Local News

Farewell to a Hollywood Icon: Raquel Welch

After a valiant fight with a “brief illness,” the legendary 82-year-old Raquel Welch has passed away. Known as a sex symbol in Hollywood for many decades, Welch will be forever remembered for her iconic roles that highlighted her natural beauty, from a time before breast implants and Botox became common enhancements for celebrities. Her manager, Steve Sauer, confirmed her death to People Magazine, stating that the Golden Globe-winning actress “passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness.”

Sauer further noted, “Her career spanned over 50 years, with starring roles in over 30 films and 50 television series and appearances. In more recent years, she found success with a popular line of wigs. Raquel leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and daughter Tahnee Welch.”

Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1940, Welch was the daughter of a Bolivian-born engineer and his American wife. She exhibited a passion for entertainment from a young age, saying, “By age seven, I knew I wanted to be an actress,” and she never wavered from her dream.

“My parents enrolled me in a theater program,” she recounted. “It allowed me to escape from some of the painfulness of real life. I always had flights of fancy.”

After honing her craft in local theater, Welch made her Hollywood debut in the 1960s. Her breakout role came in 1966 as “Loana the Fair One” in *One Million Years B.C.* In this hit film, she famously donned a prehistoric bikini, despite initial reservations about participating in a “dinosaur movie.”

“I told [Fox’s studio head] Dick Zanuck I didn’t think I was going to do it because it was a dinosaur movie, and I didn’t want to be caught dead in a dinosaur movie,” Welch once told Fox News anchors. “And he was not sympathetic to that.”

She added, “He said, ‘No, you’re going to do it, Raquel. And listen, Raqui, you’re going to become a huge star!’ I said, ‘What? What am I even going to wear? What happened in dinosaur time?… He said, ‘Don’t worry, they’ll figure something out.’ And they sure did.”

Less than a decade later, Welch cemented her status as a Hollywood legend by winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role in the 1973 film *The Three Musketeers.* She later described this work as a highlight of her career.

“Every single [film] contributed to my [transition],” she reflected. “I played a lot of action figures, like in Westerns… I carried a gun. I was a very formidable woman who could handle herself, who could ride and shoot.”

“I also showed myself in a lot of different periods,” Welch continued. “I worked in Spain for a lot of the Westerns, which is where most American Westerns were filmed.”

Rest in peace, Raquel Welch. You will be missed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button