Raquel Welch, an internationally renowned sex symbol of the 1960s and 70s, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 82. Welch is best known for her iconic role in the 1966 film “One Million Years B.C.”, where she famously emerged from the sea in a skimpy, furry bikini. This breakthrough performance resulted in Welch becoming a pop culture phenomenon, with Playboy crowning her the "most desired woman" of the '70s, and Men's Health placing her at number two in their “Hottest Women of All Time” list.
In addition to her acting career, Welch was also a singer and dancer, and starred in the 1981 musical "Woman of the Year" on Broadway, replacing a vacationing Lauren Bacall. She also returned to Broadway in 1997 in the musical “Victor/Victoria”. However, Welch was aware that some people didn't take her seriously due to her glamorous image. In 1993, she told the Associated Press: "I'm not Penny Marshall or Barbra Streisand. They'll say, 'Raquel Welch wants to direct? Give me a break.'"
Welch was born Jo-Raquel Tejada in Chicago and raised in La Jolla, California. She was married and divorced four times, and is survived by two children, Damon and Tahnee Welch, who also became an actress.
Raquel Welch was an international sex symbol, singer, dancer, and actress whose career spanned decades and whose iconic performance in “One Million Years B.C.” made her a pop culture phenomenon. Her beauty, grace, and talent will be remembered and celebrated for years to come.