April 20, 2012

TGIF: Raquel Welch

"raquel welch"

"Raquel Welch is 'filling in' for Lauren Bacall in a most literal sense", wrote Mel Gussow in the New York Times. "While Miss Bacall has been on vacation, Miss Welch has made her Broadway debut in Woman of the Year, and she is an 8 x 10 glossy come to life. When she makes her first appearance in a low-cut gold lame gown, her attributes can be seen all the way to the mezzanine."

Some might say that Raquel Welch's career as an actress and author has always depended on how she filled out a costume. A beautiful woman, she rocketed to stardom after her appearance in a fur line bikini in a still for the film, One Million Years B.C. Although her part was quite small in the film, the photo captured a "definitive look of the 1960s." The still became a best-selling poster, and Welch became a sex symbol.

Not one to rest on her bikini, she continued to make movies, including a controversial role as the transsexual heroine in Myra Breckinridge in 1970. She took the part as the film in an attempt to be taken seriously as an actress, but the movie, which co-starred Mae West, John Huston, and Rex Reed, and adapted from a book by Gore Vidal, turned out to be a dismal failure.

Welch marched on. She continued to make films, win awards, and be the object of men's desire. She was eager to take over for Lauren Bacall in the tony-winning Woman of the Year, and even the Times admitted that she brought energy to the production and a show biz know how. She had two turns in the role, both drawn by Hirschfeld.


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