What was Raquel Welch best known for?
Raquel Welch (Jo Raquel Tejada) was a famous actress and well-known as being a sex symbol during her heyday. Born in Chicago in 1940, she grew up learning ballet. Once she had completed her high school years, she married James Welch, who had been her high school sweetheart. She was later given a role on screen as a weather presenter that she could undertake alongside her family responsibilities.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that she became a recognised sex symbol and started getting roles in Hollywood and on TV. As her on screen career skyrocketed, so did the number of famous people that she became acquainted with.
The people that Raquel Welch met over the years
It’s no shock that Raquel Welch was given plenty of opportunities to meet famous people over the years, but some left more of a mark on her than others, including:
- Elvis Presley – Welch said that when she met Elvis, she ‘suddenly understood what sex is all about’. She professed to have gone crazy about him and had been able to see him at one of his earlier shows, leaving her in no doubt that he was one of the sexiest men she had ever seen or dated. As both of their careers progressed, Welch later met Elvis in person in 1972 at the Las Vegas Hilton but was concerned that he didn’t seem as happy as people would have expected him to be.
- John Wayne – while the pair never got to star in a film together, John Wayne did appear on her self-titled TV special in 1970. The skit of the two sees Welch playfully teasing John Wayne and telling him that he was essentially a big softy. When Welch passed, the official John Wayne Instagram account passed on a loving tribute and Wayne’s daughter commented that she remembered how gracious the actress was.
- Richard Burton – the two met during a meeting about the film Bluebird and then later on the set of the movie in 1972. Welch once told Oprah Winfrey that he was like a ‘heat-seeking missile’ and ‘a smoking hot romantic’. The pair spent time together during the filming – Welch previously expressed that this was a difficult time for her, as her marriage to Patrick Curtis was ending.
How did the relationship between Raquel Welch and Richard Burton develop?
The relationship between the pair has only been referenced in recent times, when Welch shared that she had had feelings for Burton. Interestingly, Burton was also experiencing issues in his marriage at the same time as the filming of Bluebeard, giving the duo something to connect over emotionally.
Despite the recent revelations about them, many people speculate that if anything had happened, it would only have been a test, as both Welch and Burton struggled to hold down a relationship for a long period of time, with Burton previously admitting to sleeping with multiple women every week during the height of his fame.
Whatever did happen, Welch said about Burton that, ‘he had a twinkle in his eye and knew he was good looking. We had fun together.’
How the world will remember Raquel Welch
Whether it was a scandal from behind-the-scenes meetings with famous actors, or fun and flirty on-stage relationships, Raquel Welch will long be remembered as an icon of her time and a woman that made it okay to be a sex symbol, at a time when women were expected to be wives and mothers.
Her strong female representation has echoed through films and TV shows for decades, and will continue to do so as her legacy lives on.
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