ME, Loana. You, Tumak."
That was Raquel Welch's big line in One Million Years B.C. Her only line, in fact. As a screen incarnation of Woman in the Time of Dinosaurs -- human beings and dinosaurs never actually co-existed -- Miss Welch grunted and pantomimed her role. Her snarly cave girl catfight with Martine Beswick was especially evocative. Raquel, a proud Latina, was distressed to have to streak her hair blond as Loana, and certainly didn't think this movie was her ticket to stardom. Wrong!
Raquel became an iconic figure instantly, and then had to fight her iconic figure and that fur-bikini poster status for years. She prevailed, of course, in Hollywood, in nightclubs, on Broadway. Her nickname is "Rocky," and she has been rock-solid in her quest for respect and diversity in what has been an epic career. (Her 2002 stint in the American Family series is most fondly remembered, and it awakened the Hispanic community to re-embrace its own still-functioning goddess.)
What's up with Raquel, who still looks like she could slip comfortably into a strategically designed fur fun-suit?
Well, the star has been invited to visit Wisteria Lane as Eva Longoria's sexy aunt on Desperate Housewives. This would be perfect for Raquel, who never had enough opportunity to showcase her comedy chops during her screen heyday. If you ever catch Fathom, one of her early romps, you'll know what I mean. And she's pretty funny in Myra Breckenridge. (She did cop the Golden Globe in 1975 for The Three Musketeers, and provided that ceremony with one of its most famous and genuine moments -- "I'm not used to winning anything!" Raquel exclaimed, tearfully.)
Raquel is also prepping a one-woman cabaret show that would showcase, among other things, the Bolivian roots of which she is so proud. The industry buzz on Raquel is pretty hot right now. She's a real star who seems more lustrous in the 21st century than she did during her box-office peak back in the 20th century. Top Hollywood agent Fred Wostbrock is eager to sign and guide her. Though she hardly seems to need guidance at the moment.
Wedding and a funeral
There was Bill Clinton standing with the senator, Hillary, at Lady Bird Johnson's funeral Saturday in Austin, Texas. But the former president is a fast moving object. He turned up later that day at the wedding of Sarah Gore to Bill Lee. Sarah, 28, wed businessman Lee, 36, in the Beverly Hills Hotel -- and Bill was there, along with Donald Trump. They joined Sarah's parents, those swell dancers -- Tipper and Al Gore.
Maybe you saw the big funeral photo of VIPs in Austin -- Bill and Hillary, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter, Nancy Reagan, who is being reported as "very frail." But you can add to the mix some people we didn't see in the photo -- Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Tricia Nixon Cox, Maria Shriver and Susan Ford Bales.
There were readings by Lady Bird's great-grandchildren and words from the LBJ faithful, Harry Middleton and Tom Johnson. My young friend, the banker Eddie Safady, reports that things were somber until the grand speaker Bill Moyers rose to the occasion. Moyers shot to PBS fame after serving as one of LBJ's assistants. And after Bill spoke, everyone broke out into wild applause.
Tribune Media Service