Raquel Welch (born Jo Raquel Tejada) on September 5, 1940, is an American actress and singer.
Raquel Welch (born Jo Raquel Tejada) on September 5, 1940, is an American actress and singer.

Famous Birthdays: Raquel Welch

September 5, 1940 - currently 78 years old.

"I was not a classic mother but my kids were never palmed off to boarding school. So, I didn't bake cookies. You can buy cookies, but you can't buy love.”

1940: Jo Raquel Tejada (Raquel Welch) was born on September 5 in Chicago, Illinois. She is an American actress and singer. Her father, Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo, was an aeronautical engineer from La Paz, Bolivia, born to Agustin Tejada and Raquel Urquizo of White Bolivian Spaniard descent. Her mother, Josephine Sarah Hall, was a daughter of architect Emery Stanford Hall and his wife Clara Louise Adams, and was of English ancestry. She has a younger brother James "Jim" Stanford and younger sister Gayle Carole.

1942: The family moved from Illinois to San Diego, California when Raquel was two years old. Welch attended the Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church every Sunday with her mother.

1947: As a young girl, Raquel wanted to perform. She studied ballet from age seven to seventeen but gave it up after her instructor told her that she didn't have the right figure.

1954: At age 14, she won beauty titles as Miss Photogenic and Miss Contour. While attending La Jolla High School she won the title of Miss La Jolla and the title of Miss San Diego - the Fairest of the Fair - at the San Diego County Fair. This long line of beauty contests eventually led to the state title of Maid of California.

1958: Welch graduated with honours from high school. Her parents divorced when she finished her school years. Seeking an acting career, Welch entered San Diego State College on a theatre arts scholarship.

1959: She played the title role in The Ramona Pageant, a yearly outdoor play at Hemet, California, which is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson and Bob Biloe. This same year she married her high school sweetheart, James Welch and son Damon Welch was born on November 6 in San Diego, California, USA as Damon James Welch. He is known for his work on Biography and Intimate Portrait.

Dean Martin and Raquel Welch from the 1968 film Bandolero.
Dean Martin and Raquel Welch from the 1968 film Bandolero.

1961: Daughter Latanne Rene Welch (Tahnee Welch) is born on December 26 in San Diego, California, US.

1963: Welch initially intended to move to New York City from Dallas, but moved back to Los Angeles in 1963 and started applying for roles with the movie studios. During this period of time, she met one-time child actor and Hollywood agent Patrick Curtis who became her personal and business manager. They developed a plan to turn Welch into a sex symbol. To avoid typecasting as a Latina, he convinced her to use her husband's last name.

1964: After her separation and consequent divorce from James Welch, she moved with her two children to Dallas, Texas, where she made a "precarious living" as a model for Neiman Marcus and as a cocktail waitress. She was cast in small roles in two films, A House Is Not a Home and the musical Roustabout, an Elvis Presley film. She also landed small roles on the television series Bewitched, McHale's Navy and The Virginian and appeared on the weekly variety series The Hollywood Palace as a billboard girl and presenter. She was one of many actresses who auditioned for the role of Mary Ann Summers on the television series Gilligan's Island.

1966: She first won attention for her role in Fantastic Voyage, in which she portrayed a member of a medical team that is miniaturised and injected into the body of an injured diplomat with the mission to save his life. She won a contract with 20th Century Fox. They lent her contract to a British studio, for whom she made One Million Years B.C. She had only three lines in the film, yet images of her in the doe-skin bikini which she wore became best-selling posters that turned her into a celebrity sex symbol.

1967: She married Patrick Curtis and they divorced in 1972. In England, she appeared as Lust incarnate in the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore comedy, Bedazzled, a Swinging '60s retelling of the Faust legend. It was popular, as was a Western, Bandolero in 1968, which co-starred her against James Stewart and Dean Martin.

Frank Sinatra and Raquel Welch from the motion picture Lady in Cement.
Frank Sinatra and Raquel Welch from the motion picture Lady in Cement.

1968: Welch appeared with Frank Sinatra in the detective film Lady in Cement.

1969: Welch starred as a freedom fighter leader in 100 Rifles, a 1969 western directed by Tom Gries and filmed in Almeria, Spain. It also starred Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds and Fernando Lamas. The film is remembered for the spectacular "Shower Scene" in which Welch distracts the soldiers on the train by taking a shower at a water tower along the tracks. The director, Gries, tried hard to convince Welch to do the scene naked, but she refused.

1970: Welch's most controversial role came in Myra Breckinridge. She took the role as the film's transsexual heroine in an attempt to be taken seriously as an actress, but the movie was a failure. The production was characterised by constant animosity between Welch and Mae West, who walked out of the film for three days.

1971: Raquel Welch is mentioned in the 1971 song, One's on the Way by country music legend Loretta Lynn. She is one of the few actresses, and one of the earliest, who had a lead role in a Western movie. Hannie Caulder was a clear influence on later revenge films. Quentin Tarantino said that the film was one of his inspirations for Kill Bill in 2003. It took many years, arguably until the 1990s, until female leads appeared in mainstream US cinema who are strong - without adding fictional or overemphasising masculine traits (or portraying them as femme fatales).

1974: She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance in The Three Musketeers. Her looks and fame led Playboy to dub her the "Most Desired Woman" of the 1970s.

1975: In an interview, Welch said she thought she had been "good" in Kansas City Bomber, Myra Breckenridge and The Last of Sheila "but being good in a bad movie doesn't do anything for your career.

1978: Welch appeared in an episode of The Muppet Show and later in the series Mork & Mindy, Welch was featured as an alien bounty hunter pursuing Robin Williams in "Mork vs. the Necrotons".

1979: Welch posed for Playboy magazine, but she never did a full nudity photo shoot. Hugh Hefner later wrote: "Raquel Welch, one of the last of the classic sex symbols, came from the era when you could be considered the sexiest woman in the world without taking your clothes off.

1980: She married Andre Weinfeld and they later divorced in 1990.

1984: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program book and videos were first released this year. The book, written by Welch with photographs by Andre Weinfeld (her third husband), includes a hatha yoga fitness program, her views on healthy living and nutrition, as well as beauty and personal style.

1987: She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Television Film for her performance in the film Right to Die. She flirted with a pop singing career, thus releasing the dance single "This Girl's Back In Town", which peaked at No. 29 on Billboard's dance club chart. She has performed in a one-woman nightclub musical act in Las Vegas and in 1981 starred on Broadway in Woman of the Year, receiving praise for following Lauren Bacall in the title role.

1994: Welch didn't appear in another feature film until Naked Gun 33.3 The Final Insult, though she showed up frequently on television. She was a significant figure in the film The Shawshank Redemption. The poster that Andy Dufresne had on his prison cell wall at the time of his escape was the famous pin-up image of Welch in One Million Years B.C. Prior to Dufresne's escape being realised, the warden refers to Welch as Miss Fuzzy Britches.

1995: Welch was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History". Playboy ranked Welch No. 3 on their "100 Sexiest Stars of the Twentieth Century" list.

1997: She starred in Victor/Victoria, having less success following Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli in the title roles.

1999: She married Richard Palmer and they divorced in 2008.

2001: She had supporting roles in the comedy films Legally Blonde opposite Reese Witherspoon and Tortilla Soup.

2006: Her other recent films include Forget About It.

2007: In January of this year, Welch was selected as the newest face of MAC Cosmetics Beauty Icon series. Her line features several limited-edition makeup shades in glossy black and tiger-print packaging. The tiger print motif of the collection celebrates Welch's feline and sensuous image: "strong and wild, yet sultry and exotic".

2011: Men's Health ranked her No. 2 in its "Hottest Women of All Time" list.

2017: She starred as Celeste Birch in How to Be a Latin Lover. Most recently Welch appeared in a sitcom titled Date My Dad where she reunited with Robert Wagner on screen, four decades after starring together in The Biggest Bundle of Them All.


Along with Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, Welch was among the candidates considered for the role of Alexis Carrington on the ABC prime time drama Dynasty which began in 1981, before the producers settled on Joan Collins.

After four marriages, Welch has stated that she does not intend to marry again.

Mother/Daughter: Tahnee followed her mother's December 1979 example and appeared on the cover of Playboy in the November 1995 issue and in a nude pictorial inside it.

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