Check out Polar Blair’s Den web site for an update on two of my Drive-in Dream Girls, Quinn O’Hara and Lori Williams. There are great screen shots of Quinn in the low budget Larry Buchanan directed In the Year 2829 (1967) and a recent photo of Lori who looks just fabulous.
Quinn and Lori co-starred together along with William Wellman, Jr., James Stacy, and Raquel Welch in the beach party knockoff A Swingin’ Summer (1965). Below is an excerpt from the book regarding what they thought of diva La Welch:
Reno Carell’s most infamous casting was that of Raquel Welch as Jeri, the bookworm who learns to groove. Hiring Welch was a boost for the movie but also caused many problems on the set. Prior to A Swingin’ Summer, Welch was the Billboard Girl on the TV variety show The Hollywood Palace and played bit roles in movies such as Roustabout (1964) and A House Is Not a Home (1964). She received “and introducing” billing in the credits. Welch showed up with her manager Patrick Curtis. According to William Wellman, Jr., “Patrick Curtis was doing everything for Raquel. He was telling her what she should do, what classes she should take, who she should talk to, who she should stay away from.” Curtis became such a presence on the set that he was offered an associate producer credit. “He was a nice guy but a pathological liar,” adds Quinn about Curtis. “I think he couldn’t help himself. He wanted to manage me but I told him to stick with Raquel.”
Welch meanwhile was not endearing herself to some of her female co-stars or the crew. Lori Williams remarked, “Raquel Welch was a problem on this movie and she was a major, major bitch. She wanted to have her signature bikini in the film. I had bought my bikinis before we got to Lake Arrowhead and she wouldn’t let me wear any of them. I had to go out and buy new swimsuits. Working with her was not a lot of fun.”
Quinn O’Hara adds, “I had no trouble with Raquel. But I heard about that bathing suit incident. I didn’t have a hell of a lot of choice of what to wear since I barely had time to get a wardrobe together. I thought Raquel is going to have to like it or lump it because I wasn’t getting another swimsuit.”
The headstrong Raquel also made enemies of the crew. “She did her own make-up and wouldn’t let the body make-up woman touch her,” recalls Quinn. “She swatted her hand away. The cameraman told me that she was going to look terrible with those windshield wiper eyelashes because they were so heavy and casting shadows on her face. I don’t think it made her look bad at all.” Lori Williams recalled, “She kept trying to get people fired. We lost two cameramen who quit because she was just wretched. For me, she was just the worst person I ever met during the time I worked.”
Coming from a different perspective, William Wellman, Jr. (pictured above dancing with Quinn) remarks, “Quinn O’Hara was very nice and a lot of fun to work with. Everybody got along wonderfully with Quinn. Lori Williams was very friendly also. But I don’t think Raquel Welch treated any of them badly, she just didn’t pay any attention to them. She kept pretty much to herself throughout the shoot. We shot this on location and a lot of the cast was partying most of the time. Raquel did not want to be a part of that. Her room was next to mine and I could hear her working on her dance routine. She was working all of the time. A lot of people who worked on the beach movies were there just for the good time. Raquel really took it seriously. I was married by this time and I wasn’t partying either.” Quinn O’Hara concurs with Wellman about Raquel, “Yes, Raquel did stay to herself. You didn’t really get to know her.”