The US actress Raquel Welch is dead. Welch, who celebrated cinema successes especially in the 60s and 70s, died on Wednesday at the age of 82 after a “brief illness”, her management told the German Press Agency . In the mid-1960s, Raquel Welch made her breakthrough in the Stone Age film “A Million Years Before Time” (1966) – mainly thanks to her tight fur bikini. As cave girl Loana, the then 26-year-old became a sex symbol overnight. With other roles such as the science fiction film “The Fantastic Journey” in the same year, she paved the way for modern action heroines in Hollywood films.
Born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago in 1940, Welch worked her way up in the film business with small roles in the early 1960s. In the drama “Madame P. and her girls” the dark-haired beauty played a call girl. She was briefly seen as a college student opposite Elvis Presley in the musical film King of Hot Rhythms.
After that, she celebrated numerous cinema successes. She shot with Hollywood greats like James Stewart (“Bandolero”), Frank Sinatra (“Lady in Cement”), John Huston (“Myra Breckinridge”) and Burt Reynolds (“Death Comes Softly”). She demonstrated her comedic talent in the film “The Three Musketeers” (1973), for which she received the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.
Wel was married four times and divorced four times. Her first marriage has two children, Damon and Tahnee. The Latina daughter of an American mother and a Bolivian father kept the surname of her first husband, her school friend James Welch, even though the relationship quickly fell apart. She was only 24 when they divorced. Three more marriages followed. In 1999, she gave the last yes-word to a much younger restaurateur, but the relationship only lasted a few years.