Raquel Welch, ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ ‘One Million Years B.C.’ Actor, Dead at 82

Raquel Welch, the Golden Globe Award-winning actor whose on-screen personality as a hot sexy icon helped define cinema’s grimest era, passed away on Wednesday morning, according to reports. many reports. She was 82.

Death was first reported by TMZ, with family members telling the outlet that Welch died after a brief, unspecified illness. Welch’s representatives later confirmed the news elsewhere, including Diversity And hollywood reporter.

Before becoming the center of international attention with the blockbuster role of a scientist’s assistant in 1966 wonderful trip, Welch is a single mother who travels from San Diego to Dallas and then Los Angeles with her two children after breaking up with her high school sweetheart. When he arrived in California, the aspiring actor got small roles in films like Elvis Presley vehicle streetand larger pieces in the beach fortunes of 1965 A swinging summer. Her work brought her to the attention of suitors at 20th Century Fox, who offered her a seven-year contract.

Afterward wonderful trip made a big splash, Fox lent Welch to a British studio to produce One million years BC, a movie in which dinosaurs and humans live together. Wearing what the brochure calls “mankind’s first bikini,” Welch wears less and speaks less in the film, but it’s a sensation nonetheless. In his review, New York Times called her “a monument to the breath of women.”

Welch will spend most of the rest of her career grappling with the status she suddenly acquired. “When you have a sex symbol image, you can’t hate it, you can’t love it, it’s just there, like Mount Rushmore,” she told The New York Times. time in 1982. “And it’s not going away… The heat of your bikini days is consumed like a rocket, and usually that’s all. They try to cut your knees if you want to be anything else.

Some of her roles have earned her acclaim outside of the box that has formed around her. Welch won a Golden Globe for her comic book portrayal of the loveless Constance Bonacieux in 1973. Three Musketeers. (She also earned a second nomination for the drama Right to Die.) However, she was still named as one of the “100 sexiest stars in movie history” by Empire magazine in 1995; won 3rd place on dissipatedlist of “100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century” 1998; and take a place on Timeranking “Top 10 bikinis in popular culture” 2011.

Born Jo-Raquel Tejeda in 1940 to a Bolivian father and American mother, Welch fought hard with producers to keep her first name as she built a space in Hollywood, and drawing on its Latino heritage later in her career, took on distinctly Hispanic roles. on PBS’ American family in 2002 and Tortilla soup in 2001. Her last movie role was in 2017 How to be a Latin lover.

“I think language is very important to your identity and without it… sometimes I feel isolated from that part of me,” Welch told Related press in 2016. “However, I still feel very, very Spanish. My human nature is a Latina.

She has been married four times and is survived by her children, Damon and Tahnee Welch.

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