The Raquel Welch bio is a story in the classic Hollywood mold. Raquel Welch, whose name was originally Jo-Raquel Tejada, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1940. Her family moved to California when she was two. There, her mother enrolled her in the San Diego Junior Theater, where she got her first taste of acting. She was also a conscientious student at school. Raquel Welch was deeply interested in current events, especially the civil rights movement. She worked hard to maintain an A average. It was during her school years that she dropped the "Jo" from her name. Most school friends called her by a nickname, "Rocky."

When Raquel Welch was a teenager, she participated in beauty contests. Later, as she sought stardom, she worked as a model, a waitress and a TV weather girl. She was accepted to the theater program at San Diego State College, but dropped out to marry he high school sweetheart, Jim Welch. They had two children together. The marriage, however, did not last. The couple divorced. She had planned to move to New York, but that plan was derailed when all of her money was stolen from her locker at work. Instead Raquel Welch and her two children moved to Los Angeles.

There, Raquel Welch continued modeling and began acting. Her second film, "One Million Years, B.C." rocketed her to sex symbol status. She appeared on the film's poster in a fur bikini. Welch considered herself an unlikely sex symbol. At the time the movie was made, she was a divorced mother of two.

In the years since that first film, Raquel Welch has appeared in a number of films. She was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in 1973's "Th Three Musketeers." Her recent films include "Legally Blonde" and 2005's "Forget About It."