The late Raquel Welch, who achieved worldwide fame for her iconic role wearing a bikini in One Million Years BC and built a successful career beyond that single part, passed away at the age of 82.
Jo Raquel Tejada was born in 1940 in Chicago and the family relocated to San Diego during her childhood. During her teenage years in San Diego, Tejada took ballet and acting classes and won beauty contests. In addition, she conducted modeling work professionally.
In 1964, she made her first appearance on the big screen as one of the prostitutes in Russel Rouse’s movie A House Is Not a Home, and later that year had an uncredited role in the Elvis Presley production Roustabout.
She achieved fame early on with her role in Fantastic Voyage (1966), in which she portrayed one of a group of researchers that had been reduced in size to enter the body of another scientist to eradicate a blood clot. In the same year, One Million Years BC turned her into a sex icon.
Despite having to battle with unwelcome exposure, Welch was able to accomplish a lot. Some of her other successes include the movie adaptation of Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge, Kansas City Bomber, two cinema works by Richard Lester named The Three Musketeers where she won a Golden Globe, and The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge. She was also one of the first female actors to take the lead role in a Western movie titled Hannie Caulder in 1971. Additionally, she was in the noir-style thriller The Last Of Shiela, which was cited by Rian Johnson as part of his inspiration for his work Glass Onion.
Welchs filmography consisted of works such as Fathom, Legally Blonde, Bluebeard, Fuzz, and Bedazzled.
She made appearances on television shows such as Spin City, Seinfeld, American Family, CPW, and a TV movie named Right To Die, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Apart from her roles onscreen, Welch was also well-known on stage and was a thriving businessperson, establishing Raquel’s Comprehensive Beauty and Exercise Program in the mid-1980s, and more recently creating a set of wigs and hair add-ons, as well as cosmetic items.