RAQUEL WELCH was the sex goddess of the sixties without ever appearing in a decent movie. After having two kids, a divorce, a job as a cocktail waitress, and a nose job, the voluptuous twenty-four-year-old tried to break into films.
She had no success until meeting (and later marrying and divorcing) Patrick Curtis, a press agent—who, incidentally, had played Olivia de Havilland’s infant in Gone With the Wind. Merchandising Raquel’s sexy superwoman face and figure, Curtis won her a movie contract and arranged a European publicity tour.
Welch was an instant international sensation, becoming one of the most successful women in Hollywood. Her wooden acting ability limited her choice of roles, and her career began losing steam about the time she lost the lead in Cannery Row to a rising Debra Winger (she later sued and won).
Taking a cue from Farrah Fawcett, she won points by looking drab in a serious TV movie, Right To Die, and roared back with a vengeance in the nineties with her infomercials and exercise videos. In 1997, Welch inherited Julie Andrews’ lead cross-dresser role in the seemingly interminable and troubled Broadway production of Victor/Victoria—Welch managed to drive the abandoned vehicle into the ground within a month.
Being a sex symbol was rather like being a convict. – Raquel Welch