Raquel Welch, the actress who became an international sex symbol for her roles in such films as 1966’s “One Million Years B.C.” and 1970’s “Myra Breckinridge,” died Wednesday at the age of 82, her management confirmed to City News Service.
Welch “passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness,” according to her representative Stephen LaManna. No further information about her death was immediately available.
Welch was born in Chicago and first shot to fame in “One Million Years B.C.” She had almost no speaking lines in the film, a fantasy adventure about the prehistoric world that featured human and dinosaurs living together. But the image of her in a tattered, doe-skin bikini was enough to make her one of the era’s biggest sex symbols.
She parlayed her instant fame to starring roles in “Bedazzled” (1967), “Bandolero!” (1968), “100 Rifles” (1969), and “Myra Breckinridge,” a graphic social satire based on Gore Vidal’s novel.
She scored another major role in 1974’s “The Four Musketeers,” which brought her a Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture musical or comedy.
Welch was also an accomplished stage actress, leading Broadway productions of “Woman of the Year” in 1981 and “Victor/Victoria” in 1997.
She memorably skewered her reputation with an appearance on a 1997 episode of “Seinfeld,” playing herself as a demanding diva who torments the series’ Kramer and Elaine characters.
Her career spanned over 50 years and included starring roles in 30 films and 50 television appearances.
Her recent work included an episode of the sitcom “Date My Dad” in 2017 and the film “How to Be a Latin Lover” in 2017.
Welch was also involved in a successful line of wigs in her later years.
She leaves behind two children, son Damon Welch and daughter Tahnee Welch, LaManna said.