Welch’s career spanned more than five decades and he appeared in dozens of films.
WASHINGTON — Raquel Welch, the actress known for her roles in “One Million Years B.C.,” “Fantastic Voyage” and “The Three Musketeers,” has died. She was 82.
The award-winning actress “passed away peacefully this morning after a short illness,” Welch’s manager confirmed People on Wednesday.
The star’s death was first reported by TMZ.
The 82-year-old had breakthrough roles in the 1966 sci-fi films Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C. international sex symbol.
“I just thought it was a stupid dinosaur epic that we could sweep under the rug one day,” she told the Associated Press in 1981. – Error. It turned out that I was the Beau Derek of the season, the woman in the loincloth that everyone said, ‘Oh my God, what a body,’ and they expected to disappear overnight.”
Her curves and beauty captured the attention of pop culture, and Playboy named her the “Most Desirable Woman” of the 70s, despite never appearing fully nude in the magazine. In 2013, she was ranked #2 on Men’s Health magazine’s Hottest Women of All Time list. In The Shawshank Redemption, a poster of Welch is used to cover the escape tunnel, the last of the three women he used after Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe.
Welch appeared in dozens of other films, including The Three Musketeers, for which she won a Golden Globe. She also appeared in The Prince and the Pauper, Legally Blonde and many others.
The actress’ last film was in the 2017 comedy How to Be Latina, which starred alongside Salma Hayek, Eugenio Derbes and Rob Lowe.
Welch was born Jo-Raquel Tejada in Chicago and grew up in La Jolla, California. (The Jo in her name came from her mother, Josephine).
In the years before her big break, Welch worked as the morning anchor for CBS 8 San Diego. The former Miss La Jolla returned to the station in 2010 and joked that her salary at the time was $7.50.
“It was great because it opened some doors for me, it was an opportunity to be seen by a lot of people,” Welch explained in 2010.
Welch was a divorced mother when she met former actor-turned-press agent Patrick Curtis.
“The irony of it all is that even though people thought I was a sex symbol, I was actually a single mother of two young children!” she wrote in her autobiography, Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage.
Curtis became her manager and second husband and helped shape her into a glamor girl with hundreds of magazine covers and a string of movies, as well as exercise videos and books like Raquel Welch’s Total Beauty and Fitness Program.
Married and divorced four times, she has two children, Damon Welch and Tanya Welch, who also became an actress, including a starring role in the 1985 film Cocoon.