Popular US actress Raquel Welch, passes away at the age of 82.The star died peacefully on Wednesday morning after a brief illness, according to her manager .
Born Jo-Raquel Tejada in 1940, Welch grew up in California, where she won teen beauty pageants and later became a local weather forecaster.She was often credited with paving the way for modern-day action heroines in Hollywood films.
Welch became an international sex symbol in the 1960s, widely remembered for playing a bikini-clad cavewoman in the 1966 film One Million Years B.C.She also won a Golden Globe for her role in 1974’s The Three Musketeers.
Her big break came in 1964 soon after she moved back to California, when she scored cameos in A House Is Not A Home, and Roustabout, a musical starring Elvis Presley.
She shot to prominence two years later, with her back-to-back roles in the sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage and the fantasy movie One Million Years B.C. Welch only had a few lines in the latter, but promotional stills of her wearing a skimpy two-piece deerskin bikini turned her into a leading pin-up girl of the era.
Despite her public image, however, she long expressed discomfort with the representation of her body, once saying she “was not brought up to be a s*x symbol, nor is it in my nature to be one”. “The fact that I became one is probably the loveliest, most glamorous, and fortunate misunderstanding,” she added.
Welch had a career spanning over five decades, appearing in more than 30 movies and 50 television shows.It included playing the love interest of Frank Sinatra’s character in 1968’s Lady in Cement; the titular transgender heroine in 1970’s Myra Breckenridge; and a Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 1987 TV drama Right to Die.
Later in life, she also released her own signature line of wigs, a jewelry and skincare collection, and a Mac Cosmetics makeup line. The divorced mother of two leaves behind a son, Damon Welch, and daughter Latanne “Tahnee” Welch, who is also an actress.