Was there a Raquel Welch obsession behind-the-scenes of The Brady Bunch?

The series' writers seemed to have a crush!

Image credit: The Everett Collection

Raquel Welch was a subject of fascination for many during her life and career. Even though she only had three lines of dialogue in the movie One Million Years B.C., the iconic image of her on the film's poster catapulted her to another stratosphere of fame and notoriety. From there, she starred in a string of successful pictures such as Bedazzled, Bandolero!, 100 Rifles, Myra Breckinridge, and The Three Musketeers. The actress was even nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in Television Film for her performance in 1987's Right to Die.

Welch's success wasn't strictly on the big screen, either. She secured smaller roles in television series such as Bewitched, McHale's Navy, and The Virginian. She was also one of several actresses who unsuccessfully auditioned for the role of Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island, a role which eventually went to Dawn Wells.

Welch's international stardom meant she wasn't just an actress. For a period of time, Raquel Welch was a bona fide pop culture phenomenon. Take, for instance, the evidence that the writers behind The Brady Bunch may have carried some sort of torch for Welch, as her name recurs several times throughout the series. 

Here are the four odd moments in which Raquel Welch is mentioned, by name, in The Brady Bunch, as compiled in Andrew J Edelstein's 1990 volume The Brady Bunch Book:

1. Eldest brother Greg Brady attempts to trade an autographed picture of Raquel Welch to his friend Harvey. The picture features Welch in the movie Sorry, Wrong Number.

2. In the episode "The Snooperstar," Brady patriarch Mike describes a client as sharing several traits with famous ladies. He states the client has "the face of Elizabeth Taylor, the body of Raquel Welch, and the bank account of Queen Elizabeth."

3. In the episode "Jan's Aunt Jenny," Jenny comes to terms with her self-image. The character, portrayed by Imogene Coca, says, "I'd rather look like Raquel Welch myself."

4. The fourth instance may have been a coincidence, had it not been for the preceding occurrences. Greg steals a goat mascot in the episode "Getting His Goat." The goat in question's name is, of course, Raquel.

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5 Comments

SalIanni 3 months ago
Raquel Welch auditioned for the part of Mary Ann and lost to Dawn Wells. Why could she not have tried out for Ginger? With her figure, sex appeal, and personality, I believe she might have made a better Ginger than Tina Louise. It also would have made the Ginger vs Mary Ann debate a little more interesting.
cperrynaples SalIanni 3 months ago
Yeah, and she proably wasn't as b*tchy as Louise...LOL!
cperrynaples 3 months ago
An obvious error: Welch couldn't be in Sorry, Wrong Number because she was only 8 years old! Bonus Question: What MeTV star WAS in that film?
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cperrynaples 3 months ago
Yes, he scored many Hitchcock movies as well as Taxi Driver! His music can also be heard on Twilight Zone!
Runeshaper 3 months ago
Hahaha well, at least one writer really liked Raquel!
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