It's hard to believe that the once-popular pinup girl Raquel Welch turns 66 today. Her big breakthrough film role was in the 1966 film One Million Years B.C. -- but it led to enormous sales of posters of the gal in her skimpy prehistoric bikini, not to serious acting offers. She also appeared that year in the sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage, but I've never seen any pinups from that film. (If you have a pinup of costar Donald Pleasance, I would rather not know.) In the next ten years, Welch had the title role in one of the most notable flops of the Seventies, Myra Breckinridge, as well as a charming supporting role as Constance in The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers. She also appeared in James Ivory's The Wild Party and with Bill Cosby in the comedy Mother, Jugs, and Speed (she played Jugs). She switched to TV movies in the early 1980s and her roles in subsequent theatrical films (most recently Legally Blonde) have been essentially cameos. Even if you haven't seen her movies, you probably recognize the redheaded actress on sight.

The above photo is from the 1967 film Bedazzled, in which Welch played the personification of one of the Seven Deadly Sins -- Lust, of course. Bedazzled was directed by Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) and stars the delightful comedy team of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. Cook plays The Devil, who grants Moore seven wishes in return for his soul. I don't remember exactly how Welch figures in all this, except that she's scantily clad and dances at one of Cook's groovy parties. It's a fun movie and definitely superior to the 2000 remake (Harold Ramis, how could you?), which omits Lust as a character and instead makes The Devil a woman (Elizabeth Hurley). Sadly, the 1967 movie isn't available on DVD in the U.S., so you'll have to scrounge up an old videotape if you want to catch Raquel's portrayal of Lust.
categories Features, Cinematical