In her heyday, Raquel Welch was nicknamed “The Body,” a reductive term that no actress in Hollywood today would accept. Those were other times and many actresses were measured by their physical attributes rather than their acting.
In one of the films he starred in in the 1960s, The Cement Woman, the director of the film, Gordon Douglasdirected a few not-so-elegant burs at the back of a file Raquel Welch. Then nothing happened. Hollywood stuck to its illiberal standards.
Welch had to make this body profitable and assume that he became one of the most powerful “sex symbols” of her time. He succeeded to an extent, but that qualification also weighed heavily on a large part of his career.
Welch will turn 80 on September 5th. She does so practically off the screens that turned her into a global sex legend in the ’60s and ’70s. She had to change her original Latin name, Joe Raquel Tejadaas he did Rita Cansino to become Rita Hayworth. Welch was the daughter of a Bolivian aeronautical engineer who lived in Chicago. Armando Carlos Tejada. At the age of 19 he got married James Westley Welchthe first of her four husbands, and has since adopted her husband’s surname. Of course, he did not want his first name to be Americanised.
From a prehistoric bodysuit to a celebrity
His profession was great. The tight-fitting prehistoric suit he wore in “A Million Years Ago” (1966) — or How to Turn Caveman Times Into a Sexual High Voltage — caused a stir. It was his first major movie after he was involved in a movie Elvis Presley“The Globetrotter” (1964), and having formed a couple with him Marcello Mastroianni in “Shoot Louder, Louder… I Don’t Get It” (1964).
It became so popular that one of her films, The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968), had the nickname “Raquel and Her Bastards” among us when her character was named… Juliana! She was the protagonist of a proactive Western in “Anna Caulder” (1971), the mistress of Bluebeard in the 1972 film of the same name. Richard Burton and the Queen’s maid in “The Three Musketeers/The Four Musketeers” (1973-1974). He attempted a radical turn with “Myra Breckinridge” (1970) by Gore Vidaland co-starring with the singer vamp May Westabout a sex change, but it was a scandal that ended in bad reviews.
The lawsuit won
One of the most notorious cases in the career of the actress occurred in 1981. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had hired her to star alongside her. Nick Nolte “Cannery Row”, adapted from a homonymous novel John Steinbeck It centers around the relationship between a marine biologist and a courtesan. Within days of the start of shooting, Welch was fired and replaced Debra Winger, who was fifteen years her junior and was about to rise to fame with an “officer and gentleman”. “What they did was use my name to get financing for the movie and then replace me with Debra Winger, who had been on their minds from the start,” Welch explained years later. The actress rebelled against the circumstances and filed a $24 million lawsuit against MGM for breach of contract.
I went down to the TV
Hollywood studios didn’t have the strength of the ’80s, so Welch won the lawsuit in 1988. The reasons the company’s lawyers gave were pretty bizarre: They said her stubbornness in doing her hair and makeup at home rather than on set was a violation of their contract. If the studio deems her too old for the part (and that’s the truth of the matter), why did they choose her? She was never known to be combative against the establishment, but Welch became a champion for actresses’ rights, though her career has since been confined to television. She won the lawsuit, but the industry punished her. One of his few subsequent film interventions was in Tortilla soup (2001), an American “remake” directed by Maria Ripoll From Ang Lee’s “Eat, Drink, Love.”