Raquel Welch, the actor who became a household name thanks to her alluring performances in 1966’s One Million Years B.C. and Fantastic Voyage, has died. She was 82.
“The legendary bombshell actress of film, television, and stage, passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness,” Welch’s rep confirmed in a statement to ABC. “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.” (Vanity Fair has reached out to Welch’s rep for comment.)
Born Jo Raquel Tejada on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, Welch began her career as a weather forecaster on local San Diego station KFMB before appearing on sitcoms such as Bewitched and the Elvis Presley musical Roustabout in the early ’60s. But it was 1966—and the deerskin bikini she wore in One Million Years B.C.—that helped Welch break out. Roles in Bedazzled, Fathom, and Myra Breckinridge followed. In 1974, she won a Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for The Three Musketeers. Her later credits included guest appearances on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Seinfeld, as well as a supporting role in Legally Blonde.
Welch, who would be named one of the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” by Empire magazine and be ranked No. 3 in Playboy’s “100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century,” said she never set out to be an onscreen siren. “Well, I didn’t know I was going to ‘burst on the scene as a sex symbol,’” she told GQ in 2012. “I mean, the first part that I played under my contract at 20th Century Fox was Fantastic Voyage, where I played a scientist! I was going to be reduced to microscopic size and injected in the human bloodstream traveling in inner space to examine how the body really works, what happens with antibodies, blood cells, and so forth. And then to jump from that to a dinosaur movie [One Million Years B.C.] I thought, my gosh, I’m getting whiplash here.” She added, “That image of me [in the fur bikini] was circulated all over the world even before Fantastic Voyage really hit the screen.”
#Raquel #Welch #Cinematic #Bombshell #Dies