Raquel Welch burst onto movie screens in the sci-fi classic One Million Years BC; but her identity is about more than mere beauty or her world famous poster in that unforgettable doe-skin bikini. Her unique persona on film captured our imagination and made her into one of the reigning icons of the 60’s and 70’s.
Starring in over 45 films and winning a Golden Globe for best actress in The Three Musketeers, Raquel worked with such greats as: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, James Stewart, Burt Reynolds, Faye Dunaway, Richard Burton, Reese Witherspoon, Marcello Mastroianni, Peter Sellers, John Houston, Mae West, Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster, to name a few. In her early career Raquel’s built-for-action presence became her signature in films like, Hannie Caulder, Kansas City Bomber, 100 Rifles; and the underground classic Myra Breckinridge.
The world seemed focused on her beauty and Time magazine dubbed her “America’s number one sex symbol,” but Welch strove to counteract that perception. She changed directions in the 80’s, making a remarkable quantum leap from the movies to the Great White Way, with a smashing Broadway debut in the hit musical Woman of the Year . This shattered the myth that she was simply a celluloid invention.
There was something more to Raquel than what met the eye. Few guessed that as a struggling actress at age 22, she had arrived in Hollywood as a single mother with her two small children; only to find that the studio star-making system was long gone. Nonetheless, she carved out a place for herself in movie history, and broke the mold of the submissive blonde bombshell.
Her far reaching achievements also include television; notably co-starring with Edward James Olmos and Sonja Braga in the Golden Globe nominated mini-series, American Family and in last season’s CBS comedy series The Captain, plus that unforgettable appearance in the final episode of Seinfeld, among others.
An early devotee of yoga and a forerunner in the field of fitness, Raquel authored the best-selling classic yoga book RAQUEL: Total Beauty and Fitness (1984). She introduced Yoga to a whole generation of women and ignited a new exercise trend. In addition, 2009 marks the eleventh anniversary of The Raquel Welch Wig Collection; the most successful enterprise of its kind in the world. She has also succeeded Catherine Deneuve, to become the most recent Icon Face of M.A.C Cosmetics – with a line of international signature cosmetics.
Admired by women the world over, Raquel’s latest project is a new book, The Art of Being a Woman, for Weinstein Books – 2010. In it she speaks intimately about the trials and tribulations of aging in the public eye and offers an insightful guide to becoming a truly age-defying woman. At present, Raquel is the spokesperson “behind those Foster Grants,” in a new television commercial campaign for Foster Grant sunglasses and readers.
Like Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe before her, Raquel Welch transcends stardom. Her sultry beauty, talent and vibrant personality set her apart from those who came before and she continues to leave an indelible legacy for those who follow.
Above all, she remains her own woman - unique, timeless, enduring...