MOVIE NEWS – Raquel Welch, who became an instant sex icon of 1960s America with the film One Million Years B.C., has died after a short illness.
Sad news: film icon Raquel Welch has died at the age of 82 after a short illness. The legendary star was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1960s, starring in films such as One Million Years B.C., Bedazzled and Fantastic Voyage. According to TMZ, the actress passed away yesterday, although the cause of death has not been released.
Raquel Welch, born Jo Raquel Tejada in 1940, began her career in 1964.
From the beginning of her Hollywood career, the plan was to make the actress a sex symbol; her stage name came about when it was suggested that she use her husband’s name to avoid typecasting Latin roles.
After making her debut in 1964 in A House Not a Home, Welch landed her first screen role the following year in A Swingin’ Summer. His big break came in 1966 as the lead in the sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage. This film launched her on the road to stardom and made her one of the biggest pin-up icons of the decade, if not the century.
That same year, Welch appeared in the film A Million Years Ago, which remains one of his most iconic appearances to this day. The two-piece bodysuit bikini graced the walls of many teenagers growing up during the era. It was often referenced in pop culture for decades to come. Proof of this is the fact that the bikini was included in Time magazine’s 2011 list of the “Ten Best Bikinis in Pop Culture”.
Although Raquel Welch won a Golden Globe Award in 1974 for her performance in The Three Musketeers, her sex symbol status has been noted decade after decade.
In 1995, Empire magazine listed the actress as one of the “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History”. Playboy ranked her number 3 on its list of the “100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th Century”.
The actress’s image has dramatically impacted pop culture over the years. She became a style icon whose looks and fashion sense was often copied at the height of her fame. The actress’ One Million Years Ago poster was one of the pin-up images used to cover Andy Dufresne’s escape tunnel in Stephen King’s The Shawshank Redemption.
Her personal life has also been hectic: Welch has been married four times and, after divorcing her last husband, claimed she would not remarry.
Welch’s first marriage to her high school sweetheart James Welch, resulted in two children, Damon Welch and Latanne “Thanee” Welch.
Following the news of his death, numerous tributes from Welch’s fans appeared on social media. As always, we are with the actress’ family, friends and fans during this sad time. You can see some of the tributes to the actress below. Rest in peace, Raquel Welch!