Thursday, April 18, 2024

RIP Raquel Welch Dead at 82: Screen Siren Sex Symbol with a Sense of Humor Once Covered Every Magazine, Dated Bob Dylan


Hard to believe, but Raquel Welch is dead, on her 82nd birthday.

An international screen siren and sex symbol, Raquel was buxom and beautiful but also had a brain. When she appeared on Broadway in “Victor/Victoria,” we got to see her a lot. That’s when I found she’d dated Bob Dylan. No kidding. She was no dummy.

Raquel hit it big in 1966 with two B movies: Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years BC. Later she starred in Myra Breckenridge, The Magic Christian, and The Three Musketeers. She had a good sense of humor about being every boy’s pin up in the 1960s. Her character’s name in “Bedazzled” was Lilian Lust.

She was on Broadway twice. She replaced Julie Andrews in “Victor/Victoria” in 1997, and Lauren Bacall in “Woman of the Year” in 1981. Each time, she was praised for her performance and made a lot of friends in the New York theater world. It was during that 1997 run that she spent some time in Elaine’s restaurant and I got to know her. That’s when she told me told she’d dated Bob Dylan, raising her already high profile to a new stratosphere.

Raquel was married four times and had two children. Her daughter, Tahnee Welch, starred in the great movie, “Cocoon.” Raquel was a great lady and will be sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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