- Raquel Welch rose to fame in the mid-1960s and has starred in dozens of films
- She became a sex symbol after playing a scantily dressed cavewoman in the 1967 British film, One Million Years B.C.
- Raquel has been married four times and had two children throughout her life
- She passed away on Feb. 15 after a brief illness.
Before her tragic death at age 82, Raquel Welch was known as one of the biggest actresses of the 1960s, following her 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage. The film’s success led her to star in such big films as 1967’s Bedazzled, 1968’s Bandolero!, and 1969’s 100 Rifles. Plus, her role as a sexy cavewoman that famously wore a doeskin bikini in 1966’s One Million Years B.C. turned her into a global sex symbol. In 1975, she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy/ Musical for her role as Constance de Bonacieux in The Three Musketeers.
Although Raquel enjoyed a fruitful career, she didn’t have as much luck in her personal life. Raquel was married four times: to James Welch between 1959 and 1964; to Patrick Curtis from 1967 to 1972; to André Weinfeld between 1980 and 1990 — her longest union; and to Richard Palmer from 1999 to 2004.
“I’m too set in my ways,” the iconic actress told Piers Morgan on his Life Stories show in 2015 about why she hasn’t found lasting love. “I like what I do, I actually enjoy being me, and I make a very good living at it, and I’m happy. I don’t have to have a man.”
Meet the four men who Raquel wed over the years below.
James and Raquel were high school sweethearts. In her 2010 memoir Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage, the actress recalled being so in love with “Jim”, as she called him, that she became wildly distracted from her studies. “I was always elated to see him and would chatter away nonsensically, out of sheer excitement. He, on the other hand, hardly said a thing! If he had, I might have discovered how little we had in common . . . but my schoolgirl crush on Jim lulled me into believing that he was the man of my dreams,” she recalled, per ABC News. “And in some ways, he was. And yet, I realized years later that I was needy and that it caused me to project certain qualities onto Jim that he didn’t have.”
The pair tied the knot in Las Vegas shortly after high school — against Raquel’s father’s wishes. “By marrying Jim, I was doing something for my own personal satisfaction and pretty much in defiance of my father’s wishes,” she explained. “What I didn’t anticipate was how a series of events would dovetail together and forever complicate my life. Jim and I were just settling into an apartment together and tackling the realities of married life: he was looking for a job, and I was calling my mother ten times a day for recipes and tips on cleaning products.”
She also revealed that her first pregnancy was an accident and completely derailed her career ambitions. “Most of my inner circle was shocked to see my plans go so far off course. But at the heart of my feminine soul, I still felt that we were destined to be together,” she wrote of her childlike love. “It would take more than a little nausea to shake my commitment. I had to see this thing through. And, happily, we had two adorable, healthy children.” Raquel and Jim’s son, Damon Welch, was born in 1959. Their daughter, Latanne “Tahnee” Welch, was born in 1961.
Raquel tied the knot with Hollywood producer Patrick Curtis at the beginning of her mainstream fame. The pair worked on 1965’s A Swingin’ Summer together and tied the knot at Paris’ City Hall two years later. They split in 1972, marking Raquel’s shortest marriage. Patrick died at the age of 83 in Nov. 2022.
André Weinfeld is the second filmmaker that stole Raquel’s heart. The pair married in 1980 and stayed together for 10 years. “We had a very happy marriage,” André gushed to Closer Weekly during a 2015 interview. “Today, Hollywood marriages last three months and that’s considered long,” he added. He also noted that their long-distance living is what ended their marriage, as he stayed in New York after the Trouble in Paradise actress moved back to Los Angeles.
Richard Palmer was a pizzeria owner serving up New York-style pizza at four Southern California eateries with one on the way when the New York Post interviewed him in 2000. According to the outlet, the New York native and his Hollywood starlet met at a party in 1996. They walked down the aisle three years later. “My wife is a living legend,” he gloated. “I get great seats at the fights. You go wherever you want to go. It’s great.” Sadly, his perks ended when they divorced in 2004.
Why Did Raquel Have So Many Failed Marriages?
Raquel explained to Piers Morgan during their 2015 chat that her marriages didn’t last due to her fame. “I mean, they like it in the beginning, they like the whole attraction and the sort of dance that we all do, but they don’t really like the fact that when we go some place together, I become the person that’s focused on,” she said.
Regardless of how the relationships may have ignited and come to a conclusion, Raquel said she loved each and every one of her husbands. “I had real feelings for all of those men. At the time, I thought I was legitimately in love and that we could make a great life together, but it wasn’t in the cards,” she explained.
She also assured Piers that she is perfectly “content” being single. “I feel like I’ve had a very lovely, beautiful life,” she reflected. “I don’t know exactly what’s around the corner. It’s not bothering me that much.”