MAE WEST's former co-star Raquel Welch [born 5 September 1940] is one of the stars of a new TV sit-com 'Welcome to the Captain' — — set inside a vintage apartment house in Los Angeles. Welch's role requires her to be a faded femme fatale with a Lazarus impulse; she yearns to resurrect her long-dead career.
• • In "Welcome," which premieres on Channel 2, the 67-year-old Welch stars as sexpot Charlene Van Ark, a faded actress whose career peaked when she was on a prime-time soap opera — either "Knots Landing" or "Falcon Crest," nobody can remember which — back in the 1980s. And she still harbors hopes of reviving her career.
• • For all of Charlene Van Ark's over-the-top sexiness and man-hunting persona, Welch sees her as being rather "vulnerable."
• • "She has these certain expectations in life and reality never occurs to her. In other words, it just doesn't seem to her that her expectation of refurbishing her career, of having these very young lovers — they don't seem unrealistic to her. And I think that's kind of nice in a way. She really doesn't get it," Welch said with a laugh. "She's living in a fantasy world. And I think that that's her way of protecting herself from the cruel realities of the real world."
• • "Welcome" is about an eclectic group of characters who live in a fable old Hollywood apartment building — El Capitan, nicknamed The Captain. Josh (Fran Kranz), a former whiz-kid screenwriter whose career is on the skids, is about to leave Los Angeles and head back to New York when his best friend/accountant, Marty (Chris Klein), convinces him to move into the building. ...
• • Raquel Welch never lived in a building like the El Capitan.
• • "When I came out to Hollywood this time, I had the extra added joy of having two small children with me. And most of the nicer buildings wouldn't even take anybody with children," she said.
• • A few years later, while she was making the movie "Myra Breckinridge," she had "the privilege" of being invited to tea by her co-star, Mae West [1893-1980], at her penthouse in the "lavish and elegant" Ravenswood apartment building.
• • "She was quite elderly at that time. I think she was about 77 when we made 'Myra Breckinridge' . And yet at 1 o'clock in the afternoon for tea she was still dolled to the max. It was quite something, because she had exactly the same persona in the privacy of her own apartment that she had in 'Diamond Lil.' So I was quite floored," Raquel Welch said.
• • "So that was my one and very memorable experience with a fabulous apartment building like that."
— Extracted from: "At the age of 67, Raquel Welch is having fun with her sexpot image" —
• • By Scott D. Pierce
• • Deseret Morning News — — http://deseretnews.com
• • Published: Friday, 1 February 2008
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1970 • •