20 July 2009

Powerful Latinas of Yesteryear | Jo Raquel Tejada A.K.A. Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago, the daughter of Josephine Sarah and Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo. Her father emigrated from La Paz, Bolivia; her mother was an Irish-American, the daughter of American architect Emery Stanford Hall.

Welch was cast in a leading role in the sci-fi hit Fantastic Voyage (1966), which made her a star. Welch then starred in the remake of One Million Years B.C. striking an iconic pose in a prehistoric animal-skin bikini. Welch's most controversial role by far came in the notorious Myra Breckinridge with Mae West where she played a transsexual heroine.

In 1987, she released the dance single "This Girl's Back In Town."

In 1970, Welch teamed up with Tom Jones and choreographer David Winters for the TV special "Raquel!". The multi million-dollar TV song-and-dance extravaganza was filmed around the world, from Paris to Mexico, featuring lavish production numbers of classic songs from the era, extravagant costumes, and notable guest performances, including this amazing space girl dance:

Raquel Welch is (once again) "Behind Those Foster Grants." The Hollywood legend, seen here in the Foster Grant Sunglasses ad that helped catapult the brand to fame, now campaigns for Foster Grant Reading Glasses. She is separated from her fourth husband Richard Palmer, who is 15 years her junior.