Hollywood icon Raquel Welch dies at age 82 - GulfToday

Hollywood icon Raquel Welch dies at age 82

Raquel Welch 1

Raquel Welch arrives at the 2014 Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills. AP

Hollywood star Raquel Welch has died at the age of 82.

The star, who appeared in films including “Fantastic Voyage” and “One Million Years BC,” died on Wednesday following a “brief illness”.

Welch’s rep confirmed the news to ABC, writing: “The legendary bombshell actress of film, television and stage, passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness.

“Her career spanned over 50 years starring in over 30 films and 50 television series and appearances. The Golden Globe winner, in more recent years, was involved in a very successful line of wigs.”

Raquel Welch 2 Raquel Welch poses for photographers in Paris on Jan. 15, 1970. AP

“Raquel leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and her daughter, Tahnee Welch.”

Tributes have quickly flooded in for the star whose breakout role came in 1965’s Fantastic Voyage, with One Million Years BC arriving the next year.

While Welch had just three lines of dialogue in the latter, a publicity shot depicting her in a bikini costume went on to become one of the decade’s biggest-selling posters.

The poster appears on the wall of Andy Dufresne’s prison cell in 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption at the time of Tim Robbins character’s escape.

The multi-talented star went on to become one of the most successful actors of the 1960s and 1970s.

High-profile roles in Bedazzled (1967), Bandolero! (1968) and 100 Rifles (1969) followed, and in 1968, she starred opposite Frank Sinatra in detective film Lady in Cement.

Welch successfully escaped the “sex symbol” label she was given in the 1960s by producers and directors, many of whom tried to get her to perform nude scenes. She always refused.

Raquel Welch 3 Raquel Welch poses for photographers in front of her newly unveiled star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Reuters

She is quoted as saying: “I was not brought up to be a sex symbol, nor is it in my nature to be one. The fact that I became one is probably the loveliest, most glamorous and fortunate misunderstanding”.

She added: “What I do on the screen is not to be equated with what I do in my private life. Privately, I am understated and dislike any hoopla.”

In the 1970s, Welch continued proving her mettle with roles in Hannie Caulder (1971), Kansas City Bomber (1972) and The Last of Sheila (1973). She won a Golden Globe in 1972 for her role in The Three Musketeers.

Welch’s role in the revenger Western Hannie Caulder was one of Quentin Tarantino’s primary inspirations for his Kill Bill films (2003-04), starring Uma Thurman.

While she never won an Oscar, the actor did accept one on behalf of her friend Goldie Hawn, who won Best Supporting Actress for the comedy film Private Benjamin in 1981.

The Independent

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