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Encore Presentation: Interview With Actress Raquel Welch

Aired May 8, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: She steamed up the screen as an international sex symbol, but what gets Raquel Welch hot and bothered in real life?

RAQUEL WELCH: I find clothes so constricting!


KING: Intimate talk about splitting from her fourth husband, shattering bones in a car crash and dealing with her sizzling image. Raquel Welch next on LARRY KING LIVE.

A great pleasure to welcome a return visit for Raquel Welch to LARRY KING LIVE. She was last with us back in 2001, the actress, international sex symbol, businesswoman. Fox Entertainment has just released the Raquel Welch DVD collection. We have it here. It includes "One Million Years B.C.," "Bandolero," "Mother, Jugs and Speed," "Fathom" and "Myra Breckinridge."

Always great to see you. You look better every time I see you.


KING: What -- do you have a secret?

WELCH: Well, thank you. Well, first...

KING: How do you keep young?

WELCH: Well, before we get to the young part, I'd just like to say that of the DVD things, the "Myra Breckinridge" is the ticket to watch. Yes.

KING: Why?

WELCH: Well, because it's just so outrageous and...

KING: It was a great...

WELCH: ... controversial.

KING: It was a great book.

WELCH: Well, it was -- yes, it was a Gore Vidal book, of course, the famous -- infamous Gore Vidal book. But it was an incredibly funny book.


WELCH: Take off those atrocious cowboy boots. They'll break the scale.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, no, they won't!

WELCH: Do exactly as I tell you.


KING: Did you like doing it?

WELCH: You know, the movie itself was a kind of controversial thing while it was happening because we had Mae West, Rex Reed, John Huston, Farah Fawcett was in it before she was a big star. Even Tom Selleck had a little cameo thing in it.

KING: Did you enjoy doing it?



KING: Why not?

WELCH: Because it was just too crazy!


WELCH: It isn't being an -- it isn't easy being a woman, Uncle Bob!


WELCH: I was under contract to Fox Studios, Larry. And the thing about it was that if you're the girl from "One Million Years B.C." and your opening dialogue was, "Me bwana, you tumac (ph)," you know, it's like you're all the time looking for a part where maybe you can have a little interesting dialogue.


WELCH: So it seemed like a good idea at the time. And I thought to myself, Well, you know, they're offering me this part of Myra Breckinridge. And I love the book. And maybe it's chance for me to have a little different part and to kind of...

KING: Well, wasn't it?

WELCH: Oh, well, absolutely, it was. But they kept changing the script every other day. And well, the casting was a little bit off the wall, just to say the least. Actually, I knew Rex Reed before. He was a friend of mine, and a really nice guy. And actually, I think he did a really nice job in the picture. But you know, I was never able to be 100 percent objective about the movie because I felt that -- you know, when it first came out because I felt every time I looked at a scene, that it really just reminded me of what was going on at the time.

KING: When you were making it.


KING: Did Gore like it?

WELCH: Gore sort of weighed in early on with a script of his that had absolutely nothing to do with the book. But you know...

KING: That's Gore.

WELCH: Well, you know, writers get that way. They think, I've written a book...


WELCH: ... it's a work of art. Why should I -- why should I now try -- I mean, it's an adaptation for movies. Movies are different than, you know, something literary. So I'll do, like, a kind of a parody or a kind of impression of the book. So nobody could make out what that script was about.

KING: We're going to get back to that later. I want to touch some other bases with one of my favorite people, Raquel Welch. Tell me about your car accident. What happened? This was last year, right?

WELCH: Well, no, it wasn't last year. It was August the 30, and I...

KING: Of 2000?

WELCH: Well, this year.


KING: ... in 2003.

WELCH: Well, it's the same year, but it's...

KING: Yes, this is 2004.

WELCH: ... now we've had December. I know, but it's not been a year.

KING: We've advanced into a new year. But it hasn't been a year. It was in the last year.

WELCH: But you know what I mean.

KING: I know what you mean.

WELCH: It was August 20, so it's been what -- what is it, eight months?

KING: Seven, eight months.

WELCH: Something like that.

KING: What happened?

WELCH: You know, I -- I was -- it was just a terrible accident that, you know, was...

KING: You were driving?

WELCH: I was -- I was driving. I was driving. I wasn't a passenger. I was the only one in my car. The good news is that nobody was hurt but me, and...

KING: Where was this?

WELCH: I was -- it was on one of the big, famous canyons of Beverly Hills. I was on my way home. And I was very relaxed. The sun was shining. I thought everything was beautiful and a lovely day. And I came around a curve because it's a very windy road, and there was a car, and wham! I said, Oh, I'm going to crash, and I went like this to protect myself. And the airbag came out and, like, hit me so hard on my arm that it snapped my elbow right off.

KING: Whoa!

WELCH: And -- yes. And you know the little tippy part of your elbow?

KING: Yes.

WELCH: It ended up way up here. And this part down here -- actually, if you want to give me your finger...

KING: Oh, I can see the scar.

WELCH: Do I dare ask that of you, Larry? And so this is the -- this is the metal piece they put in.

KING: Oh, I see. Oh!

WELCH: Because this is all shattered and they had to rebuild it. And this is -- it starts here and then it goes -- here is where it ends, way there.

KING: Wow!

WELCH: And then there's 13 screws in here. And Dr. Markowitz (ph) is a genius because he rebuilt my arm...

KING: He rebuilt your arm.

WELCH: ... from here. And he was so cool because he made the scar way back here, so you hardly ever see it, you know? KING: How painful was it?

WELCH: Oh, please! Don't even go there.

KING: Because I know what it's like just to hit the funny bone.

WELCH: Oh, don't even go there! I mean, I was...

KING: Was there any -- no one in the car...

WELCH: I could not move and...

KING: Was the car parked? Was it in the road? What -- the car...

WELCH: No, no, no. The car was making a left turn, and I...

KING: OH. But no one got hurt in that car?

WELCH: Nobody got hurt in that car. You know, thank the good Lord for that. I mean, that's the good news. And the other good news is that I -- I wasn't killed, or that instead of my arm being shattered, because it's all in pieces, and that it could have been my face, my cheekbones my nose, my jaw.

KING: So would you say that that saved your life, in a sense, do you think?

WELCH: Yes. But the cool part, and the only funny part of the whole thing is, Larry, that the car spoke to me, and it was such a comfort to me. I have to tell you!

KING: What?

WELCH: Well, you know, the minute that I made the impact, and I could see the front end of the car crunching up towards me -- and as soon as I made that impact, there was a voice came out of my car and it said, Ms. Welch, we know you're in an accident on the corner of this canyon...

KING: You're kidding me, right?

WELCH: ... Anciello (ph) Drive. No. And, Are you all right? Can we -- is there anything we can do for you? We've alerted the -- and the woman was -- totally...

KING: Come on!

WELCH: The car spoke. This is the new emergency system. Honestly. And she was Southern, and she was from Texas.


KING: What kind of car...

WELCH: Hello, Ms. Welch. KING: ... is it? What kind of car. We got to praise the company.

WELCH: Well, it was a Mercedes.

KING: Is this the new Mercedes have, where...

WELCH: It's unbelievable!

KING: ... they check your...

WELCH: I tell you, I felt like -- you know how when a terrible, terrible thing happens to you and you feel so isolated, as though you're going -- you're so alone, and to have this voice come out, this Southern voice come out...

KING: What, are they're monitoring every car?

WELCH: No, it's -- it automatically, when the airbag disengages or anything -- certain things happen, the automatic signal goes to their -- you know, computerized...

KING: Got to be a satellite, yes.

WELCH: ... to their -- to their central station, and they come in to your speaker because, you know, it's the cordless phone and everything when you -- when you voice-activate.

KING: Did you speak to them right away? Did you answer?

WELCH: Oh, yes. Yes. And they said, Who do you want us to call? And I said Ghostbusters. No, I didn't.


WELCH: I said, you know, Call Jean Mitchum (ph), who is the lady that is my right-hand girl and lives with me. And call Richie Palmer, who was my husband, and...

KING: How about the police?

WELCH: Well, the police, fine. But you know...


KING: How about a hospital?

WELCH: Oh, well, I -- they already -- they said they had already called the emergency...

KING: How quick do they get there?

WELCH: Pretty quick. Pretty quick.

KING: Did the ambulance (UNINTELLIGIBLE) WELCH: Well, the terrible thing was, is that when they tried to even touch my arm, you know, I let out such a scream, it surprised me, because the pain was so excruciating. I couldn't believe it. And anyway, I did get to the emergency room finally. And it was so, so painful. But I was -- just kept thinking, I wonder what's going on because the funny thing was there was no blood. I mean, they had to open me up. There was no blood anywhere. But the pain! And so the doctor said, I don't -- I have to tell you that I don't think you'll ever regain the full use of your arm again. And I said...

KING: He said that in the hospital?

WELCH: Right the first thing to me and -- because -- they tried to get X-rays, and they couldn't move the arm, it was such a mess. And then I said to him, Well, I'm going to. I'm going to use this arm again. And so -- he was a wonderful doctor. And he said, Very complicated, it's all in -- smashed and shattered, and your elbow came -- is way up here, and we have to go in and get it, and I'm going to have to open you up. There'll be a scar that will be a whole foot long. And then -- well, to make a long story short, I went to a lot, a lot of therapy and a lot, a lot of yoga classes. And I have 100 percent mobility. Look at this. You know, look at this. You know, anything. I can do this. I can do this.

KING: Let me get a break and we'll be right back. We'll be right back...

WELCH: I can do everything...

KING: ... with the amazing Raquel Welch. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.




WELCH: I believe the moment of truth has finally arrived.


WELCH: Gentlemen, I'm Myra Breckinridge. Uncle Bob, your nephew became your niece two years ago in Copenhagen and now is free as a bird and happy in being the most extraordinary woman in the world!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I thought I fell in love with a man.


KING: We're back with the lovely Raquel Welch. And that DVD set has just been released from Fox Home Entertainment. And she recommends, of all of them, "Myra Breckinridge." All right, back to this...

WELCH: Well, yes, because that's -- that's -- that's the ticket. I mean...

KING: Well, that's stellar. Wait a minute...

WELCH: Well, yes, that's the...

KING: I'm lost on something. How could an airbag break your elbow?

WELCH: Well, because it hits...

KING: It's a bag.

WELCH: Because it hits with such a force. I mean, I don't know if you're aware of it, but there's a lot of people who've had, you know, very bad injuries. They've been...

KING: I've never heard having...

WELCH: ... had their lives...

KING: I've never seen an airbag...

WELCH: ... saved, but the airbag can smash your -- you know, smash you in pretty bad.

KING: Does it make a noise?

WELCH: No, I don't...

KING: Or you don't remember.

WELCH: I don't recall a noise as much as the smell of sulfur and all of that, that apparently explodes or something and makes it come out. I don't know the mechanics of it at all.

KING: Was your car ruined?

WELCH: Oh, it was pretty bad. It was pretty bad. But you know, the thing is, you don't think about that. You just think, Oh, my God, the pain. And what about the people in the other car.

KING: Were they OK, though?

WELCH: You know, Please, God.

KING: They were OK?

WELCH: This girl -- cute, adorable, like, young girl -- comes jumping out of the car with a blond ponytail on and comes running back to me and says, Are you OK? And I said, Well, my arm hurts, but are you OK? She goes, I'm fine. Nothing. And I said, You're kidding me. But I did notice that this was -- I bumped into -- it was a car that was an SUV, so it was up, and my Mercedes went, like, under.

KING: Under. Oh, yes. WELCH: So mine sort of accordion-pleated back at me like that. And this car hadn't a scratch on it. I couldn't believe it, the way they do these cars nowadays. So I was...

KING: Was this...

WELCH: I was just so happy. And I thought, When she finds out who I am, it'll be suits, lawsuits. No! She was, like, a really cool, nice girl. I mean, it was not like that.

KING: Was this at a bad point in your life when this happened, or was this at a good point in your life?

WELCH: Is this a leading question? No, it was a bad point. It was...

KING: You were separating from your husband?

WELCH: Well, I had -- yes. Richie and I had separated about a month or so. And you know, I think that even though everyone says, You're taking it very well, and I was taking it very well -- I certainly wasn't -- it's not a happy thing. And you have parts of you, of your soul and your spirit, that are not really 100 percent focused. And I think that -- I was trying to figure out why this happened. I mean, I know things, accidents happen, but to me, there are no accidents.

KING: So you think there was a connection.

WELCH: I think that I was trying -- I was not paying attention at the time because I was trying to escape from paying too close attention to the realities of -- of...

KING: Yes, I understand that.

WELCH: ... what was happening in my life. Now, that may seem rather obtuse.

KING: Sort of like losing control, in a sense. Life is going a little haywire, car went a little haywire.

WELCH: Well, the car didn't go a little haywire.

KING: Elbow went haywire.

WELCH: I -- I just was not -- I wasn't focused on what was happening.

KING: Are things a lot better now?

WELCH: What do you mean by that?

KING: In your health?

WELCH: Well, my arm is, like, fabulous, except it's not really fabulous. I can get the mobility, but I have a lot more work to do because I have no strength and I can't lift weights. I always used to. In addition to the yoga thing I've done for almost 30 years, I always...

KING: Is there peace in your personal life now?

WELCH: Peace?

KING: I mean, have you come -- it was an amicable parting, right?

WELCH: Yes. I have a good life.

KING: That's what I mean.

WELCH: I have a very, very good life. I'm grateful for all of my friends, my family and the life that I have and the possibilities in my future. I'm -- you know, I'm still...

KING: You've always been open to anything. I mean, right? You're a girl who...

WELCH: No, I'm not open to everything. No, I'm not. No. I'll take a lot of chances, but...

KING: That's what I mean. You're a risk taker.

WELCH: I will take risks, but that's because that's the only way that has been sort of available to me in my life, to -- you know, to progress because if I -- if I didn't take risks, then I was not going to go anywhere and...

KING: Did you ever...

WELCH: ... a lot of years that I've been taking risks, and I'm kind of sick of it.

KING: Did you get regret, Raquel, the sexual angle, that you were played up as this -- I mean, it made you famous...

WELCH: You know...

KING: ... but there had to be a down side.

WELCH: Well, you know, Larry, that's kind of a cliche because I think that for most women, with the exception of Meryl Streep and a few of her ilk, for most women in my business, physical attractiveness is part of the -- part of the kit. And so I don't want to complain because I did, you know, have such a flattering image, in lots of ways. But I think that it's an old and almost cliched story now that when you are objectified in any way, it's only such a small, you know, tip of the iceberg, and there's so much else going...

KING: Of course. But what does it do to you? Of course, there's 100 other things going on.

WELCH: Well... KING: I mean, when you walk down the street, you know, Are they looking at me for this, or are they booking me for this? Am I in this movie for me?

WELCH: Well, I didn't really -- you know, I didn't -- at that point, when I was, like, the girl at the moment, I stayed away from walking down the street or going too many places. I was pretty agoraphobic, at that point.

KING: Really?

WELCH: I just didn't leave my house much because I just couldn't take the scrutiny and I couldn't -- and I didn't know how to handle so much attention, too much attention for what I thought was...

KING: You got very thin (ph).

WELCH: ... not illegitimate -- you know, it's, like, an illegitimate reason to have so much attention and fame and money and everything. You just think it's not right. But you know, I think that one of the interesting things is that Mel Gibson has also been called the sexiest man in the world, and you see, nobody knew that he had this movie in him and that it meant so much to him and that there was another side of Mel that we haven't seen. And then also, you could say the same of Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know, people who seem to have, like, a one-dimensional, bigger-than-life kind of a persona, and then suddenly, wow, the real person is nothing whatever like the packaging.

KING: There's more here than meets the eye.

WELCH: Something like that.

KING: Raquel Welch is our guest. We'll be right back.


WELCH: May I come aboard?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But obviously. You are expected.

WELCH: I must have overlooked my invitation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) secretly. He expects the unexpected.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will not be disturbed for 20 minutes. Wait. Perhaps half an hour.



ROCK HUDSON: Did you say the sheriff's always wanted you?

WELCH: He is a good man.

HUDSON: I reckon he's got you all to himself now.

WELCH: He's a good man, but I feel nothing for him. Why do you laugh?

HUDSON: I was just thinking. We'd make a perfect pair, you and me. I'm broke, without a woman, and you're rich and without a man.


KING: We're back with Raquel Welch. Always a great pleasure. By the way, did you like Gibson's film?

WELCH: I just saw it the other night. And I have to say that I -- personally, Larry, I felt that he had given the world a great gift by this movie. It humbled me, and I was shook up a lot by it. Just thinking about it. I -- yes. I think it's a humbling experience. I didn't -- I can understand why lots of people in the Jewish community would be concerned about it, in a way. But that's not what I brought out of the movie because I was raised as a Christian and my family was Christian. And I went into it not knowing what to expect, and actually, a little apprehensive because I thought, I'm told it's so violent, and I'm very -- I'm a thin-skinned person, not just that my skin is thin in reality, but that I am very easily affected by lots of things. I mean, you could -- you know me a little bit and seen me in a few situations, you can tell. I'm just fragile. I'm just a little fragile.

KING: That you are.

WELCH: And -- well, it's true. People don't...

KING: Well, and that movie didn't offend you a little?

WELCH: But -- It did. And I said to myself, I understand completely now why everyone talks about the violence. And the reason they talk about the violence is because we've all seen violence. I've seen so many violent movies all the time. But this was excruciatingly hateful, wicked violence against a man who did not resist, call out, get angry with them, malign them, defend himself, but indeed, kind of said, This is my time, this is the time when I won't be with you anymore, to his disciples.

Now, I don't know much about the Scripture, but I went right home and picked up the Bible to see if what had been, you know...


WELCH: ... just described was there in the Bible. And it was in the Bible, every scrap of it. And I said -- you know, I came away not with any kind of anti-Semitism at all, really, but I came away with thinking, My God, human beings really need to be humble and so much less selfish in this world, especially now.

And I don't know why he had this impulse to do this film now, but I think that it's terribly important for us to all stop being so self- centered. I'm in a business -- and I will, you know, indict myself. This is the business that I'm in, and my lifestyle is completely self- serving and self-centered because I'm a performer. But that -- you know, I'm -- I'm -- at this point in my life, I wonder why I had to choose that kind of a life because I honestly think that I would have been much more useful, although I do think artists play their own role -- useful for me to have...

KING: Serving the Lord?


KING: You mean serving the...

WELCH: No, not serving the Lord, although I could go to a convent!


WELCH: But I'm...

KING: You'd be a hit in a convent.

WELCH: No, no. But I'm just saying to kind of be more giving and more about, you know, giving to others, rather than to achieving something for myself. Especially women. Without women to nurture in this world, how do -- how do men get by? How do children get by? How does society get by at all?

KING: We kind of need each other.

WELCH: We need each other, but women have always been the ones to set the moral codes, to keep men and their children on the right track.

KING: To keep the family together.

WELCH: Yes, to keep the family together. But they also say, Look, I'm a woman. I'm the keeper of the womb. I am the one who puts up some boundaries. I treat myself with respect. I demand that other people treat me, as a woman, the giver of life, with respect. And I, you know, give those values to my children and to my man. That doesn't mean any of us are perfect, but it does mean that women have decided that role in life is no good. And I certainly did. I couldn't wait to get rid of it. You know, I saw my mother with -- a very self-effacing, mild-mannered woman who lived with my father, who was very tyrannical. He was the king of the house. He always -- whatever he said, went. And that is basically the way men like it.

KING: Yes.

WELCH: I mean, they were supposed to be...

KING: Control.

WELCH: They're supposed to be the king, Larry King. Right? I mean...

KING: It's good to be the king.

WELCH: It's good to be the king. And you decide when and where, where you're going to live, how it's going to be. You have a voice as a woman. You have an influence...

KING: Yes.

WELCH: But you know...

KING: I decide -- in my marriage, I decide Iraq, she decides everything else.


KING: Let me get a break and come back. We'll be right back with Raquel Welch, one of my favorite people. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This girl's too green. I can't send her out with somebody who's been driving less than a week!

WELCH: Then I'll ride with Mother and Tony until I'm broken in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No women allowed in my rig unless they're flat on their back and bleeding. Thank you. Now...

WELCH: But you just said you were in favor of women driving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am, but not in my rig. Now...

WELCH: What about my rights?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you got your rights, and I have mine. Now...

WELCH: Well, I'm afraid you gentlemen have left me with no alternative. I'll sue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes? We'll see about that! Get me Moran on the phone!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and get whiplash!

WELCH: I am not a secretary anymore!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will be, damn it! You will be after I straighten him out!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give 'em hell, Harry!



KING: We're back with Raquel Welch. Don't forget Fox Home Entertainment has just released the Raquel Welch DVD collection. Why do you make a face? You're not happy it's out? You made a little face like you were mad at this collection.

WELCH: When?

KING: Then.

WELCH: No, no, no, because I thought -- I didn't make a face. I thought it was -- I thought we should talk about Myra Breckenridge. "One Million Years B.C." has been on the late show so many times. Everyone has seen "One Million Years B.C." The posters still around and all the head shots and stuff.

KING: "Mother Jugs and Speed."

WELCH: "Mother Jugs and Speed" was fun.

KING: That was fun.

WELCH: It was OK. It was a comedy.

KING: "Banderlero."

WELCH: "Banderlero." The main thing about "Banderlero" was I that got do meet, for me anyway, I got to meet Jimmie Stewart and Dean Martin and work with them. Oh, my god.

Well no, but really, when I was a kid growing up, Jimmie Stewart, for me, was the be all end all movie actor.


JIMMY STEWART, ACTOR: I Apologize for the intrusion, I'm being a little forward.

WELCH: Please. Don't go.


WELCH: I mean, he was just so likable, so real, so, my god, I'm going to make a movie with Jimmie Stewart. I must have done something right in my life. When I was a kid, because I was very green at the time.

KING: Where did you grow up, by the way?

WELCH: I grew up in Southern California, in the San Diego area, and then went to LaHoya High School.

KING: Oh, not bad.

WELCH: And so, you know -- my mother was from the midwest, from Chicago. I was actually born in Chicago. My father is from Bolivia. I have to say that, because otherwise all those Latinos out there will...

KING: That's that look. That's a Bolivean look.

WELCH: It's a combo.

KING: Great combo.

WELCH: Anglo-Bolivean look.

KING: It worked for you. Discussing women. How much has it changed for women in this business now, from when you started?

WELCH: To tell you the truth, when I came along in this business and thinking about being an actress, I had no idea things would get so graphic and nudey orientated. I knew you had to have the physical appeal of a woman was always important thing in movies.

But boy, in the '60s, there was no holds barred. You had to -- everybody wanted you to get naked. And they didn't always write it in the script. Surprise, while you're in production. Listen, we really think in this scene, we really need like nude no clothes...

KING: Did you?

WELCH: The character and this and that. You go, whoa.


WELCH: Sergei.


KING: Did you ever work nude?

WELCH: No, I didn't. But I had my reasons. If it had been something, where it was really called for, but I knew they were just exploiting my womanly image.

KING: You said no?

WELCH: Yes, more-or-less, yes. You have to say no more than once because they come back with more people and ask you again.

KING: Did it cost you any work?

WELCH: And you get the calls. I don't know that it cost me work. It might have. It might have cost me work. But that wasn't the point. Why would I want more work like that.

The thing one forget when I was doing "One Million Years B.C." and the famous poster and that movie that has actually become a classic. In fact Myra has become a classic, I really was the mother of two small children. I'm on the the top of this volcanic, you know, mountain, in the middle of, you know, in the Canary Islands, really, down at the hotel are two little kids, Tawny and Damon, one in diapers and one in a stroller.

I was like a young mommy and nobody knew that. To me, it was totally surreal that all this was happening.

A lot of people have always said when I told that story, that I'm disillusioning all those guys with the posters getting off on this image of this woman with this Zakimbo kind of thing.

KING: Do you get roles now?


KING: A lot of people say when you pass a certain age, roles stop. But aren't there roles for people in middle age?

WELCH: Well, I think roles but they're few and far between. So many of them aren't really wonderful. I think there are a few actresses, Ellen Bernstein and maybe Meryl Streep. They're few and far between. But, I think it's encouraging that Diane Keaton gave such a fabulous performance with Jack in the movie "Something's Got To Give."

That was just a work of art, as far as comedy is concerned, for me, that comedy performance that she gave. And it proved that she is still so viable and still so fabulous, as much as ever she was. And so I think that's encouraging.

But I do think, as much as I certainly -- I think that it's cool that there is young beautiful young people coming into the business all the time. But it really seems like it's so -- like the Titanic, one-sided. Can't we balance it out by having real adult grown-up people? Because, you know, I'm over 60 years old. I'm not part of my mother's generation, never did any exercise or anything like that. And it's not the same. It seems foolish to just discard all the interesting, exciting things that mature actresses and actors, well, they don't have as rough a time of it.

KING: You're watching Raquel Welch. Don't go away.


WELCH: So, I hear that that little tart from California shot poor Heyworth.

LUKE WILSON, ACTOR: Well, that's what we're trying to prove didn't happen, actually.

REESE WITHERSPOON, ACTRESS: Do you have any reason to believe that it did?

WELCH: Well, I've never actually met the woman, but my daughter tells me she can be quite the little bitch. WILSON: Now, did your daughter ever mention anything to you about the relationship between Brook and Hayworth?

WELCH: Well, she did say that they humped like gorillas. I guess it wasn't enough, though, for Brook.

WILSON: Why do you say that?

WELCH: Haven't you seen the Cabana boy?




WELCH: Some for the road, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We going to study some?

WELCH: Since 4:00 this afternoon. What time is it now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some time before 3:00. I think it's about time. You have some chili on your pretty dress.

WELCH: Yes. Your place or mine?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got crazy spot remover, and I'm not just (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


KING: We're back with Raquel Welch. Have you ever turned down anything you regretted?

WELCH: Yes. I did actually. There was this wonderful movie. In it called "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"?

KING: You turned that down?

WELCH: I didn't get it when I read it. I was dumb back than. I was stupid. I wanted desperately to prove I was more than just a pretty face. I was still very young. When you're young, you don't always..,

KING: That movie was not only terrific, it even had a TV spin off.

WELCH: It did. The other one I moved away from, Bob Fosse, about Lenniy Bruce, called Lenny, the Valerie Perrine part.

KING: You would -- Honey?

WELCH: Honey Bruce. You know, I couldn't have played that role. I didn't want that for my children. I think that sometimes when you... KING: You think of things like that?

WELCH: Of course. If you're a mother, you think, this is the legacy my children will have to have, especially when they are little, they go to school. It's already enough their mother is a sex symbol, now, she's going to be doing lesbian and sex scenes. This and all that. I just didn't want my kids to have to think about.

KING: Was it hard living up to that symbol?

WELCH: It's hard to live up to any image, don't you find?

KING: Unless it fits you, unless it's total you.

WELCH: Well, I think everything is totally -- it's not like I'm not me. And that there isn't some part of the Raquel Welch iconic symbol that isn't me, but it's only like one little piece of it. Of course, it's so visually -- it's like a visual image, it's nothing about content or substance.

KING: Yes. But when you live with something like that, what does that...

WELCH: You know, I think you should never complain about all the fortune. I would never complain about all the fortune and the wealth and the attention and all that I've had, I just couldn't complain about it.

KING: It was good.

WELCH: It was good for you.

KING: It was good for you? It was bad for you? I know of the more beautiful women who told me they looked in the mirror and didn't think they were beautiful.

WELCH: We're off on a whole thing about physicality, and I think we ought to -- I don't know. To me it's an old tune, Larry. Nothing, no offense, but it's just an old tune.

KING: What are you into? Are you into yoga?

WELCH: I do yoga every morning at 6:30. I'm up at 5:00, I'm in the car at 6:00 listening to Howard Stern on the way to my yoga class.

KING: You're a Howard Stern fan. What do you make of them trying to to get him?

WELCH: It's kind of funny. I understand why they're doing it. I've always been amused by Howard Stern. Not everything that Howard says. He's got a great voice.

KING: Speaking of physicality, who's more interested in physicality than Howard Stern. He has a career based physics.

WELCH: You know, he's probably going to hear about this, but here's my theory about you, Howard. My theory about you is, you're a real smart guy, and you have your finger somewhere on the pulse rate of the American male. And the American male is really worried he's that he's never going to get laid or if he did he's not going to get laid enough. It's constantly about trying to verify themselves in the eyes of some woman. And you know, that's what men are about. Women have all this power.

KING: You have complained about physicality like Howard Stern and defend the fact yet he...

WELCH: Here's the thing that I think that -- for me, it's kind of unfair. I mean, Howard's been around for 15 odd years or something, he hasn't changed very much what he's always done and always said. It's not a big surprise he's become a part of the American landscape and now they will clean up the act and they use him. But they give him a kind of license...

KING: But it's unfair. But it's unfair, isn't it?

WELCH: Seems to me, they gave him a license all these 15 years to be Howard Stern. He's going to go on to Satellite. It's not going to bother him.

KING: Doesn't censorship bother you?


KING: That's what it is. You stop this or I'll take you off.

WELCH: I think that kind of thing is overly simplistic, I really do. Because, I think freedom of speech was supposed to be originally in the constitution, from what I understand, it was supposed to be to protect people from having political ideas that were contrary to the party or government.

KING: And separation of church and state, too. Definite separation...

WELCH: I think that, you know, what what's happened in American society, everybody is so sex mad you get the 6 and 7-year-old children that are all sexed out. I have lots of girlfriends with daughters who just barely into puberty, and the things they're doing. You know, it used to be spin the bottle, and you might kiss a guy and worried you might get any spit on you, you know. Now, it's spin the bottle and, you know, -- well I don't want to say on the air what they do.

KING: What did you make of the Janet Jackson incident?

Was that overblown?

WELCH: Oh, yes, I think so. Janet Jackson is basically a nice shy soft-spoken girl. I saw her on your show as a matter of fact. To make her sound like -- it went by so fast I said, you know, the night I was watching the super bowl, I said to myself, yes, I said, did I see tit? And somebody, said, naw, naw. And I said, I did, I saw it. I said, you're going to hear about this. It went by so -- I said, you're going to hear about this. It went by so fast.

KING: Now, they've got FCC commission, and investigations, and Congressional.

WELCH: See because there was the thing before with Britney spears kissing Madonna. And enough though that was on cable -- because what happens it creates a whole momentum. Who am I going to listen to at 6:00 a.m., you know, when I'm in my car going to yoga if Howard's off the air. I mean, there's nobody else interesting on it.

KING: You don't like Imus?

WELCH: He's OK, but you know...

KING: If you're a Howard man you're not an Imus fan.

WELCH: I like the voice. I like the voice. I think it's a wonderful voice, Howard. I think have you have a great voice.

KING: Howard will learn of this. We'll come back with our remaining moments with Raquel Welch, don't go way.


WELCH: That students was a classic stage slap. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to give the impression that subject has been very hard in the mouth.

It was first developed by British (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in 1941. Oh, thank you for the demonstration Uncle Buck.




WELCH: Come on, hand them over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wanted fudgie bars, you got fudgie bars.

WELCH: I love it. You, young man, upstairs and wash your face. Go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wanted fudgies, there you go.

WELCH: Oh, my god...

UNIDENTIFIED: I'll take one, you go...

WELCH: Jess (ph), I'm going to be late. I got to pick up Chrissy (ph) at the airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you kidding me?

WELCH: No, I'm not kidding you. Thank you. Bye.


KING: We're back with Raquel Welch. She's touched a lot of business things. We want to talk about some of the things you're involved in. But first, speaking of business and women, what did you make of the whole Martha Stewart thing?

WELCH: Oh, Martha Stewart. Dear, goodness.

KING: Are you fan?

WELCH: I actually was a fan of Martha Stewart. I can't say I run out to K-Mart and shop the shelves, but I do -- I admired her because I think she's a self-made woman, she didn't come from a lot of money. She's very clever, very hard working. I do think she made a terrible mistake not only in what she did. I think it was something that was done often by people in her position. Maybe she didn't handle it the best way. The thing that bugs me a lot is the glee factor, you know.

KING: That people get?

WELCH: They're so happy to see her, you know, brought down. I just don't see why you would want to do that. Why you would, you know, she's already suffered so much.

KING: Why do people enjoy the discomfort of others. It's amazing. I've never understood.

WELCH: I don't know. I think there's a tremendous amount of envy factor in all of us. I think that when it looks like somebody's got things a lot better than we do, we like to see them fall because it's sort of a great equalizer.

KING: What businesses are you in?

WELCH: I am in the entertainment business, of course.

KING: You have products?

WELCH: I'm wearing a wig from my wig line, the Raquel Welch wig collection, and this is the...

KING: Is it sold in stores?

WELCH: You have to call an 800 number. I wish I had it for you.

KING: You can look it up in the Raquel Welch collection.

WELCH: You can look it up on the Internet. The Raquel Welch collection.

KING: You can call 800 information, and they can give it to you.

WELCH: Great. Thanks.

KING: You make wigs and what else? WELCH: I don't have wigs, I have a collection of wigs. I think they're very cool and hip and happening. This is the sixth year. The great thing about the wig collection, not only I do wear them and are they cool looking and fun and the best wigs in the world, they're international, by the way, they go to all countries all over the world, but there is an aspect of it that is really kind of heart warming for me, that is, that I get so many letters not only from girls wearing wigs for fashion, you know, like so many women do but from those women out there that have suffered some form of...

KING: Cancer.

WELCH: Cancer, chemotherapy and they have written me these letters that are so beautiful. It's like for them to find something that's natural and makes them feel pretty and attractive and like women again.

KING: Is it real hair?

WELCH: No. This is acrylic hair.

KING: Boy, it looks great.

WELCH: You know what's cool about acrylic hair. If you have a real hair wig you have to have a trainer. In other words you have to wash it and set it and do all this but the acrylic stuff, it just keeps its shape and its color really well. So you can throw it in a suitcase inside-out.

KING: Do you make lipsticks or any other things, other stuff?

WELCH: I don't make things...

KING: I mean...

WELCH: I'm not in a little room somewhere. I'm sorry.

KING: We understand that, Raquel.

WELCH: I'm so into details.

KING: It's the product made with your name on it?

WELCH: Yes, there's another product that I have out on HSN called the Raquel Welch jewelry collection. So I'm wearing one of my pieces.

KING: I like that. Do you go on HSN and sell it?

WELCH: Yes, I do. Every once in a while I do. Five times a year I go on. I also just finished a movie with Burt Reynolds and Charles Durning and Robert Loggia in Arizona called "Forget About It," a comedy, nice and fun to do.

KING: How about "American Families?" WELCH: "American Family" we just finished a few months ago. It's going to start its second season on PBS, 22 episodes. And I'm playing the part of Dora which is Aunt Dora. I'm not in one of my wigs, in full drag like I am right now. It's like -- instead of playing somebody bigger than life and glam and sexy and all that, this is, you know, a kind of softer, sort of normal human being kind of person. The cool thing about it, it is about a Latino family that lives in L.A. It's a beautiful program. And one that I don't -- I'm not sure that we could ever see on the networks, because it's not -- doesn't fit into any particular stereotypical premarketing kind of formula.

KING: Packaged?

WELCH: Yes. Because if you don't fit into certain things and not a certain age group or something you're talking about, the networks feel they want that demographic and all the things that goes with that.

KING: You are a multifaceted delight. I'm glad your elbow is okay, and I'm glad you look terrific. I don't want to be too physical but I know you look terrific.

WELCH: Don't make it like that. You kept doing the thing about how terrible it is to be a sex symbol so I went with it.

KING: Our guest has been Raquel Welch. I'm Larry King. I'll be back in a minute to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay tuned for more news around the clock on CNN, your most trusted name in news. Good night.


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