paris.

When she finally returned to the United States, she made several films, such as “Bandolero” with James Stewart and “Lady In Cement” with Frank Sinatra, and caused a lot of controversy with the love scene with her black partner Jim Brown in the western “One Hundred Rifles” – the first interracial the sex scene in Hollywood. But she was still in a bizarre situation: audiences preferred to watch her on posters and covers rather than in the cinema.

In order to change that and to shake off the stereotype of the “hollow-headed sexy cat” and prove herself than a serious actress, she accepted the demanding role of a transsexual heroine in the film “Myra Breckenridge”, based on the novel by Gore Vidal. But the film experienced a total debacle with both the audience and the critics who ridiculed it, and not only did it not bring her the much-coveted confirmation of talent, but on the contrary, the title of the worst actress of all time, and her reputation for being extremely difficult due to fierce conflicts with partner Me West, already a faded giant of the thirties. In her autobiography, Raquel Welch defended herself as she was just trying to save what could be saved.

– I fought for the quality of the film, and it seemed to me that they were punishing me because I was a sex symbol created by them.

When the films that followed failed at the box office, Raquel Welch broke up with Curtis and went to Europe again in 1972, this time in Budapest, where Richard Burton was shooting “Bluebeard”.

In her autobiography, she described Bartona as “a heat-guided rocket, a sensual romantic” and for the first time openly admitted that she was in a relationship with him. No wonder when you know that the promiscuous Barton, who was divorcing Elizabeth Taylor at the time, had a rule that he had to win over every actress he works with in the film.

She did not have such a rule, but she still managed to list a good number of famous men who were claimed to have been more or less in a serious relationship with them. The long list includes actors Bart Reynolds, Marcello Mastroianni, Steve McQueen and Warren Beatty, producer Robert Evans, composer Bart Bakarak, and even Bob Dylan, who allegedly once invited her to come out.

Whether she was really in a relationship with them or the media invented her to lead a tumultuous love life, simply because it was expected of her, will probably never be fully known. In Raquel Welch’s autobiography, she discreetly reveals that only some of these men were attracted enough to engage in something more than friendship with them, and that she did not live as far away as it was presented in public.

The fact that she never appeared completely naked in front of the camera, even when she was photographed for “Playboy”, shows how much the image of the sex bomb does not coincide with the real facts. Many directors have asked her to do so, even her adored Richard Lester, with whom she made her commercially and most successful film, The Three Musketeers, but Raquel never agreed.

– I definitely used my body and sex appeal at work, but always within limits.

Appearance has helped me a lot in my career, but I think that mystery is part of a woman’s attraction and that imagination is more powerful and provocative than explicit nudity. I leave some things for my private life and they are not for sale – she says in her autobiography where she describes how they offered her a film with explicit scenes of rape where she had to take it off, but she turned down the offer with disgust despite the million-dollar fee.

Although she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in “The Three Musketeers” in 1973, her artistic reputation did not grow, and when the comedy Mother, Jugs And Speed, starring Bill Cosby and Harvey Keitel, experienced a commercial and critical fiasco, her Hollywood career was practically over.

Then she started performing in clubs and concert halls and shooting for television, and here and there she would make a few films in Europe. In Paris, she met a seven-year-younger French writer and director, Andre Waynefield, whom she married in 1980 and returned to Hollywood with. But if she was thinking of returning to the American film industry, all her hopes were dashed after the unfortunate story with the movie “Cannery Row”. She was hired in 1981 to act in a film based on a novel by John Steinbeck, but after a month of work, she was fired and given the role by Debri Winger. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio claimed that she behaved unprofessionally on the set and that it took her an infinite amount of time each morning to put on her make-up and get ready to shoot. Raquel Welch, on the other hand, claimed the studio simply wanted to save and sued them for $20 million in damages.

After a long court battle, she received eleven million, but also a bitter taste of professional defeat. However, something positive came out of that debacle: she escaped from Hollywood to New York, where she replaced Lauren Bacall in the musical “Woman Of The Year” and achieved great success with both critics and audiences. But she paid dearly for it – because of hard performances on Broadway, where plays are played every night of the week, and sometimes twice a day, she spontaneously had an abortion and lost the child she was expecting with Waynefield.

She did not appear in the film during the eighties, but that does not mean that she was not active. She tried herself in a completely different field: she published a book of beauty and fitness tips in which she revealed to readers that with the help of yoga and a healthy diet she will maintain a beautiful appearance in middle and later years, and accompanied the book with three exercise videos, which are also looted – of course everyone wanted to look like Raquel Welch. However, although he does not mention it in his autobiography, the tense, youthful face cannot be thanked only for good genes and proper care, but also for a series of small aesthetic procedures that she performed when she was forty years old, “in time, before the skin becomes irreversible.” relax, ”as she once said. She later launched a collection of facial cosmetics as well than a line of quality wigs and extensions so women can easily change color and hairstyle if they want to change, or simply look better if they are at the age when their hair is no longer what it used to be.

In addition to business success, she also appeared on television, especially in the 1987 drama “Right to Death”, in which, without a shred of makeup on her face, she played a woman dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and deserved a nomination for that shocking performance. For the Golden Globe. She returned to film after a long hiatus, when in 1994 she played herself in the comedy “Naked Gun 33 1/3”, and after that she had a few more minor roles in films such as “Legal Blonde”, but she mostly worked on television where she has appeared than a guest in many series, often in roles in which she parodied herself.

In the meantime, she divorced Waynefield in 1990, and in 1999 she married for the fourth time, to a man fifteen years younger, the owner of a chain of pizzerias, Richard Palmer.

– My first husband didn’t know how to cook, my second husband probably needed to cook because that would be his only talent, while the third one only knew how to cook and nothing else – she confided in an interview, in which she praised the fourth is “dexterous with his hands.”

But, that marriage also fell apart, after only four years, and Raquel Welch then stated that she was no longer interested in younger men.

– I’ve been married four times and again I don’t know what I’m really looking for. I feel like I really failed in that respect – admitted the woman who took the third place on the list of “Playboy” magazines – the 100 sexiest stars of the century. In the end, she found satisfaction in her own business, which she is very proud of, and in the children, whom she self-critically says turned out to be good people solely due to her own merit. And as for men, she’s happy to be alone.

She doesn’t miss sex in the least because she thinks it’s far overestimated.



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