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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health and Social Care of the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009 to regulate and inspect health and social care services in England.

It was formed from three predecessor organisations:

The CQC's stated role is to make sure that hospitals, care homes, dental and general practices and other care services in England provide people with safe, effective and high-quality care, and to encourage them to improve. It carries out this role through checks it carries out during the registration process all new care services must complete, inspections and monitoring of a range of data sources that can indicate problems with services.

Part of the commission's remit is protecting the interests of people whose rights have been restricted under the Mental Health Act.



Until 31 March 2009, regulation of health and adult social care in England was carried out by the Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection. The Mental Health Act Commission had monitoring functions with regard to the operation of the Mental Health Act 1983.

The commission was established as a single, integrated regulator for England's health and adult social care services by the Health and Social Care Act 2008[3][4][5] to replace these three bodies. The Commission was created in shadow form on 1 October 2008 and began operating on 1 April 2009.


This incomplete list is frequently updated to include new information.


Chief inspectors[edit]

The Commission has three chief inspectors who are also board members:


  • Louis Appleby, National Clinical Director for offender health, formerly the National Director for mental health. Appointed 3 June 2013.[14][15]
  • Paul Corrigan, former health policy advisor to Tony Blair and former special advisor to Alan Milburn and John Reid. Appointed 3 June 2013.[16][17]
  • Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust and past board member of the Healthcare Commission. Appointed 3 June 2013.[16][18]
  • Robert Francis QC Appointed 4 June 2014.[19][20]
  • Michael Mire, a senior partner at McKinsey & Company. Appointed 3 June 2013.[16][21]
  • Jane Mordue, interim chair of Healthwatch England, former deputy chair of Citizens Advice[22][23]
  • Paul Rew Appointed 4 June 2014.[19][24]
  • Mark Saxton. Appointed 1 March 2018.[25]
  • Liz Sayce. Appointed January 2018.[26]
  • Jora Gill[27]
  • Sir John Oldham. Appointed January 2018.[28]

Previous board members[edit]

Previous board members have included:


In August 2013 the CQC stated that it was finding it difficult to meet their inspection target of GP practices and had therefore drafted in 'bank' inspectors and authorised staff overtime to deal with the backlog.[36]

In October 2014 Field announced that the Commission was going to begin inspecting health systems across whole geographical areas from 2015, including social care and NHS 111.[37] There are suggestions that it could inspect clinical commissioning groups.[38]

Behan admitted in March 2015 that the Commission would not be able to inspect all acute trusts before the end of 2015 as it had intended.[39] In February 2015 it reported that it was missing its targets for following up on the safeguarding information it received that might indicate that patients are at risk.[40] He also said the CQC would update its oversight in line with the growth of new provider models and would begin looking at care quality along pathways to a greater degree and, for the first time, across localities.[41]

The organisation failed to meet its inspection targets during the second quarter of 2015–16. 70% of adult social care inspections had been undertaken and 61% of primary medical services. An exception to this was inspections of hospital acute services where targets were slightly exceeded, an additional 2 inspections having been made in this sector.[42]

In December 2015 the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was critical of the regulator, and said that it was "behind where it should be, six years after it was established”. Meg Hillier MP, the chair of the PAC, noted that reports prepared by the CQC contained many errors; one foundation trust said that their staff had found more than 200 errors in a draft CQC report. Hillier said "The fact these errors were picked up offers some reassurance, but this is clearly unacceptable from a public body in which taxpayers are placing their trust.”[43]

In July 2016 the commission issued an apology after admitting that up to 500 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates submitted by applicants to become registered managers and providers had been lost during a planned office refurbishment; a locked filing cabinet had been incorrectly marked up to be taken away and destroyed.[44]

In the period of August 2016 to January 2017 the CQC sent questionnaires to inpatients of NHS hospitals who had been service users in the month of July 2016. 77,850 surveys were sent out.[45]

In October 2016 a briefing paper issued by the organisation stated that no directorate was meeting objectives for producing reports on time. Of services which had been inspected over half had not improved their rating when re-inspected, with 45% staying at the same rating and 10% having a lower rating.[46]

Following the cyber attacks on NHS systems in May 2017 it was announced that the CQC will be asking probing questions to assess data security as part of its inspection process.[47]

After the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 letters were sent to around 17,000 care homes, hospitals and hospices requesting that they review fire safety processes, paying particular attention to the safety of service users who were more vulnerable due to mobility issues or learning disabilities.[48]

In March 2018 the Public Accounts Committee reported that although the regulator had "improved significantly" there was "no room for complacency" in the organisation which had “persistent weaknesses and looming challenges”. Whilst there had been improvements in the timeliness of hospital inspection reports since 2015, only 25% of reports on hospitals where less than 3 services were inspected were published within the target of 50 days. It was intended that 90% of reports should meet the target. The PAC also noted that GPs had felt burdened by the CQC's regulation practices. In response David Behan stated that he accepted the committee's recommendations and did not underestimate the task at hand.[49]

In July 2018 the CQC stated that 96 safeguarding concerns had not been passed on to local authorities over the last 12 months. Andrea Sutcliffe, acting chief executive of the CQC said that an urgent review was carried out when the issue was discovered and it was found that "none of these referrals contained information about immediate risk of severe harm to people". Sutcliffe apologised for the error and said an independent investigation "will assist us in ensuring we improve our systems to avoid something like this happening again".[50] In October 2018 CQC's Chief Executive Ian Trenholm stated that he wanted to make the information held by the organisation more widely available to the public and that he also intended to make CQC an easier organisation to do business with and a better place to work. A chief digital officer was to be appointed as part of this process.[51] In January 2019 it was announced that Mark Sutton would take on the role of chief digital officer from April 2019.[52]

In April 2019 a study by the University of York published in the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy studied rates of falls which led to harm and pressure ulcers in more than 150 hospitals following CQC inspections. Rates of improvements in these criteria slowed after the inspections. Lead researcher Dr Ana Cristina Castro stated that the inspection regime "creates a significant pressure on staff before and during the inspection period, and also significant costs, not just of the CQC inspectors but also the NHS staff who are diverted from other activities." They suggested a less resource-intensive approach should be adopted. A spokesman from the CQC responded: "To use rates of reported falls and pressure ulcers in isolation to determine CQC’s impact is a crude measure and presents an overly simplistic view that is not borne out in the quality and safety improvements we have seen through our hospital inspections. It also fails to recognise that increased reporting of such incidents may be a result of an improved risk management and a stronger learning culture." They also said the research was based on a limited sample of inspections which took place over 5 years ago.[53]

Hospital inspections[edit]

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust[edit]

In November 2009 Barbara Young, then the CQC chair, resigned from the commission when a report detailing poor standards at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was leaked to the media. The report found that "hundreds of people had died needlessly due to appalling standards of care."[54] One month earlier the commission had rated the quality of care at the hospital as "good."[55][56]

Grant Thornton report[edit]

Main article: Furness General Hospital scandal

In August 2012 chief executive David Behan commissioned a report by management consultants Grant Thornton.[57] The report examined the CQC's response to complaints about baby and maternal deaths and injuries at Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and was instigated by a complaint from a member of the public and "an allegation of a "cover-up" submitted by a whistleblower at CQC."[58][59] It was published on 19 June 2013.[60]

Among the findings, the CQC was "accused of quashing an internal review that uncovered weaknesses in its processes" and had allegedly "deleted the review of their failure to act on concerns about University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust." One CQC employee claimed that he was instructed by a senior manager "to destroy his review because it would expose the regulator to public criticism."[60] The report concluded: "We think that the information contained in the [deleted] report was sufficiently important that the deliberate failure to provide it could properly be characterised as a 'cover-up'."[61] David Prior, who joined the commission as chairman in January 2013, responded that the organisation's previous management had been "totally dysfunctional" and admitted that the organisation was "not fit for purpose."[62]

On 20 June 2013, Behan and Prior agreed to release the names of previously redacted senior managers within the Grant Thornton report, who it is alleged had suppressed the internal CQC report. The people named were former CQC Chief Executive Cynthia Bower, deputy CEO Jill Finney and media manager Anna Jefferson. All were reportedly present at a meeting where deletion of a critical report was allegedly discussed. Bower and Jefferson immediately denied being involved in a cover-up.[63]The Guardian newspaper reported on 19 June 2013 that Tim Farron MP had written to the Metropolitan Police asking them to investigate the alleged cover-up.[64]

Following an investigation, CQC found that Jefferson had not been party to any alleged 'delete' instruction. Jefferson was cleared of any wrong-doing and CQC apologised for the distress caused by the allegation.[65]

Finney subsequently started litigation seeking at least £1.3 million libel damages from the CQC on the basis that the CQC’s current chair David Prior and chief executive David Behan abused their power and acted maliciously in publishing allegations that she ordered a “cover-up” of its failings. The Grant Thornton report said it was “more likely than not” that Ms Finney had ordered the deletion of an internal report by Louise Dineley, the CQC’s head of regulatory risk. The CQC started litigation against Grant Thornton claiming a contribution towards any “damages, interests and/or costs” incurred in the case.[66]

Social care[edit]

Residential establishments, unlike hospitals, can easily be closed, or sold, and reopened with a new identity. Private Eye reported in November 2015 that most of the 34 homes closed under Cynthia Bower after failing their inspection later reopened with a new name or under new ownership, but with similar problems. Compassion in Care told the magazine that if a home changed name or ownership it was then listed by the CQC as "new services" and "uninspected" by the CQC, and there was no link to reports on the same establishment under different ownership, even if the new owners were linked to the previous owners, and there was no follow up inspection if problems had been identified. They had found 152 homes reregistered as new, when they had only changed owner or name. The Commission had identified safety concerns in more than 40% of the homes it had inspected, and 10% were rated as inadequate.[67]

In April 2016 it was reported that 44% of care homes in the South East inspected over an 18 month period were rated as inadequate or requiring improvement. Only 0.9% of the 1200 homes inspected were rated as outstanding.[68]

In September 2016 the CQC said that 40% of nursing homes in the country were rated as "requiring improvement" or "inadequate".[69]

It is a legal requirement for homes to clearly display their CQC ratings on their websites but a July 2017 survey carried out by Which? found that 27% of care homes surveyed either completely failed to display them or placed them where they were very difficult to find.[70]

As of September 2018 the CQC rated almost 3,000 out of 14,975 care homes in England as inadequate or needing improvement.[71]

The care home Horncastle House was closed by CQC in September 2018 as an urgent enforcement action to protect residents. The owner Sussex Healthcare stated that they were disappointed by the CQC's decision to close the service and did not accept the allegations which had led to the closure.[72]

Winterbourne View[edit]

Main article: Winterbourne View hospital abuse

Winterbourne View was a private hospital at Hambrook, South Gloucestershire, owned and operated by Castlebeck. It was exposed in a Panorama investigation into physical and psychological abuse suffered by people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, first broadcast in 2011.[73] One senior nurse had reported his concerns directly to CQC, but his complaint was not taken up.[74] The public funded hospital was shut down as a result of the abuse that took place.[75]Cynthia Bower, then the chief executive of the commission, resigned ahead of a critical government report in which Winterbourne View was cited.[76]

Ash Court[edit]

Ash Court is a residential nursing home for the elderly in London, operated by Forest Healthcare.[77] In April 2012 hidden camera footage was broadcast in a BBC Panorama exposé which showed an elderly woman being physically assaulted at Ash Court by a male carer and mistreated by four others. The standard of care at the nursing home had been rated "excellent."[78][79] The victim was an 81-year-old woman suffering Alzheimer's disease and severe arthritis. Although the commission's primary function is to enforce national standards including safeguarding the vulnerable and "enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect" the CQC responded by stating that they "should not be criticised for failing to protect people from harm" and could not be expected to spot abuse "which often takes place behind closed doors."[80][81]

Primary care[edit]

In January 2015 the Commission for the first time took action in respect of primary care. Three GP practices were put into special measures after unsatisfactory inspection results: Priory Avenue Surgery in Reading, Berkshire; Dr Michael Florin’s surgery in Sale, Greater Manchester; and Dr Srinivas Dharmana’s family and general practice in Walton, Liverpool.[82]

Priory Avenue Surgery was taken out of the special measures category later in 2015; it was rated "good" for being caring and "requires improvement" for being safe, effective, responsive and well led.[83]

The CQC considered cancelling the registration of Dharmana’s Family and General Practice, which would have forced it to close. This did not come about as Dr Dharmana voluntarily closed the service in December 2015.[84]

In October 2016 the CQC's annual report stated that around 800,000 patients were registered with a GP practice assessed as inadequate on safety grounds by their inspectors.[85]

By February 2017 the CQC had completed inspections of all GP practices which were registered before 1 October 2014. This amounted to more than 8,000 inspections.[86]

In September 2017 the report State of Care in General Practice, 2014–2017 was published. It stated that 90% of practices were rated 'good' or 'outstanding'. The report also said that a causal relationship between levels of NHS funding and ratings had not been found, acknowledging that this is "a complex area that may benefit from further work."[87]

In January 2018 it was announced that the CQC would begin to inspect independent doctors providing online services.[88]

The CQC's State of Care report for 2017/18 found that 91% of GP practices were rated as Good and 5% Outstanding.[89]


In a report to the audit committee revealed by the Health Service Journal in July 2014 it was reported that the Commission had employed 134 applicants in 2012 who “failed some or all of its recruitment activities”. Of that group 121 were still in post. The report said: “This in essence implies that our regulatory judgments may be impaired as we have not always appointed staff with the core competencies required to do the job properly, and they may not have received appropriate training to bring them up to the standard required.”[90] In the same month the chief executive David Behan said that recruiting extra inspectors was taking longer than expected due to the "high standards" set for new recruits. As a result some teams were operating at 50% capacity. In response to this situation the number of inspections scheduled for the second half of 2014 was scaled back.[91]

A report of the CQC board in December 2014 showed the organisation had 852 full-time equivalent inspectors in post but a target of 1,411 by December 2015 – the number needed to “discharge the commitments that we’ve made in our business plan”.[92]


The budget for 2015/6 was £249 million, but is to be reduced to £236 million for 2016/7.[93] It is anticipated that by 2019/20 the budget will be £217 million.[94] It had a budget of £1.1 million for “travel and subsistence” for hospital inspections in 2014–15, but actually spent £4.4 million.[95] In response to a Freedom of information request in November 2015 it was stated that CQC have a database support contract with Computacenter which costs approximately £700,000 per annum; the contract expires in September 2016 with the option of a 1 year extension.[96]

Substantial increases are expected in future years as it moves to a full cost recovery basis.[97] NHS Providers described the decision to increase fees as "regrettable".[98] For 2016/7 fees will increase by 75% as its government funding is reduced by 25%. The increase in fee levels has been criticised by the Registered Nursing Home association (RNHA), Care England and the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG).[99]

Fees relate to the size and type of organisation and have been increased on a yearly basis:

CQC Fees Year GP Practice on one site with 5,000-10000 patients NHS Trust, with turnover between £125 million and £225 million Care Home 26–30 residents 2015/6 2016/7 2017/8
£725[100] £78,208[101] £761
£2,574[102] £136,864[102] £4212[103]
£4,526 £202,239 £4,375[104]

Related issues[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

Not to be confused with Rachel Weisz.

American actress

Raquel Welch (born Jo Raquel Tejada; September 5, 1940) is an American actress and singer.

She first won attention for her role in Fantastic Voyage (1966), after which she won a contract with 20th Century Fox. They lent her contract to the British studio Hammer Film Productions, for whom she made One Million Years B.C. (1966). Despite having only three lines of dialogue in the film, images of her in the doe-skin bikini which she wore became best-selling posters that turned her into an international sex symbol. She later starred in notable films including Bedazzled (1967), Bandolero! (1968), 100 Rifles (1969), Myra Breckinridge (1970) and Hannie Caulder (1971). She made several television variety specials.

Welch's unique film persona made her an icon of the 1960s and 1970s, due to her portrayal of strong female characters and breaking the mold of the submissive sex symbol. Because of this, her rise to stardom in the mid 1960s was partly credited with ending Hollywood's vigorous promotion of the blonde bombshell.[3][4][5] She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy in 1974 for her performance in The Three Musketeers. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Television Film for her performance in the film Right to Die (1987). In 1995, Welch was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History". Playboy ranked Welch No. 3 on their "100 Sexiest Stars of the Twentieth Century" list. In 2011, Men's Health ranked her No. 2 in its "Hottest Women of All Time" list.[6]


Early life[edit]

Welch was born as Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois.[7] Her father, Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo (1911–1976), was an aeronautical engineer from La Paz, Bolivia, born to Agustin Tejada and Raquel Urquizo. In 2010 while being interviewed on the talk show Tavis Smiley, Welch stated “My father came from a country called Bolivia. He was of Spanish descent.”[8] Her cousin was Bolivian politician Lidia Gueiler Tejada (1921-2011), who later became the first female President of Bolivia, and the second woman ever to become a head of state in the Americas.[9] Welch was named after her paternal grandmother.[10][1][11] Her mother, Josephine Sarah Hall (1909–2000), was a daughter of architect Emery Stanford Hall and his wife Clara Louise Adams, and was of “Anglo” English ancestry.[12][13] She has a younger brother James "Jim" Stanford and younger sister Gayle Carole.

The family moved from Illinois to San Diego, California when Raquel was two years old. Welch attended the Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church every Sunday with her mother.[14] As a young girl, Raquel wanted to perform. She studied ballet from age seven to seventeen but gave it up after her instructor told her that she didn't have the right figure.[15] At age 14, she won beauty titles as Miss Photogenic and Miss Contour.[16] While attending La Jolla High School she won the title of Miss La Jolla and the title of Miss San Diego – the Fairest of the Fair – at the San Diego County Fair.[17] This long line of beauty contests eventually led to the state title of Maid of California. Her parents divorced when she finished her school years.[18]

Welch graduated with honors from high school in 1958.[19]

1958-1966: Early works and breakthrough[edit]

Seeking an acting career, Welch entered San Diego State College on a theater arts scholarship in 1958,[20] and the following year she married her high school sweetheart, James Welch.[21] She won several parts in local theater productions.[16] In 1959, she played the title role in The Ramona Pageant, a yearly outdoor play at Hemet, California, which is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson and Bob Biloe.

She got a job as a weather forecaster at KFMB, a local San Diego television station. Because her family life and television duties were so demanding she decided to give up her drama classes. After her separation from James Welch, she moved with her two children to Dallas, Texas, where she made a "precarious living" as a model for Neiman Marcus and as a cocktail waitress.[16]

Welch initially intended to move to New York City from Dallas, but moved back to Los Angeles in 1963[16] and started applying for roles with the movie studios. During this period of time, she met one-time child actor and Hollywood agent Patrick Curtis who became her personal and business manager.[20] They developed a plan to turn Welch into a sex symbol.[16] To avoid typecasting as a Latina, he convinced her to use her husband's last name.[16]

She was cast in small roles in two films, A House Is Not a Home (1964) and the musical Roustabout (1964), an Elvis Presley film. She also landed small roles on the television series Bewitched, McHale's Navy and The Virginian and appeared on the weekly variety series The Hollywood Palace as a billboard girl and presenter. She was one of many actresses who auditioned for the role of Mary Ann Summers on the television series Gilligan's Island.

Welch's first featured role was in the beach film A Swingin' Summer (1965). That same year, she won the Deb Star while her photo in a Life magazine layout called "The End of the Great Girl Drought!" created buzz around town.[22] She was noticed by the wife of producer Saul David, who recommended her to 20th Century Fox, where with the help of Curtis she landed a contract.[16] She agreed to seven-year nonexclusive contract, five pictures over the next five years and two floaters.[20] Studio executives talked about changing her name to "Debbie". They thought "Raquel" would be hard to pronounce. She refused their request. She wanted her real name, so she stuck with "Raquel Welch".[6][23][24]

She was cast in a leading role in the sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage (1966), in which she portrayed a member of a medical team that is miniaturized and injected into the body of an injured diplomat with the mission to save his life. The film was a hit and made her a star.[16]

Welch in the deer-skin bikini from the film One Million Years B.C.
This promotional still of Welch in the deerskin bikini became a best-selling poster and turned her into an instant pin-up girl.

Fox Studio loaned Welch to Hammer Studios in Britain where she starred in One Million Years B.C. (1966), a remake of the Hal Roach film, One Million B.C. (1940). Her only costume was a two-piece deer skin bikini. She was described as "wearing mankind's first bikini" and the fur bikini was described as a "definitive look of the 1960s".[25][26]The New York Times hailed her in its review of the film (which was released in the U.K. in 1966 and in the U.S. in 1967), "A marvelous breathing monument to womankind."[27] One author said, "although she had only three lines in the film, her luscious figure in a fur bikini made her a star and the dream girl of millions of young moviegoers".[16] A publicity still of her in the bikini became a best-selling poster and turned her into an instant pin-up girl.[28] The film raised Welch's stature as a leading sex symbol of the era.[29] In 2011, Time listed Welch's B.C. bikini in the "Top Ten Bikinis in Pop Culture".[30]

In 1966, Welch starred with Marcello Mastroianni in the Italian film Shoot Loud... Louder... I Don't Understand for Joe E. Levine.[31] The same year, she appeared in the film Sex Quartet (1966) as Elena in the segment "Fata Elena". She was the only American in the cast of the anthology film The Oldest Profession (1967); her segment was directed by Michael Pfleghar. In Italy, she also appeared in a heist movie for MGM, The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968). It co-starred Edward G. Robinson who said of Welch, "I must say she has quite a body. She has been the product of a good publicity campaign. I hope she lives up to it because a body will only take you so far."[32]

1967-1969: International stardom[edit]

Her first starring vehicle, the British Modesty Blaise-style spy movie Fathom (1967), was filmed in Spain for 20th Century Fox. Second unit director Peter Medak said Welch "was at that time quite inexperienced, exactly like one of those American drum majorettes. But she tried very hard and went to see the rushes each day, gradually improving. 'Who's this dumb broad?' people used to say. But I said: 'You wait. I'll bet she makes it.' I liked her very much because she was such a genuine person. And she had a beautiful body which always helps."[33] Welch said her role was "a blown up Barbie doll."[34] Reviewing her performance, the Los Angeles Times film critic said that "each new Raquel Welch picture brings further proof that when Maria Montez died they didn't break the mold. Like Maria, Raquel can't act from here to there, but both ladies seem to have been born to be photographed... this sappiest of spy pictures."[35]

At this stage, Welch owed Fox four films, at one a year. She and Curtis also established their own production company, Curtwel.[31] Fox wanted Welch to play Jennifer in their adaptation of The Valley of the Dolls but she refused, wanting to play the role of Neely O'Hara. The studio was not interested, casting Patty Duke; Sharon Tate played Jennifer North.[36]

In England, she appeared as Lust incarnate in the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore comedy, Bedazzled (1967), a Swinging '60s retelling of the Faust legend. It was popular, as was the Western, Bandolero! (1968), which was shot in Del Rio, Texas, at the Alamo Village. It co-starred her against James Stewart and Dean Martin. "I think she's going to stack up all right," Stewart said of Welch.[37] "No one is going to shout, 'Wow it's Anne Bancroft all over again'," said Welch of her performance, "but at least I'm not Miss Sexpot running around half naked all the time."[34]

In 1968, Welch appeared with Frank Sinatra in the detective film Lady in Cement, a sequel to the film Tony Rome (1967). She played the socialite Kit Forrest, the romantic interest of Tony Rome. Welch said later wittily that she catches the film from time to time and now realizes Kit Forrest was an alcoholic: "I'm watching this movie and I'm thinking, 'What the hell has she got on?' At one point, I had this epiphany: 'Oh, she's an alcoholic!' I didn't know that. How could I miss that?" She reportedly was so smitten with Sinatra that she forgot to act: "I think I was just so enamoured with Frank Sinatra, you know. He's hypnotic."[38]

Welch starred as a freedom fighter leader in 100 Rifles, a 1969 western directed by Tom Gries and filmed in Almeria, Spain. It also starred Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds and Fernando Lamas. The movie provoked publicity and controversy at the time because it included a love scene between Welch and Brown that breached the Hollywood taboo of on-screen miscegenation.[39] The film is remembered for the spectacular "Shower Scene" in which Welch distracts the soldiers on the train by taking a shower at a water tower along the tracks. The director, Gries, tried hard to convince Welch to do the scene naked, but she refused. It was one of the many instances Welch resisted going nude on-screen and pushed back for years against producers who wanted her to act or pose nude.[40][41] In 1969, Welch also starred in the thriller Flareup and the dark comedy The Magic Christian.

Welch's most controversial role came in Myra Breckinridge (1970). She took the role as the film's transsexual heroine in an attempt to be taken seriously as an actress, but the movie was a failure.[42][41] The production was characterized by constant animosity between Welch and Mae West, who walked out of the film for three days. The film was based on Gore Vidal's controversial bestseller about a man who becomes a woman through surgery. The film's producer Robert Fryer stated: "If a man were going to become a woman, he would want to become the most beautiful woman in the world. He would become Raquel Welch".[43]

Her looks and fame led Playboy to dub her the "Most Desired Woman" of the 1970s. Welch presented at the Academy Award ceremony several times during the 1970s due to her popularity.[44][45][46] She accepted the Best Supporting Actress Oscar on behalf of fellow actress Goldie Hawn when she could not be there to accept it.[47]

In 26 April 1970 CBS released the television special Raquel! in which she starred. The special was produced, directed and choreographed by David Winters, and for guest Tom Jones, Bob Hope and John Wayne. It was filmed in London, Paris, Acapulco, Mexico City, Yucatan, Big Sur, and Los Angeles and featured lavish production numbers of song-and-dance extravaganza. It marked Welch's debut special on television. Together Welch and Jones combined musical and comedic talents on classic rock 'n' roll standards of the era.[48] It is considered by some viewers to be a classic pairing together of 1970s popular culture icons in their prime Produced by Winters' company Winters/Rosen for CBS-TV, originally co-sponsored by Coca-Cola and Motorola. On the day of the premiere, the show received a 51% share on the National ARB Ratings and an impressive Overnight New York Nielsen Rating of 58% share.[49][50]

Welch continued to work in films starting with The Beloved (1970) in which she starred and produced and filmed in Cyprus. The next year Hannie Caulder (1971), a Tigon and Curtwell western shot in Spain. She followed with a series of films that included Kansas City Bomber (1972), The Last of Sheila (1973), The Three Musketeers (1973), The Four Musketeers (1974) and The Wild Party (1975).

In Kansas City Bomber Raquel Welch played a hardened derby star and single mother that tries to balance her desire for a happy personal life and her dreams of stardom. Life dubbed Welch the “hottest thing on wheels” for her role. The production of the film shut down for six weeks after Welch broke her wrist doing some of her own stunts.[51] In the interim, she flew to Budapest and filmed a cameo in Bluebeard (1972) opposite Richard Burton. Although Kansas City Bomber was not considered a critical success, it vividly depicted gender relations in the early 1970s. In a 2012 interview with GQ, Welch reflected on the roller derby world depicted in the film: "You have all those women out there, but the men in the front office are really running it. Which I thought was a really nice metaphor for the way a lot of women felt about their lives at that time."[52]

Welch, laughing, onstage with Radner as Emily Litella.

In a 1975 interview, Welch said she thought she had been "good" in Kansas City Bomber, Myra Breckenridge and The Last of Sheila "but being good in a bad movie doesn't do anything for your career."[53]

In the late 1970s, Welch appeared in the action comedies Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976) and Animal (1977), the last one filmed in France with Jean-Paul Belmondo. In 1977, she also starred in the British swashbuckling adventure The Prince and the Pauper.

Welch in blue scarf and high-collared gray jacket, with polka-dot feathered cap.
Welch at the premiere of Bette Midler's movie, The Rose, 1979

In 1978, Welch appeared in an episode of The Muppet Show and in 1979, for the series Mork & Mindy, Welch was featured as an alien bounty hunter pursuing Robin Williams in "Mork vs. the Necrotons".

1981-present day: subsequent to current projects[edit]

In 1981 she starred on Broadway in Woman of the Year, receiving praise for following Lauren Bacall in the title role.

In 1982, Welch acted in the Western television film The Legend of Walks Far Woman. Around this time, Along with Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren, Welch was among the candidates considered for the role of Alexis Carrington on the ABC prime time drama Dynasty which began in 1981, before the producers settled on Joan Collins. She was due to star in a 1982 adaptation of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, but was abruptly fired by the producers after a few weeks into production. The studio claimed she was not living up to her contract, by refusing early-morning rehearsals, and was replaced with Debra Winger. Welch sued MGM for breach of contract.[54] Studio executives claimed in testimony the reason Welch was following through with the trial was because she was an actress over 40 and generally actresses in that age range can't get roles anymore. Welch’s evidence at trial proved there was a conspiracy to falsely blame her for the film’s budget problems and delays. The jury sided with Welch and she won a .8 million verdict against MGM in 1986.[55][56]

Despite the win, Welch wished the whole episode never had happened. "I just wanted to clear my reputation and get back to my work, my work in movies", she said.[57] But she was blackballed by the industry and the incident affected her film career on the big screen from that moment on.[58]

In 1987 she played in the drama Right to Die. in which she turned in a stirring performance as a woman stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease. That year, she flirted with a pop singing career, releasing the dance single "This Girl's Back In Town", which peaked at No. 29 on Billboard's dance club chart.[59]

Welch in a dark scoop top, wide belt, and tuxedo-styled jacket, hair styled up
Welch at the 39th Emmy Awards Governor's Ball in September 1987

She also starred in the films Scandal in a Small Town (1988), Trouble in Paradise (1989), Torch Song (1993).[60]I

In 1994, she acted in Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult.

She appeared in the night-time soap opera Central Park West (1995).

As a guest, she played Sabrina's flamboyant Aunt Vesta on the American comedy series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996).

In 1997, Raquel also starred on Broadway in Victor/Victoria, following Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli in the title role. That year, she also acted in an episode of the comedy series Seinfeld, entitled "The Summer of George", Welch played a highly temperamental version of herself, assaulting series characters Kramer and Elaine, the former because he fired her from an acting job and the latter because Welch mistakenly thought that Elaine was mocking her.

In 2002, she starred in the PBS series American Family, a story about a Mexican American family in East Los Angeles. In 2001, she had supporting roles in the comedy films Legally Blonde opposite Reese Witherspoon and Tortilla Soup. Her next film was Forget About It (2006). She also appeared in Welcome to The Captain, which premiered on CBS television on February 4, 2008. In 2015 she played a role in The Ultimate Legacy.

Most recently Welch appeared in a sitcom titled Date My Dad (2017) where she reunited with Robert Wagner on screen, four decades after starring together in The Biggest Bundle of Them All.[61] She also acted in How to Be a Latin Lover (2017).

Singing career[edit]

For many years, Raquel performed in a successful one-woman nightclub musical act in Las Vegas.

Achievements and awards[edit]

In 1974, Welch won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for The Three Musketeers. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the television drama Right to Die (1987). In 1994, Welch received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard. In 2001, she was awarded the Imagen Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for her positive promotion of Americans of Latin heritage throughout her career.[62][63] In 2012, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented a special retrospective of the films of Raquel Welch at the Walter Reade Theater.[64]

Beauty and business career[edit]

The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program book and videos were first released in 1984. The book, written by Welch with photographs by André Weinfeld, includes a hatha yoga fitness program, her views on healthy living and nutrition, as well as beauty and personal style. The Multi-Platinum collection of Fitness and Yoga videos were produced and directed by André Weinfeld.[65][66][67][68] As a businesswoman, Welch succeeded with her signature line of wigs. She also began a jewelry and skincare line, although neither of those ventures compared to the success of her wig collection HAIRuWEAR.[69]

In January 2007, Welch was selected as the newest face of MAC Cosmetics Beauty Icon series. Her line features several limited-edition makeup shades in glossy black and tiger-print packaging. The tiger print motif of the collection celebrates Welch's feline and sensuous image: "strong and wild, yet sultry and exotic".[70][71]

Personal life[edit]

Welch married her high school sweetheart, James Welch on May 8, 1959, but they separated in 1962 and divorced in 1964.[18] She married producer Patrick Curtis in 1967 and divorced him in 1972. In 1980, she began a 10-year marriage to André Weinfeld, whom she divorced in 1990. Welch wed Richard Palmer in 1999 but then separated from him in 2008 and later divorced. Welch has stated that she does not intend to marry again.[20][72]

Through her first marriage, Welch is the mother of Damon Welch (born November 6, 1959) and actress Tahnee Welch (born Latanne Rene Welch, December 26, 1961). Tahnee followed her mother's December 1979 example and appeared on the cover of Playboy in the November 1995 issue and in a nude pictorial inside it.[73]

Welch posed for Playboy magazine in 1979, but she never did a full nudity photo shoot. Hugh Hefner later wrote: "Raquel Welch, one of the last of the classic sex symbols, came from the era when you could be considered the sexiest woman in the world without taking your clothes off. She declined to do complete nudity, and I yielded gracefully. The pictures prove her point."[74] Welch has refused to take all her clothes off on screen or pose naked throughout her career spanning five decades, saying it is the way she has been brought up.[75] While her image in the 1960s was that of a torrid sex temptress, Welch's private life was quite different.[76][77][78] She once famously stated, "What I do on the screen is not to be equated with what I do in my private life. Privately, I am understated and dislike any hoopla".[79] She also admitted, "I was not brought up to be a sex symbol, nor is it in my nature to be one. The fact that I became one is probably the loveliest, most glamorous and fortunate misunderstanding".[80]

Political views[edit]

In 2014, Welch was included while on The O'Reilly Factor describing herself as on the conservative side, attributing it to midwestern values.[81] During Vietnam, Welch showed support for the troops at United Service Organizations (USO) shows.[82]

In popular culture[edit]

Raquel Welch helped transform America’s feminine ideal into its current state. Her beautiful looks and eroticism made her the definitive 1960s and 1970s sex icon, rather than the blonde bombshell of the late 1950s as typified by Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and others.[83][84][85] Welch became a star in the mid-1960s and was exotic, brunette, and smolderingly sexual.[86][87][88] Her countless publicity photos helped to popularize her image,[89] dress style, and 1960s and 1970s fashion trends.[90] Welch and other actresses also made big hair popular.[91][92]

Raquel Welch is mentioned in the 1971 song, “One's on the Way” by country music legend Loretta Lynn.

Raquel Welch is one of the few actresses, and one of the earliest, who had a lead role in a Western movie. Hannie Caulder (1971) was a clear influence on later revenge films.[93]Quentin Tarantino said that the film was one of his inspirations for Kill Bill (2003).[94] It took many years, arguably until the 1990s, until female leads appeared in mainstream US cinema who are strong – without adding fictional or overemphasizing masculine traits (or portraying them as femme fatales).[95]

Additionally, Welch was a significant figure in the film The Shawshank Redemption (1994). The poster that Andy Dufresne had on his prison cell wall at the time of his escape was the famous pinup image of Welch in One Million Years B.C. Prior to Dufresne's escape being realized, the warden refers to Welch as Miss Fuzzy Britches.[96]





Album appearances[edit]


  • Raquel Welch: Raquel: The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program, Publisher: Henry Holt and Company (October 1, 1984), ISBN 978-0-03069-549-0
  • Raquel Welch: Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage, Publisher: Weinstein Books (March 29, 2010), ISBN 978-1-60286-097-1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage By Raquel Welch - " I WAS BORN in 1940 in the Windy City, Chicago. Not ideal for a new- born baby girl with thin Mediterranean blood, courtesy of my Spanish father." (Page: 4)
  2. ^ Interview with Michael Parkinson
  3. ^ Longworth, Karina. (October 21, 2014). Raquel Welch, From Pin-up to Pariah. You Must Remember This. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Öncü, Ece. (February 9, 2012). Spend the Weekend with Raquel Welch and Film Society – Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Heavey, John. (February 23, 2012). Video: Two Conversations with Raquel Welch – Film Society of Lincoln Center. Retrieved August 2015.
  6. ^ a b Spitznagel, Eric. (March 8, 2012). Interview with Raquel Welch: Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  7. ^ Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage By Raquel Welch - " I was born in 1940 in the Windy City, Chicago. Not ideal for a new-born baby girl." (Page: 4)
  8. ^ Tavis Smiley: | WETA : April 20, 2010 12:00am-12:30am EDT ...
  9. ^ Phil Davison. "Lidia Gueiler Tejada: Politician who became only the West's second female president". The Independent. 12 May 2011.
  10. ^ Armando Tejada in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro immigration cards 1900. With parents' names - (Agustin Tejada and Raquel Urquizo).
  11. ^ "Tavis Smiley. Shows. Raquel Welch. April 19, 2010". PBS. April 19, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  12. ^ Beyond the Cleavage By Raquel Welch - "My mother was Anglo. Her ancestry dated back to John Quincy Adams and the Mayflower".(Page: 4)
  13. ^ Rogers, Daniel T. "Raquel Welch family tree". Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  14. ^ Beyond the Cleavage By Raquel Welch - Religion.(Page: 8)
  15. ^ Avery, Susan (July 10, 2010). "Raquel Welch, Reluctant Sex Symbol, Talks About Making Amends With Her Kids".
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i Otfinoski, Steven (2007). Latinos in the arts. Infobase Publishing. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-8160-6394-9.
  17. ^ Welch, Diane (March 19, 2006). "The way we were – 'Fairest of the Fair' part of Del Mar's history". San Diego Union Tribune.
  18. ^ a b Welch, Raquel. (2010). Raquel Welch: Beyond the Cleavage. New York, NY: Weinstein Books. pag. 3-28.
  19. ^ "Yearbook – 1958 La Jolla High School La Jolla, CA". Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  20. ^ a b c d "RaquelWelch". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  21. ^ Giammarco, David. (2001, July & Aug.). Raquel Welch: The Goddess Factor. Cigar Aficionado. Retrieved from Cigar Aficionado.
  22. ^ Amaya, Mario. (May 25, 2017). El arte de ser ícono: una entrevista con Raquel Welch. Bocas. Retrieved May 28, 2017, from El Tiempo.
  23. ^ Raquel Welch [Interview by Piers Morgan]. (October 20, 2015). In Piers Morgan's Life Stories. London, England: ITV.
  24. ^ Associated Press. (June 28, 2015). Raquel Welch: 'The essence of who I am is a Latina'. Retrieved October 4, 2015, from Fox News.
  25. ^ Filmfacts 1967. University of Southern California. Division of Cinema. 1967. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  26. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: a pop culture encyclopedia of the late 20th century. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 345. ISBN 978-0-7407-5118-9.
  27. ^ One Million Years B.C.' Presents a Nice Live Raquel Welch. (February 22, 1967). New York Times.
  28. ^ Westcott, Kathryn (June 5, 2006). "The Bikini: Not a brief affair". BBC News. Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  29. ^ Bale, Miriam (February 10, 2012). "The GQ&A: Raquel Welch". GQ. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  30. ^ Gayomali, Chris (July 5, 2011). "Raquel Welch's Fur Bikini in One Million Years B.C. – Top 10 Bikinis in Pop Culture". Time. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
  31. ^ a b Raquel Welch: Living Up to Her Legend Weller, George. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] September 11, 1966: N10.
  32. ^ Edward G. Robinson--Mr. Bad Guy Never Had It So Good: EDWARD ROBINSON Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] February 28, 1967: d1.
  33. ^ Class will tell: DEREK MALCOLM interviews PETER MEDAK, a director who is at last making his impact on the British cinema Malcolm, Derek. The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] May 15, 1972: 10.
  34. ^ a b Sex Goddess Is Human, After All Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] June 9, 1968: c12.
  35. ^ 'Fathom' Playing on Citywide Screens Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] August 10, 1967: d16.
  36. ^ WONDER WOMAN!! Hallowell, John. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] July 14, 1968: o26.
  37. ^ Movie Making--30 Years of Fun for Jimmy Stewart: Jimmy Stewart Stewart's 30 Years Thomas, Kevin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] October 15, 1967: d19.
  38. ^ Wenn. (April 10, 2017). Raquel Welch: 'I was awful in Sinatra film' Retrieved April 15, 2017, from XPOSÉ.ie.
  39. ^ Gleich, J. (2011). Jim Brown: from integration to resegregation in The Dirty Dozen and 100 Rifles. Cinema Journal, Vol. 51, No. 1 (Fall 2011), pag. 1-25.
  40. ^ Associated Press. (May 5, 2017). Raquel Welch Resisted Going Nude On-Screen for Years. The Salamanca Press. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  41. ^ a b Skene, Gordon. (June 18, 2017). In Conversation With Raquel Welch 1975 – Past Daily Pop Chronicles. Past Daily. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  42. ^ Peikert, Mark. (February 16, 2015). Raquel Welch vs. Mae West. Out. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  43. ^ Berumen, Frank Javier Garcia. (2014). Latino Image Makers in Hollywood: Performers, Filmmakers and Films since the 1960s. NC: McFarland & Company.
  44. ^ "Brando spurns Oscar; Liza, 'Godfather' win". Chicago Tribune. March 28, 1973. p. 1.(registration required)
  45. ^ "People In The News". Eugene Register-Guard. March 26, 1978. p. 10A.
  46. ^ IMDB Raquel Welch
  47. ^ AP (April 8, 1970). "Favorite, longshot take home Oscars". The Palm Beach Post.
  48. ^ Brown, Les (1971). ""Raquel!"". Television: The Business Behind the Box. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 187,188. ISBN 978-0-15-688440-2.
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ "Happy Birthday today to Raquel Welch: Her 1970 primetime TV special will melt your mind!". Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  51. ^ Hottest Thing on Wheels. (June 2, 1972). Life, 72 (21), p. 48.
  52. ^ Bale, M. (February 9, 2012). The GQ&A: Raquel Welch. Retrieved February 23, 2017, from GQ.
  53. ^ Raquel Welch: A Sex Symbol And Happily: A Sex Symbol And Happily By Jeannette Smyth. The Washington Post (1974-Current file) [Washington, D.C] May 8, 1975: B1.
  54. ^ Robertson, Carol. (2012). The Little Book of Movie Law. Chicago, IL: ABA Book Publishing, American Bar Association. Article title: All About Eve: The Fickle Director and the Demanding Star—Welch v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Co. from American Bar Association.
  55. ^ Modderno, Craig. (June 26, 1986). Welch Celebrates Verdict Hollywood Cautious on Ruling's Impact. The Washington Post.
  56. ^ Murphy, Kim. (June 25, 1986). Raquel Welch Awarded .8 Million Over Firing. Los Angeles Times.
  57. ^ AP (June 25, 1986). "Raquel Welch Wins .8 Million Judgment".
  58. ^ Higgins, Bill. (December 10, 2015). Hollywood Flashback: When Raquel Welch, Fired and Replaced by an Actress 15 Years Younger, Sued MGM (and Won). Retrieved November 14, 2017, from The Hollywood Reporter.
  59. ^ Billboard. Raquel Welch | Chart History: This Girl's Back In Town. Retrieved from
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