Actress Jo Raquel Welch lived in the United States. It was her breakthrough performance in Fantastic Voyage that landed her a contract with 20th Century Fox. Her contract was loaned to the British studio Hammer Film Productions, where she filmed One Million Years B.C.
What Caused Raquel’s Death?
Raquel passed away early on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, after a brief illness.
Daughter Tawnee and son Damon are all that remain of the Golden Globe winner’s first marriage to James Welch. She tied the knot four times during the course of her lifetime. She was most recently married to Richard Palmer from 1999 to 2008.
Just What Was the Key to Raquel Welch’s Success?
In 1940, Raquel Welch was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago to affluent parents. Her father was an aeronautical engineer and Bolivian immigrant, while her mother was the daughter of renowned Chicago architect Emery Stanford Hall.
Welch and her family relocated to California’s San Diego when she was very young, and she always knew that she would one day be a performer. When she was seven, she decided to start taking ballet classes. After ten years of training, she finally gave up after being told her body wasn’t suited to the art form.
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Welch’s weight may have just been an issue in ballet. She entered and won a number of beauty pageants as a teenager. She married her high school love, James Welch, and then attended San Diego State University under his surname after receiving a theater scholarship.
In 1958, Raquel began performing in stage performances around San Diego, and by 1960, she was working as the station’s weather girl for KMFB. Raquel and her children relocated to Dallas, Texas after her divorce from James. There, she found employment as a cocktail waitress and a part-time model for Neiman Marcus.
She quickly relocated to Los Angeles, where she began establishing herself as a sex icon with the help of Patrick Curtis, a former child star turned agent. As early as 1965, she was already making a name for herself in Hollywood, having co-starred with Elvis Presley in the film Roustabout and having signed a seven-year deal with 20th Century Fox.
During 1966, Raquel Welch rose to fame thanks to the films Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C., the latter of which introduced the world to the now-iconic image of her wearing a bikini made from deer leather.
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Raquel has been married four times and divorced twice as often. Her first agent, Patrick Curtis, also happened to be her second spouse. They tied the knot in ’67 and divorced in ’72. She met her future husband, French filmmaker André Weinfeld, in 1977; he relocated to Los Angeles specifically for her, and the couple wed in 1980. Their union lasted all the way till 1990.
For the third and final time, she wed pizzeria owner Richard Palmer in 1999 and later divorced him in 2003. She’s the mother of Damon and Tahnee Welch, both of whom she had from her first marriage. Like her mother, Tahnee tried her hand at acting and modeling.
Aside from acting, Raquel has built a thriving wig company and worked as a model and spokesperson for Foster Grant eyewear. Her first collection of wigs debuted in 1998, and the line has since grown and is still in production. Raquel was decades ahead of her time when it came to the topic of wigs, which are now ubiquitous in the worlds of celebrity and high fashion.