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ON THE COVER:

October 11, 1987

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."

In parts of "Right to Die," she wears little or no makeup and walks with a cane. Later, her makeup reflects the degenerative effects of ALS.

Her co-stars in "Right to Die" are Michael Gross of "Family Ties" and Bonnie Bartlett of "St. Elsewhere." Paul Wendkos directed Phil Penningroth's teleplay. Don Ohlmeyer is executive producer.

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