Over the years, Raquel Welch has done much for women in Hollywood. One of the early pioneers of establishing equity between men and women, Welch broke the mold of a typical ‘blonde bombshell’ and took on roles that inspired a new generation of female actors. From her iconic role in the movie One Million Years B.C., Three Musketeers and Bedazzled to her more recent roles, Welch has always taken on roles that were empowering to females. She won a Golden Globe and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was married four times, first to her high school sweetheart James Welch, with whom she had two children, Damon and Tahnee. She died in 2023 at age 82.
Jo Raquel Tejada on the 5th of September, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. Born to Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo (1911–1976) and Josephine Sarah Hall (1909–2000), Welch is the first child of the family. While her mother was a Native American, her father migrated from Bolivia. When Welch was two years old, her family moved from Illinois to San Diego. Raised alongside her younger brother, James “Jim” Tejada, and had a younger sister, Gayle Tejada (1943-2020), Welch wanted to perform from a very young age.
After putting her heart into ballet from 7 to 17 years of age, Welch quit ballet after being told that she didn’t have the right figure for ballet. At just 14 years of age, Welch won the title of Miss La Jolla and the title of Miss San Diego. Welch, who attended La Jolla High School, later went on to win the title of Maid of California.
After graduating from high school at the age of 17, Welch decided to venture into acting and joined San Diego State College on a theater arts scholarship. While she struggled with her early career, after being unable to handle her marriage and children alongside her job, Welch found success in acting after moving to LA in 1963. After a few early roles in A House Is Not a Home (1964) and the musical Roustabout (1964), Welch was cast in the beach film A Swingin’ Summer (1965). The movie created a buzz around town and tilted Welch towards stardom.
However, Welch still needed the final push which was provided by Hammer Studios in Britain which starred Welch in One Million Years B.C. (1966). While Welch had but a few lines in the movie, the poster of Welch with a fur bikini became the most purchased and viewed poster of the decade. Since then, Welch was promoted as a sex symbol and was cast in a number of movies and TV shows including Bedazzled (1967), Bandolero! (1968), 100 Rifles (1969), The Beloved (1970), Legally Blonde (2001), Tortilla Soup (2001), Forget About It (2006). She was last seen on the set of a movie How to be A Latin Lover (2017). And while Welch has long hanged her acting gloves, she still remains an influential figure in the movie industry and has inspired a new generation of models and actors.
Achievements, Awards, and Other Things
Welch’s first Golden Globe came in 1974, when she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for The Three Musketeers. In 1994, Welch was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard. In 2001, Welch was recognized for her promotion of Latin Culture in America with the Imagen Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.
Other than her impressive acting career, Welch is also the author of The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. She also owns a line of wigs, HAIRuWEAR, and had a jewelry and skincare line.
Raquel Welch had an estimated net worth of $40 million at the time of her death in February 2023. She was an American actress, singer, model, and businesswoman who had a varied acting career with roles in feature films, tv films and shows, and Broadway theatre. She was the face of Foster Grant eyeglasses and was part of the brand’s famous campaign “Who’s That Behind Those Foster Grants?”.
Raquel Welch is one of the most iconic actresses and sex symbols of all time. She rose to fame in the 1960s with her roles in films like Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C., and continued to dazzle audiences with her beauty and talent for decades. But what about her personal life? How did she fare in the romance department? Here is a look at her four marriages and two children over the years.
James Welch: Her High School Sweetheart and Father of Her Kids
Raquel Welch’s first husband was James Welch, whom she met when she was 15 years old. She described him as her “first true love” and “the man of my dreams” in her memoir Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage. They married in 1959 and had two children together: Damon Welch, born in 1959, and Latanne “Tahnee” Welch, born in 1961. However, their marriage did not last as Raquel’s career took off and James became resentful of her success. They separated in 1962 and divorced in 1964.
Patrick Curtis: Her Hollywood Agent and Second Husband
Raquel Welch’s second husband was Patrick Curtis, a Hollywood agent and producer who helped her land some of her biggest roles. They married in 1967 and formed their own production company, Curtwel Productions. However, their relationship was not a happy one and did not last long. The exact reason for the divorce is not clear, but they had a turbulent and unhappy marriage. Raquel Welch reportedly felt manipulated and controlled by Patrick Curtis, who was also her manager and producer. She also accused him of being unfaithful and abusive. They separated in 1971 and finalized their divorce in 1972.
André Weinfeld: Her Longest Marriage and Third Husband
Raquel Welch’s third husband was André Weinfeld, a French photographer and director who became her manager. They married in 1980 and moved to Los Angeles, where they lived a glamorous lifestyle. They were also very supportive of each other’s careers, with Raquel appearing in some of André’s films and André helping Raquel with her business ventures. They were married for 10 years, which was Raquel’s longest union. However, they grew apart over time and divorced in 1990.
Richard Palmer: Her Fourth and Final Husband
Raquel Welch’s fourth and final husband was Richard Palmer, a restaurateur who owned the Mulberry Street Pizzeria chain. They married in 1999 and seemed to have a happy marriage at first. However, they soon faced problems due to their different lifestyles and personalities. Raquel wanted to travel and socialize, while Richard preferred to stay home and watch TV. They also argued over money and Raquel’s career choices. They separated in 2003 and divorced in 2008.
Her Two Children: Damon and Tahnee Welch
Raquel Welch’s two children are Damon and Tahnee Welch, whom she had with her first husband James Welch. Damon is a businessman who married Rebecca Trueman, the daughter of England cricket player Fred Trueman, in 1991. Their marriage lasted ten years. Tahnee is an actress who followed in her mother’s footsteps and starred in films like Cocoon and Lethal Obsession. However, she has not acted since 1999. Raquel has been very close to her children throughout her life and often attended events with them. She has three grandchildren from Damon’s side: Lola, Freddie and Ella.
Her Views on Marriage and Love
Raquel Welch has been candid about her views on marriage and love in various interviews. She has admitted that she “never did get it right” when it came to finding a lasting partner. She has also said that she does not regret any of her marriages, as she had “real feelings” for all of them. However, she has also said that she does not need a man to be happy, as she enjoys being herself and making a living from her career.
Raquel Welch is a legendary actress who has had a remarkable career and life. She has also had a fascinating love life, with four marriages and two children. She has faced many challenges and joys in her relationships, but she has always remained true to herself and her passions. She is an inspiration to many people who admire her beauty, talent, and spirit.
Jo Raquel Tejada
Date of birth
September 5, 1940
Date of death
February 15, 2023
Place of birth
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Place of death
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Cardiac arrest and Alzheimer’s disease
5’6″ (168 cm)
James Welch (1959-1964), Patrick Curtis (1967-1972), André Weinfeld (1980-1990), Richie Palmer (1999-2004)
2, including Tahnee Welch
Actress and model
First major film
Fantastic Voyage (1966)
One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for The Three Musketeers (1974)