Raquel Welch, Gina Gershon Play Top Roles in Lifetime Versace Film

Image: Raquel Welch, Gina Gershon Play Top Roles in Lifetime Versace Film

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 08:57 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Raquel Welch will star in the Lifetime original movie "House of Versace," this fall, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The 72-year-old iconic actress, who has been a sex symbol for more than half a century, will play the role of Lucia Versace, the aunt of the late famed Italian fashion designer and mogul Gianni Versace.

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The film will examine Gianni Versace's life through the eyes of his sister, Donatella Versace, who will be played by Gina Gershon. Gianni Versace will be played by Canadian actor Enrico Colantoni.

Gianni Versace, who founded the fashion company Gianni Versace S.p.A., was murdered outside his Miami Beach home in July 1997 by Andrew Cunanan, a serial killer who killed at least five people that years.

It is unclear why the 50-year-old Versace was targeted by Cunanan, who eight days later committed suicide with the same gun.

The storyline for "House of Versace" is based on Wall Street Journal reporter Deborah Ball's 2010 book "House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The film recounts the initial struggle by Donatella Versace to take the company's reigns after her brother's murder, nearly bankrupting the company while battling and eventually overcoming her drug addiction with the help of her family.

The film concludes with Donatella Versace's eventual success, being able to "reignite the beloved Versace brand with her own vision and [build] one of the most powerful and influential fashion houses ever known," the Hollywood Reporter writes.

Welch, born Jo Raquel Tejada, has acted in more than 60 movies and sitcoms in her 50-plus year career.

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She is perhaps best known for her performances in 1967's "Bedazzled" and 1973's "The Three Musketeers." More recently, she has appeared in films such as "Legally Blonde" in 2001 and "Forget About It" in 2006.

Related stories:

Versace Mansion in South Beach Headed to Auction Block

Fashion Designer Lilly Pulitzer Dies at 81

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