Raquel Welch regretted missing the chance to ‘snuggle up’ with the James Bond star

Overnight, the death of Raquel Welch, the legendary American actress and model, was confirmed. The star had suffered a “brief illness” and she died “peacefully” on the morning of Wednesday, February 15, 2023. She was 82 years old. While she’s conquered the big screen throughout her time in Hollywood with movies as massive as One Million Years BC, Bedazzled, and 100 Rifles, to name a few of hers, she had one big regret. She never made it to become a Bond girl.

Throughout the 1960s, Sean Connery played James Bond in six films with countless Bond girls on his arm. And, considering Welch was the biggest sex symbol of the 1960s, it only would have made sense for her to join the series as well.

And there was a time when she was also destined to become a Bond girl. In the 1965 film 007, Thunderball, Connery faced off against Domino, a femme fatale who began her journey by attacking the hero before switching sides.

Welch recalled in her 2010 memoir Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage that Bond’s bosses wanted her to play Domino.

She wrote: “I almost became a Bond girl! I was tested for Thunderball. [Bond boss] Cubby Broccoli had seen my picture in a ‘Life’ magazine layout called ‘The Great Girls’ Drought Ends!'”

Before long, Bond’s bosses contacted Welch’s managers and arranged a meeting.

Welch wrote, “The ensuing buzz around town created so much excitement that it landed me a long-term contract at 20th Century Fox.”

Unfortunately, this ended up being the beginning of Welch’s downfall.

She continued: “Due to a technicality related to start dates and contract options,” she added. “Fox put me in the sci-fi classic Fantastic Voyage [instead of Thunderball].”

Fantastic Voyage was a 1966 film in which Welch starred opposite Stephen Boyd and Donald Pleasence. The image involved a submarine crew shrinking to microscopic size before exploring the human body from the inside.

While Fantastic Voyage ended up becoming a cult hit, earning a staggering $12 million (approximately $110 million in 2023) at the box office on a meager $5 million budget, Welch confessed that the role did not satisfy her.

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Welch explained in her memoir that she was “disappointed” to miss out on joining the James Bond story.

“Here I was ready to snuggle up with Sean Connery,” she lamented. “But I was assigned eight months floating in the human bloodstream in a wetsuit.”

Although Welch and Connery never worked together on Thunderball, or any other James Bond film, it is rumored that they met later on.

The two Hollywood superstars were reportedly involved in a sleazy date together (Via Purple Clover). Things never went further, however, as Connery later married Micheline Roquebrune, whom he remained with until his death in 2020.

Welch was married four times in his life. And in 2011 she vowed that she would never marry again.

She said: “I’m just not right for that anymore. I love men and I love their company, but I’m too independent and driven.” She added that she would be happy to continue dating men, but that nothing else interested her.

She confessed: “I’m up for dating but frankly there’s a shrinking pool of eligible people at my age. I don’t care for the traditional male and female roles but as you can see I’m a very strong minded woman. I’m sure that it would be a challenge for a lot of men. They wouldn’t want to deal with it, or if they did, maybe I’m just not that interested.”


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