Legendary seventies sex symbol Racquel Welch has opened up about her 'abusive' childhood. In Piers Morgan's Life Stories, the movie star revealed that she was "terrified" of her domineering father, who subjected her mother to physical and verbal attacks.
Recalling her relationship with her father, the 75-year-old said: "He was a tough customer. There were times I disliked him a lot, but I did respect him. And I really wanted to please him. I wanted to get straight A's and I did."
Recounting one particular incident, she reveals her father's stern reaction when, aged 13, she came home with a new hairstyle he disapproved of. "When I came home with that haircut he did not like it, so he ran my head under the forset. He wasn't drowning me or anything. And then he said 'Cut it. You're not having curls like that.' That didn't go down well. I just hated that he was clipping my wings."
Describing the abuse her mother suffered, the pain of the memories was evident. "He didn't treat my mother very nicely. That was not a nice time Piers. Must I go through all of this?" she asked.
Recalling an incident when her father, unhappy with a meal her mother had prepared, poured milk over her, she said: "I picked up a poker by the fire place and said to him 'Don't you ever do that to mother again or I'll...' And he just looked at me like I was from the moon and I had never thought of confronting my father like that. It was just instinct. He was so shocked and so was I.
"I felt it was plain mean, cruel and demeaning and I just couldn't bear it. And he did back off. I couldn't take it. He could not treat her that way. She was phenomenal. She was just such a wonderful, beautiful woman, and I couldn't bear it. She was kind and so pretty and dear. I didn't like the idea that you could be with a man who could treat you so badly and he's your husband. I thought that's never going to happen to me."
The actress, who has appeared in over 40 movies, described her subsequent relationships admitting to "a near addiction to men." The glamourous star was married four times and also dated Hollywood heavyweights Steve McQueen, Warren Beatty and Dudley Moore.
Asked by Piers if she had got together with Warren Beatty she evaded the question commenting: "Do you think I'm going to say that on TV?" but conceded he was the most famous lothario in Hollywood. "Warren's been with everyone." Reminsicing over her relationship with Steve McQueen she said wistfully: "Yeah. I mean look at him. And then he has a motorcycle."
Four marriages later, she remains single, explaining that her sex symbol status and her fame is an obstacle in her relationships. "I go out occasional on platonic dates. I've never found anybody that I swoon over. I mean they like it in the beginning, they like the whole attraction and the sort of dance that we all do, but they don't really like the fact that when we go some place together I become the person that's focused on."
Famed for her role in the 1966 film One Million Years B.C., in which she was pictured in a fur-lined bikini, she revealed that she never expected the film would be such a huge hit and in fact feared she would be mocked. "I thought that this was going to be one of those movies that was going to make me a laughing stock - well it did that too - and it's a breakthrough. Every single person seems to know who I am."
However, while she is regarded as the greatest pin-up in history she revealed she doesn't find herself sexy. "I don't find myself even a little bit sexy but I can pretend. Beauty has been an advantage but I'm not in love with myself" .