Some sad news to report this evening as it has been announced that Hollywood icon Raquel Welch has died aged 82 following a brief illness.
“Raquel Welch, the legendary bombshell actress of film, television and stage, passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness,” reads the statement from the star’s management company Media Four. “Her career spanned over 50 years, starring in over 30 films and 50 television series and appearances. The Golden Globe winner, in more recent years, was involved in a very successful line of wigs. Raquel leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and her daughter, Tahnee Welch.”
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1940, Welch began her career as an actress and model in the 1960s, making her big screen debut in 1964 with minor roles in A House is Not a Home and the Elvis Presley musical Roustabout, before her first featured role in 1965’s A Swingin’ Summer led to a contract at 20th Century Fox. She would then rise to global stardom through back-to-back hits in 1966 in Fantastic Voyage and Hammer’s One Million B.C., the latter of which saw her becoming an international sex symbol thanks in no small part to her iconic deerskin bikini costume.
Welch followed up her international breakthrough with a host of roles across the next decade, including Fathom (1967), Bedazzled (1967), Myra Breckinridge (1970) and The Three Musketeers (1973), winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the latter. She would move away from acting somewhat in later years, devoting her attention to other business interests, but would continue to make sporadic appearances and cameos in the likes of Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Legally Blonde and her last credit, 2017’s How to Be a Latin Lover.