Jo Raquel Tejada 1940 – 2023
Famed American actress born with the name Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940 in Chicago. "Welch" is the surname of her first husband with whom she had two children during a short marriage. As a young girl she studied ballet for nearly a decade, began winning beauty contests, performing in plays, worked as a "weather girl" on television, and made a living as a model. She pursued acting roles in films and television (appearing in small parts in both arenas) and then had a leading role in Fantastic Voyage (1966). This began a long series of films (she has 68 film credits) in which she was often the center of all publicity and promotion of the project, though not always the star headliner.
Raquel Welch film reviews:
CBS 8 San Diego "Weathergirl" Raquel Welch
Feb 2023: Raquel Welch has died
Raquel Welch 1940 – 2023
Raquel Welch was born on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, as Jo Raquel Tejada. Her father was a Bolivian aeronautical engineer and she grew up in California. She took ballet lessons and began winning beauty contests at the age of 14.
Some career highlights:
Her early career was as a model and television actress before transitioning to film. In 1964 Welch made her feature film debut in the Elvis Presley movie Roustabout. In 1966, Raquel Welch appeared in the science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage which did well, then wearing a fur bikini she appeared in One Million Years B.C. which produced one of the most repeated images from cinema history. Next she was alongside James Stewart and Dean Martin playing the role of a Mexican bandit's wife in Bandolero.
Myra Breckinridge in 1970 was a controversial comedy with Welch playing a transsexual woman. In the 1971 Hannie Caulder she was a gun-wielding woman pursuing a gang of outlaws who had killed her husband.
Kansas City Bomber was a 1972 sports drama film directed by Jerrold Freedman and starring Welch as K.C. Carr, a roller derby skater struggling within the world of the sport, with Welch playing a character trying to combine her atheletic career with the demands of being a single mother. She faces challenges from rival teams and trouble from jealous teammates. The drama had both good and bad critical appriasal at the time of its release, though Welch's performnce was highlighted by many critics as good despite an overly melodramtic storyline. Kansas City Bomber is easily one of Raquel Welch's most memorable film roles.
The Three Musketeers in 1973 had Welch playing the role of Constance Bonacieux, a seamstress who becomes involved in the musketeers' mission to protect the French king. The film was a commercial success and spawned a sequel. The Four Musketeers in 1974 which had Welch reprising her role.
Mother, Jugs & Speed in 1976 was a black comedy film about ambulance drivers in Los Angeles with Welch playing the part of Jennifer, a tough and streetwise dispatcher.
In the late 1970's Welch began making TV appearances again, and through 2017, while still appearing in a number of full length films (such as the 1994 Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult and the 2017 How to be a Latin Lover) she racked up dozens of TV appearances on various shows – The Imbd career list.
Welch was associated with a number of charitable efforts over the years, a partial list is: American Cancer Society, City of Hope nonprofit medical center, United Service Organizations (USO), and the AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Some Raquel Welch Obits from across the internet:
"The CBS 8 Weathergirl from San Diego" - video about Welch's time on staff at the TV station
"Famed Actress and Model Raquel Welch has died" – ABC News
"Star of Fantastic Voyage, One Million Years B.C. and Myra Breckinridge dies at 82" – Deadline Hollywood
"A Lifetime of Looks - From cave woman to "Woman of the Year" – NY Times
"Golden Globe winner Raquel Welch died Wednesday morning" – MSN People Magazine
Hollywood stars react to death of Raquel Welch – USA Today
Cinema icon Raquel Welch has died – France Le Monde
Amazon - Kansas City Bomber - Raquel Welch 1972
Seven Important Raquel Welch Films
One Million Years B.C. (1966) - Set in prehistoric time frame this film featured Welch in a memorable role as Loana, a cave-woman, and the promotional photo of her in the "fur bikini" became a best-selling poster.
Fantastic Voyage (1966) - Welch starred in this sci-fi adventure film as Cora Peterson, a medical technician who is miniaturized and injected into a scientist's body to save his life. The film featured cutting-edge special effects and is usually listed as a sci-fi classic.
The Three Musketeers (1973) - Welch portrayed Constance de Bonacieux in this classic adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' novel. The film showcased her beauty and acting skills in a period setting, utilizing comedy and was successful at the box office and spawned a sequel The Four Musketeers - Milady's Revenge, 1974.
Kansas City Bomber (1972) - Considered by many as Welch's best dramatic film, she played the lead role of K.C. Carr, a roller derby skater, in this sports drama. Her performance highlighted her athleticism and versatility as an actress.
Bandolero! (1968) - Welch co-starred alongside James Stewart and Dean Martin in this Western film, playing the character Maria Stoner, a cause of contention between the two brothers who are the lead characters.
Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976) - As an ambulance dispatcher, in this black comedy about the misadventures of an ambulance service, Welch added humor and of course glamour.
The Wild Party (1975) - In this tale somewhat derived from the famous Arbuckle silent movie era case, Welch plays the role of Queenie, a showgirl during the Prohibition era. She both sings and dances in this film role.
- Tormented - 1960
- Killers of the Flower Moon, 2023
- Dangerous Blondes, 1943
- Disputed Passage, 1939
- La Fortuna Di Essere Donna – 1956 with Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni and Charles Boyer
- When the Daltons Rode 1940
- Mandalay - 1934 - with Kay Francis
- Roman Holiday - 1953
- The Last Thing He Told Me
- The Madonna's Secret – 1946
- Gorilla at Large – 1953
- Internes Can't Take Money - 1937
- The Snake Woman - 1961
- She Devil – 1957
- Enter Santo - The Blue Ray Box Set
- Cyclotrode X – 1966
- L'emmerdeur (aka A Pain in the Ass) – 1973
Timeline of the Career of Raquel Welch
- "The Hollywood Palace" (1965) - Welch made a guest appearance on this TV variety show.
- "One Million Years B.C." (1966) - This film launched Welch into stardom and remains one of her most iconic roles.
"Fantastic Voyage" (1966) - Welch starred in this sci-fi adventure film, gaining attention for her performance as scientist Cora Peterson.
"The Three Musketeers" (1969) - Welch appeared in this classic period adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' novel playing as Constance de Bonacieux.
"Bandolero!" (1968) - Welch co-starred alongside James Stewart and Dean Martin in this Western film.
"Bedazzled" (1967) - Welch had a small but memorable role as Lust in this British comedy film.
"Flareup" (1969) - Welch played the lead role of Michele, a nightclub dancer caught in a dangerous situation being pursued by a deranged killer.
"Lady in Cement" (1968) - Welch starred alongside Frank Sinatra in this detective film as the character Kit Forrest.
"Fathom" (1967) - Welch starred as a skydiver named Fathom Harvill who gets caught up in an international spy plot.
"Shoot Loud, Louder... I Don't Understand" (1966) - Welch appeared in this Italian comedy film.
"Do Not Disturb" (1965) - Welch had a supporting role as a French singer in this romantic comedy.
- "The Flip Wilson Show" (1970) - Welch appeared as a guest on this comedy-variety series hosted by Flip Wilson.
"Myra Breckinridge" (1970) - Welch starred as the titular character in this controversial film based on Gore Vidal's novel.
"Kansas City Bomber" (1972) - Welch played the lead role of K.C. Carr, a roller derby skater, in this sports drama that showcased her athleticism and acting skills.
"The Three Musketeers" (1973) and "The Four Musketeers" (1974) - Welch r\played Constance de Bonacieux in both of these adventure films.
"The Last of Sheila" (1973) - Welch had a prominent role in this mystery thriller, directed by Herbert Ross.
"The Wild Party" (1975) - A Prohibition era story portraying the character of Queenie.
"Mother, Jugs & Speed" (1976) - Welch brought comedy to the role of Jennifer, a feisty ambulance dispatcher.
- "Saturday Night Live" (1976) - Welch hosted an episode of this iconic sketch comedy show.
"The Prince and the Pauper" (1977) - Welch appeared in this adaptation of Mark Twain's classic novel, showcasing her versatility in a period setting as the character Lady Edith.
"Crossed Swords" (1977) - Welch co-starred alongside Mark Lester and Oliver Reed in this adaptation of "The Prince and the Pauper," playing the character Lady Edith de Hertford.
- "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1977) - Welch appeared as herself in an episode titled "Barbarino's Girl."
- "The Muppet Show" (1978) - Welch was a guest star on this popular puppet-based variety show.
"The Last of Sheila" (1973) - Welch had a prominent role in this mystery thriller, directed by Herbert Ross, where she showcased her versatility as an actress in a complex ensemble cast.
"Bandolero!" (1968) - While released in the late 1960s, this Western film remained popular in the 1970s and further established Welch's presence as she added glamour and allure to her character, Maria Stoner.
- "The Love Boat" (1980) - Welch made a guest appearance on this popular cruise ship-set romantic comedy series.
"Cannonball Run" (1981) - Welch appeared in this star-studded comedy ensemble film, portraying the character of Pamela Glover. Her role added to the film's comedic flair and popular appeal.
"Mickey's 60th Birthday" (1988) - Welch made a guest appearance in this television special celebrating Mickey Mouse's 60th birthday, adding to her wide range of appearances and capturing the attention of a new generation.
"Right to Die" (1987) - Welch took on a serious and dramatic role in this made-for-television movie, playing Emily Bauer, a woman fighting for her right to die with dignity. Her performance garnered critical acclaim.
"Tortilla Soup" (1987) - Welch had a supporting role in this comedy-drama film, portraying Hortensia Avila. Her performance added depth and humor to the storyline.
"Scandal in a Small Town" (1988) - Welch starred in this television movie as Maggie Bartok, a woman entangled in scandal and intrigue in a small town. Her performance showcased her range as an actress.
"Trouble in Paradise" (1989) - Welch appeared in this television movie as a character named Sheila Broderick, adding to her list of television appearances during the 1980s.
"The Legend of Walks Far Woman" (1982) - Welch played the lead role of Walks Far Woman, a Native American woman seeking justice in this made-for-television movie. Her performance displayed her ability to tackle complex characters.
"Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess" (1983) - Welch starred as Rita Hayworth, the iconic Hollywood actress, in this biographical television movie, showcasing her range and ability to portray real-life figures.
- "Seinfeld" (1997) - Welch guest-starred as herself in the episode titled "The Summer of George."
- "Torchy Blane" (1999) - Welch portrayed the character Torchy Blane in a TV movie.
- "CSI: Miami" (2003) - Welch guest-starred as Vina Navarro in an episode titled "Sex & Taxes."
- "Happily Divorced" (2013) - Welch appeared as herself in an episode titled "Swimmers and Losers."
Raquel Welch film reviews:
Original Page Sept 9, 2015 | Update May 30, 2023