by John Walters

Farewell To A Heavenly Body

In her prime…and that was an extended period of time… Raquel Welch appearing onscreen in anything more revealing than a Hefty trash bag was at least an R rating by default. She was to the fairer sex in the 1960s and ’70s what Chris Hemsworth is today. Pure molten sex appeal.

It helped that Welch (given name: Jo Raquel Tejada… her father was Bolivian), who passed yesterday at age 82, never took herself or her bombshell status too seriously. She was as comfortable lampooning her sex appeal and supposed diva status on The Cher Show as she was on The Muppet Show as she was on Seinfeld. Her poster, the iconic image from One Million Years B.C., made a relevant appearance in The Shawshank Redemption (that poster replace the one of Rita Hayworth, whose father was also of Latin descent: Spain).

Welch was always fated to be more of an iconic figure than she was an actress (she was once referenced in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, with Rhoda noting that the voluptuous beauty would never die due to drowning). Welch (her first husband’s surname) seemed to take it all in stride.

Before striking it big, Welch, who was born in Chicago and then moved to Los Angeles, had jobs as a weather presenter in San Diego (there’s a Ron Burgundy joke to be made) and as a cocktail waitress in Dallas. She auditioned to be Maryann on Gilligan’s Island but did not land the role.

Her first major role was in Fantastic Voyage (1966), in which she plays a member of a medical team that is miniaturized and sent into the body of a politician who has been gravely wounded. It was a terrific idea for a film (perhaps you watched it in high school biology class), but it failed to showcase all of Welch’s talents. One Million Years, B.C., released later that year, would be the film that changed all of that. The secret sauce? Welch spent the entire film in a prehistoric bikini.

The concept of “less is more” was never more fitting.

Dollar Quiz

  1. Name at least four movies in which Tom Hanks urinates.
  2. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, commemorates what event?
  3. True-False: Nevada borders Montana.
  4. Name three starters from the 1975 Golden State Warriors NBA champions.
  5. In what country will the 2026 Winter Olympics be held?

8 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. 1. Castaway, Apollo 13, Green Mile, Forest Gump
    2. “Birthday” of the world.
    3. False
    4. Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, Clifford Ray
    5. Italy

  2. Can you be more specific on No. 2, please?

    Also, thereā€™a the most obvious answer on No. 1 that you chose not to use. I ask for outside help on Apollo 13, as I cannot recall.

  3. 1) A League of Their Own, Forest Gump, Green Mile, Castaway
    2) Creation of the World
    3) False
    4) Rick Barry, Pistol Pete, Michael Jordan (I have no idea)
    5) Cairo (no idea on this one, either)

  4. 1) Saving Private Ryan, Big, Forrest Gump, Catch me if you Can
    2) nope
    3) False
    4) Rick Barry, World B Free and somebody
    5) nope

  5. 1. I don’t remember a specific scene in Apollo 13. Perhaps that one is a false memory. You’re right I missed an obvious one, as that flick was filmed in my hometown !
    2. God’s creation of the World.

  6. Answers:

    1. Almost every Tom Hanks film; there were no wrong answers above. True story: back ‘in 01 Bob Costas was going to have Tom Hanks on his interview show, and I suggested he ask Hanks about the peeing in every movie schtick. Bob is the kind of person who loves this stuff, and he was duly intrigued. Someone talked him out of asking it.
    2. I found “the creation of Adam and Eve” on a website. But consult your local rabbi.
    3. False.
    4. Rick Barry, Clifford Ray, Jamaal Wilkes, Phil Smith and I believe Jeff Mullins.
    5. Italy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *