Welch believes that her former co-star, Mae West, from 1970’s film Myra Breckinridge was a man.
West, who was not only an actress and a screen writer, but a sex symbol in her time, gave Welch the feeling she was a man after losing a fingernail, as confirmed by SeattlePi. “She never worked before 5 p.m. and … she also never moved by herself, so the limo that took her to the studio, to her dressing room, also brought her onto the set. So they had to open the huge door where they load in scenery. She was kind of like a piece of scenery! When I went over to say hello to her (one day) I said, ‘Hi, it’s Raquel, remember?’ She sort of extended her hand to me and I went to kiss the ring and one false fingernail painted silver fell to the floor. I looked at the hand and I thought, ‘Oh, I’m getting a vibe.’ I really think she’s a man! At this point in her life all bets are off and you’re not going to be able to doll it up that much. I would say it’s pretty accurate that she resembled a dock worker in drag.”Raquel Welch shared the news during a film retrospective held in New York in her honor. The seventy-one year old Bedazzled star also spoke about an on-set war between the two over a dress.
“I had this beautiful dress and it was black with a big white ruffle around the neck and a black velvet hat, based on a costume that was worn by Greta Garbo. It was very chic and I couldn’t wait to wear it. (Costume designer) Theodora Van Runkle designed it for the scene with Mae West because she was wearing all white with black trim, so this would be perfect,” she said. “Apparently Mae got wind of the fact that I was wearing this exquisite dress and I went to the studio that day for our scene together. I got coiffed, got my hair done and went to the closet to get the dress and it wasn’t there. I asked my dresser what happened to the dress and she said, ‘It’s been confiscated. Mae does not want you to wear that dress. You can wear the red dress that you wore in the last scene! Mae had approval over everything that was worn on the set. … The producer said, ‘It’s (dress) a non-color and nobody gets to wear non-colors in the movie but Mae.’”
While Welch says she had a great time working with the late West, the two performers never did shoot the last scene together. “For the scene, we never appeared in a two-shot together. She left after she did her lines and I had someone off-camera reading her lines and I had to pretend she was there.”