Welch in April 2010
|Born||Jo Raquel Tejada
September 5, 1940
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
(m. 1959; div. 1964)
(m. 1967; div. 1972)
(m. 1980; div. 1990)
(m. 1999; separated 2008)
|Children||2, including Tahnee Welch|
I have a very, very good life. I'm grateful for all of my friends, my family and the life that I have, and the possibilities in my future.
I felt like, you know, my presence in the world of cinema had a different meaning than Meryl Streep… There was an impact that was made, but it wasn't the usual.
The whole sex-symbol thing is part of what I do as an actress. It's a kind of character I play. It's part of me, but not the whole me.
I take a multivitamin, I take extra C, I take chondroitin and glucosamine for my joints, I take calcium for my bones. And by the way, weight-bearing exercises can help ward off osteoporosis and yoga helps ward off arthritis.
When I first came along in the business, they didn't really like the idea of my name being Raquel.
'My self-esteem,' 'my self-this,' 'my self-that.' Believe me, I've been there – I'm an actress. At one point, you just get nauseous with it and think, 'I have to take my mind off myself!'
Without women to nurture in this world, how do – how do men get by? How do children get by? How does society get by at all?
Not everybody is comfortable with my ethnicity. When I first came along in the business, they didn't really like the idea of my name being Raquel.
I'm the antidote to Lindsay Lohan. I know she misbehaves terribly, but sometimes it just seems like it's open season on her.
Turning 60 was not a happy time. I didn't think 'I'm falling apart,' but I did re-examine my priorities.
I inherited good skin from my mother, and I stay away from soap, which dries it out.
I was lucky that one of my first movies, 'One Million Years B.C.' was made in Europe by a British company. The Brits, and a lot of the rest of Europe, seemed to really love exotic women. The fact that I was American and exotic just made me more appealing to them.
We try to do too many things that used to be in the men's domain, and we try to do them like men's. I'm a prude – I guess you can tell that – but I think, 'Why would you do that?'
Oh I had crushes on all my leading men, I think. Oh, you know who I really had fun with? In this movie 'Mother, Jugs & Speed,' I really liked working with Harvey Keitel.
I'd taken the bull by the horns by liberating myself and creating a career. It took guts – it was scary and chancy – but they discounted me as empty-headed: some little piece of fluff without any brain that happened to come along.
My family was very conservative, and I had a traditional upbringing. I was not brought up to be a sex symbol, nor is it in my nature to be one. The fact that I became one is probably the loveliest, most glamorous and fortunate misunderstanding.
I'm not imperceptible to masculine charm, but, well, you know, I can flirt.
Myra Breckenridge is the antithesis of sex symbol. She's revolutionary; she's a warrior.
I don't feel like, unless I have a boyfriend or somebody to march down the aisle with for the fifth time, that I'm 'Oh, poor me.' I'm not going to go running out desperately looking, making myself crazy and thinking that, without that, I'm nothing.
Once you get rid of the idea that you must please other people before you please yourself, and you begin to follow your own instincts – only then can you be successful. You become more satisfied, and when you are, other people will tend to be satisfied by what you do.
We all have a childhood dream that when there is love, everything goes like silk, but the reality is that marriage requires a lot of compromise.
I couldn't stand that my husband was being unfaithful. I am Raquel Welch – understand?
My father was Bolivian, which makes me half-Bolivian. It's where I got some of my exotic features and certainly my skin tone.
I am 5 ft 6 in, and at my peak, my vital statistics were 37-22-35. I didn't even think about my weight – but now I work hard at keeping healthy. Fortunately, my husband Richie is as much of a fitness buff as I am.
People do stop me and talk to me about something they saw that they loved. It is very satisfying, but I have my own opinions.
I found out a long time ago that if I indulged by stuffing my face with great food, lying about reading books and watching TV or talking on the phone, I was not a happy camper.
I'm a hard worker, very driven, and have never expected anything to come easily. My yoga, a great rejuvenator, helped me to live down my image – this sex symbol thing. It helps me connect with myself.
My father came from a country called Bolivia. He was of Spanish descent. I never went to Bolivia until I was 60 years old, but apparently when he was 17, he had already planned his entire academic curriculum so that he could graduate high school and enter college in the United States. That's how much he wanted to come to this country.
People used to come knocking on my door saying, 'Your trouble is that you're a sex symbol who doesn't do enough sexy things.' I'd say to myself, 'You think that if you pressure me I'll fold.' But if I did it, all it would mean is that I sold out.
I'm far more ready to go with the flow now because I am more accepting of myself.
I knew my mother was – well, her ancestry dated back to John Quincy Adams, so she was totally not Latina. She was definitely whatever you call it – white bread, shall we say?
It seemed like a wonderful honor to have the Film Society of Lincoln Center screen 'The Films of Raquel Welch.' It shows a lot of a variety in what they've chosen; it kind of runs the gamut of my film career.
I think it'd be wonderful if we could train young girls to be active in lots of ways and that they then wouldn't have to age at the same rate that they would if they were not more active. In other words, more physical fitness and not just the sporty kind, but the yoga, which is really important.
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.
I was asked to come to Chicago because Chicago is one of our fifty-two states.