The Illinois-born actress, Racquel Welch, possesses shapely and voluptuous curves that made her a leading sex symbol in the 1960s and 1970s, has recently passed away at the age of 82. Her then-model figure reshaped the traditional perspective of Hollywood sex and became an international sex symbol of the era.
Her manager announced her death in an emailed statement; it said that the “One Million Years BC” actress died peacefully, following a “brief illness”. Details of her illness have not been revealed in detail.
Hollywood Icon: Controversial Roles, And Legacy
Racquel Welch is now survived by her two children, Damon Welch (64) and Latanne “Tahnee” Welch (62). The two children of Racquel Welch are from her first husband, whom she fell in love with his high school sweetheart, James Welch. The couple finalized their divorce in 1964, three years after their second child was born.
Following her divorce, she married Patrick Curtis in 1967, which lasted for five years until they separated in 1972. She again tied the knot with Andre Weinfield in 1980 and divorced him a decade later. Her last marriage was with Richard Palmer, the owner of Mulberry Street Pizzeria, in 1999. The spark between them lasted for only four years.
In Hollywood, she gained attention for a leading role in the Sci-fi Fantastic Voyage (1966), where she portrayed the role of Cora Peterson, a member of the medical team. The movie was also her first contract with 20th Century Fox. Prior to this, she appeared in small roles in two films.
Following her success in the movie, she starred in “One Million Years B.C” (1966); her outfit in the movie was just a two-piece of cloth. In addition, she only had three lines in the movie. Yet, her pleasing figure in the fur bikini drove her to become a global star in Hollywood. Her appearance in the movie was considered her breakout role in Hollywood. Many critics described her figure as a “definitive look of the 1960s.”
She went on to portray strong and bold female characters during the same decade. She was featured in six different movies during 1967-1969. This period was considered her peak career at the time as she gained international recognition for her model figure.
Her most controversial role came in “Myra Breckinridge” (1970). She starred as a transexual heroine in the film. Her role revolves around a man who underwent sexual surgery to become a woman. She was widely criticized as well as applauded for her bold decision to feature in such a role in an era where engaging in sexual relationships with transsexuals was considered taboo.
She was featured on Playboy in 1979, in an effort from Playboy to dub her the Most Desired Woman of the 1970s. She was reduced to posing naked for the magazine, despite their attempt to capture her naked. Throughout her career, she was often asked to film naked by directors, but she refused to do so. From her perspective, she was not brought up that way.
The founder of Playboy at the time said that “Raquel Welch, one of the last of the classic sex symbols, came from the era when you could be considered the sexiest woman in the world without taking your clothes off. She declined to do complete nudity, and I yielded gracefully. The pictures prove her point.”
All her hard work and dedication paid off when she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy in 1975 for her portrayal of Constance Bonacieux in “The Three Musketeers.” she was also nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Television Film for her performance in “Right to die” (1987). She ranked third on Playboy’s “100 sexiest stars of the Twentieth Century” list. She also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994. For her positive promotion of Americans of Latin heritage throughout her career, she was awarded the Imagen Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Last but not least, at Walter Reade Theater, she was graced with a special retrospective by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 2012.
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