Relunctant sex symbol of the 60s and 70s, Raquel Welch (1940-) was born Jo-Raquel Tejada on this day in Chicago, Illinois to a Bolivian father and American mother. A beauty queen and model, she made her film debut in Roustabout with Elvis Presley in 1964.
"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," she said.
A reported 39-22-33, she became a cultural phenomena with the fur bikini she wore on the classic hit One Million Years B.C. (1967). The poster from the film, she said, "took on a life of its own and after a long time of trying to live up to it and live it down, I just decided to accept it, expand, go on and not be blinded by it."
With bawdy tenacity, the buxom beauty won a Golden Globe in 1974 for her Best Actress role in The Three Muskateers. She once said, "The mind is an erogenous zone."
In recent years, in addition to concentrating on nightclubs and television performances, she had a cameo in the recent hit Legally Blonde (2001, w/Reese Witherspoon) and a comic role in the culinary delight Tortilla Soup (2001).
"I've won my stripes," she said. "I've gone from just being a sex symbol to being thought of as a legitimate actress."
A long-time yoga advocate, she said of her passion for staying in shape: "I think if you don't use it, you lose it, and if you make an investment in yourself that way, you just get more energy back."
Let go of reluctance with gusto.