|Vintage Pulp||Mar 10 2012|
This March 1973 issue of The National Police Gazette sports an eye-catching color scheme cleverly copied from the dress of actress Raquel Welch, who you see at lower left. Welch discusses her early first marriage, which resulted in two children, and laments her restrictive personal/professional relationship with her manager/second husband, who shaped her into an internationally famous cinematic sexpot. As a basically shy person, Welch claims to feel trapped by her image, and says she’s reached the point where she’s fed up with it. Moving forward, she explains, she will be interested only in serious film roles, and will refuse any scripts focusing on her sexuality.
We always find it curious when actors try to make a sharp turn away from what made them famous in the first place. Both men and women do it—among men it’s often comedians and action stars, and among women it’s sex symbols. These career shifts fail far greater than nine times out of ten. In Welch’s case, she was quickly consigned to the purgatory of television movies. Later, she reversed course on whole sexuality thing and posed for Playboy, but scored roles only sporadically for the rest of her career.
But in our opinion, her failure to escape the sex symbol trap wasn't due to a lack of talent. It probably had simply to do with the fact that she had passed the dreaded thirty-year-old barrier and didn’t look like an ingénue anymore. Nowadays actresses last long past thirty, but tellingly, are still not allowed to look their age. Entire websites dedicated to bad cosmetic surgery testify to that fact. In Welch's case, her sudden relegation to second tier status just goes to show what poor taste Hollywood producers have. Because ingénue or not, Raquel is Raquel.