This year, we’re not just jazzed about Monday because it’s Labor Day. It’s also sex symbol Raquel Welch’s 76th birthday.
Born Jo Raquel Tejada on Sept. 5, 1940 in Chicago, Ill., Welch studied ballet and drama as a child, and even won the beauty title Miss Photogenic, Miss Contour.
She graduated high school in 1958, becoming pregnant a year later and marrying her high school sweetheart James Welch. She performed in an outdoor play that year and later got a job as a weather forecaster at KFMB in San Diego.
She and James’ relationship wouldn’t last, and she eventually packed up and moved to Dallas with her two children. It was there that she became a model for Neiman Marcus and was a cocktail waitress.
But her luck would soon change.
By the mid 1960s, she had a manager who had a plan to turn her into a sex symbol. By 1966, she landed the leading role in the sci-fi flick “Fantastic Voyage” and, it seems, the rest was history.
If you check out her IMDb page, you can see just how busy and accomplished Welch is in Hollywood, even to this day.
Take a through-the-years look at Welch in the gallery above.