Raquel Welch, iconic star from “One Million Years B.C.” and “Fantastic Voyage,” dies at 82.

Raquel Welch
Image source: USA Today

One Million Years BC and Fantastic Voyage’s enticing diva Raquel Welch passed away at age 82.

Image source: USA Today

The 1960s actress Raquel Welch, known for her roles in “One Million Years BC” and “Fantastic Voyage,” passed away at 82.

Welch passed away early on Wednesday morning following a brief illness, her manager Steve Sauer told USA TODAY.

Welch had a 50-year career that included 30 films, 50 TV shows, and appearances. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1987 for the television film “Right to Die” and won the award in 1975 for her performance in “The Three Musketeers” as best actress in a comedy or musical.

On September 5, 1940, in Chicago, the celebrity Jo Raquel Tejada was born to a Bolivian father and an American mother. Her family relocated to San Diego when she was a little child, where she studied ballet and participated in beauty pageants. Before obtaining her first film roles in 1964’s “A House Is Not a Home” and the Elvis Presley musical “Roustabout,” she studied performing arts at San Diego State College and worked as a weather forecaster and model.

Actress Raquel Welch visited a Beverly Hills nail salon in July 2022, her final public sighting before dying Wednesday at 82.

Image source: New York Post

Welch claimed that early in her career, executives in Hollywood pressured her to change her name to “Debbie.” The actress, who has always been proud of her Spanish roots, declined.

Welch admitted to The Associated Press in 2015 that “people didn’t like my name and they claimed it was too ethnic, too challenging to say, and too unusual.” “They wanted to modify it, which made me quite unhappy. I truly felt like Raquel at times.”

Welch’s rep confirmed her death Wednesday in a statement to the Post, saying, “Raquel Welch, the legendary bombshell actress of film, television, and stage, passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness.”

Image source: New York Post

“The 82-year-old actress burst into Hollywood in her initial roles in One Million Years B.C. and Fantastic Voyage. 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.”

Because of films like “Bedazzled,” “The Largest Bundle of Them All,” and the Frank Sinatra crime comedy “Lady in Cement,” Welch rose to fame as a se* symbol in the late 1960s. She also played the lead in the 1970 X-rated film “Myra Breckinridge,” but she had no regrets about taking on racier parts initially.

Image source: USA Today

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2010, Welch declared, “I am not a fool.” “When I arrived, I quickly understood that I wasn’t Meryl Streep, who had been forced into a bikini. I was someone who suddenly found myself in the limelight and a superstar. I was aware that this would present me with an opportunity. Therefore, I should take full advantage of it.”

Welch’s breakthrough came with two ground-breaking parts in 1966: “One Million Years BC,” which was set in a prehistoric world where dinosaurs and cavemen coexisted, and “Fantastic Voyage,” a sci-fi adventure about a submarine crew who are shrunk down and injected into a scientist’s veins. The last movie produced a best-selling poster of Welch wearing a fur bikini even tho having one in it.

Despite never appearing entirely naked in the magazine, Playboy named her the “most coveted woman” of the 1970s. She was ranked No. 2 on Men’s Health’s “Hottest Ladies of All Time” list in 2013.

According to her IMDB website, Welch’s most recent performance was Rosa in the 2017 drama “Dating My Dad,” which also starred Audrey Smallman and Barry Watson. She also made an appearance in the comedy film “How to Be a Latin Lover” that same year, playing a widowed billionaire who Eugenio Derbez tries to woo.

Image source: New York Post

Welch stated to the entertainment website BackstageOL in 2017 that her desire to amuse was why she always wanted to be an actress. That kind of urge in me tends to be satisfied by comedy. I enjoy entertaining others.

Welch had notable roles throughout her career in shows like “Mork & Mindy,” “The Muppet Show,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” and “Seinfeld.” Welch had a famous wig line and appeared twice on Broadway in addition to her cinematic career.
Welch stated to Wigs.com in 2011 that “I think most women know there is an Art to femininity.” “I’m always curious to speak with that woman and assist her in honing her craft. Let’s face it: How you present yourself as a woman greatly depends on your hair. Why not take advantage of wigs’ advantages?

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