Raquel Welch: 1940—: Actress Biography
Appeared In Elvis Presley Film, Featured In Interracial Love Scene
After moving from Beverly Hills to New York City with her husband in 1985, Raquel Welch reflected in Ladies Home Journal that her big California home had been "a glossed-over paradise, a padded cell." The description might have been a metaphor for the first part of Welch's acting career, which trapped her in the role of sex symbol. Nearly universally known as a star, Welch has had few actual hits over her film career. Nevertheless, she has proven a durable figure in the ever-changing Hollywood scene and has carved out a niche for herself beyond the one afforded her by her natural allure.
The child of a Bolivian-born father and an American mother, Welch was born Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940, in Chicago. While she was still a toddler her family moved to La Jolla, California, outside of San Diego, where her father worked as a General Dynamics Corporation engineer. She took dance lessons as a child and became a cheerleader in high school, while also performing in school plays. Thus blessed with the discipline to make the most of her natural good looks, she began to take home top prizes from California beauty pageants. In 1957 she won the title of Miss Fairest of the Fair, and graduated from La Jolla High School the following year. Her IQ was once measured at 140, but scholarly pursuits were not on her mind.
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