Raquel Welch, a US actress most known for wearing a deerskin bikini in the movie “One Million Years BC,” passed away on Wednesday, according to her manager. She was 82 years old.
Welch’s manager confirmed in an email statement to AFP that the singer “died away peacefully” following “a brief illness.”
In a career spanning five decades, the Golden Globe winner appeared in more than 30 films, including “Fantastic Voyage” and “The Three Musketeers,” as well as about 50 television shows.
However, she would always be linked to “One Million Years BC.” Welch’s bikini-clad cavewoman appeared on the fantasy film’s poster, which went down in film history.
Welch acknowledged that it had been difficult to escape being typecast in her 2010 autobiography “Beyond the Cleavage,” noting that her acting career had been “eclipsed by this bigger-than-life sex symbol.”
Welch, though, stated that she was content with having her prehistoric bombshell heroine permanently connected with her in a rare 2018 interview.
“I’m often asked if I get sick of talking about that bikini but the truth is, I don’t,” she told The Sunday Post.
“It was a major event in my life so why not talk about it?”
Welch, born Jo Raquel Tejada in 1940, grew up in California, and won several beauty titles in her teens.
She began her acting career with a number of walk-on roles in unimportant movies, such as the 1964 musical comedy “Roustabout,” which starred Elvis Presley.
Her big break came when she was chosen to star in the 1966 science fiction film “Fantastic Voyage” by the 20th Century Fox company.
Even though “One Million Years BC” received mixed reviews, her major appearance there later that year solidified her image as a global sex icon.
She later starred in “100 Rifles,” which featured Jim Brown in Hollywood’s first interracial sex scene, as well as the racy “Myra Breckinridge,” which had a transgender lead character (1970).
For her role as the queen’s dressmaker in “The Three Musketeers” (1973), Welch received the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical.
Welch was sacked from “Cannery Row” in 1982 because she insisted on doing her own hair and makeup at home. She claimed that MGM Studios had broken their contract and eventually settled for $15 million.