Emily Bauer, a psychology professor and mother of two children, is waging a courageous battle. She has Lou Gehrig's disease, but when she eventually becomes so ill that she can hardly breathe or swallow, she taps out a message: "I want to die."
That is the dramatic story of "Right to Die," a fact-based movie airing Monday on NBC (9-11 p.m., Channels 4, 36, 39).
Raquel Welch plays Bauer, the woman suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive degenerative illness.
For Welch, the glamorous actress who began her career as a pinup girl, the role represents a dramatic stretch. Says the actress: "I loved playing a role in which I didn't have to be stylish and beautiful.
"I've been offered dramatic roles in the past, but have often felt they were based on cheap tricks. A glamorous actress can get a lot of stripes for looking ugly, but it's an easy trick. The material has to be strong to begin with."