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Raquel Welch salutes ‘Captain’

Actress returns to TV in new CBS sitcom

I’VE HAD the strangest career! I was a sex-symbol in the age of flower children. Nobody knew what to do with me. Of course, I wanted to be Roz Russell. Listen, that’s why I did ‘Myra Breckenridge.’ I thought, ‘Ooooo…I get a chance to be articulate and sharp in a movie.’ It didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped!” That’s Raquel Welch, laughing it up remembering one of her most famous (and infamous) films. … Welch has defied the laws of nature, becoming a more iconic, lustrous, glamorous figure than she was at her movie-making peak. In the new CBS sitcom “Welcome to the Captain,” Raquel appears as one of a group of off-the-wall residents living in a vintage Hollywood apartment building. She plays a 52-year-old actress looking for a comeback (her character claims to be only 42). … “I look softer. I’ve evolved. I’m a woman. Can you call me a late bloomer? I feel there’s not so much emphasis on my having a perfect body, that hourglass. When I was at 20th Century Fox, they’d take thousands of photos for every movie. And I’d always say, when I saw the results, ‘But where are the portraits? Where are the head shots?’ Everything was the body. Honestly, I think I could have walked around by myself and nobody would have known me–unless I was wearing a bikini.” … It took Raquel a long time to come to terms with her image and the limitations her beauty placed on her. She re-invented herself in 1982 on Broadway, taking over from Lauren Bacall in “Woman of the Year.” That triumph freed her to be sanguine, she adjusted to changing times (exercise videos, TV movies), and flourished to such an extent that today this product of the studio system’s dying days, exudes the aura of a great star of the Golden Age. Raquel has plenty to say about today’s stars: “Jessica Alba is a cool little actress. I don’t think she’s given enough credit. Too much emphasis on her body … Lindsay Lohan is a beauty, and she’s a really good actress, too … I love Ellen Page of ‘Juno’. A total natural.”