Raquel Welch, a legendary actress known for making a name for herself as an international sex symbol in the 1960s, has died at the age of 82. The late actress' family members delivered the tragic news today, confirming that Welch passed away due to a brief illness.
The iconic star rose to prominence for her portrayal of Cora in the 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage. In the same year, the actress also appeared in the Don Chaffey-directed fantasy film, One Million Years B.C., opposite John Richardson and Percy Herbert. Her role in One Million Years B.C. also made her a legendary sex symbol on a global scale after her character Loana wore a doe-skin bikini, which has since become synonymous with the late actress. Welch maintained her status, earning a spot on Empire magazine's 1995 cover issue's list of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History." In addition, the actress has landed in the third spot in Playboy's "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History," joining equally legendary actresses, including Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield.
Born Jo Raquel Tejada, Welch was given small parts in the 1964 musical Roustabout and the 1963 movie A House Is Not a House. Though her roles in Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C. have helped the actress gain prominence, she also proved that she can go beyond her timeless beauty, having won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role as Constance de Bonacieux in the 1973 adventure film The Three Musketeers. The actress was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1987 Paul Wendkos-helmed drama film Right to Die, as well as a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for the 1998 feature Chairman of the Board.
Welch flourished in the 1960s up to the 1990s but also appeared in three films in the 2000s, including Legally Blonde, Tortilla Soup, Forget About It, and How to Be a Latin Lover. Besides acting on the big screen, Welch also had a few television appearances, having appeared as a billboard girl in The Hollywood Palace as well as a saloon girl in The Virginian. Her other television appearances include Bewitched, The Baileys of Balboa, Scandal in a Small Town, Trouble in Paradise, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and American Family, among many others. Her most recent television projects were House of Versace and Date My Dad.
We at Collider send our condolences to her family at this difficult time.