Hollywood Bids Farewell to Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch at the
Raquel Welch at the "How to Be a Latin Lover" premiere in 2017. Photo by Jim Smeal/REX/Shutterstock (8660452p)

Raquel Welch, who became one of Hollywood’s most iconic female heroines during the 60s, passed away at the age of 82. Tributes poured in for the beloved actress, who gained fame with the roles in adventure films Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C.

Welch died on February 15 at her home in Los Angeles, following a brief illness. Her career spanned more than 50 years, and she appeared in around 30 movies and made just as many TV appearances before retiring from acting in 2017, with the final role in How to Be a Latin Lover.

Welch’s rise to prominence started with her breakout role in Fantastic Voyage in 1966, and this marked the beginning of the great things to come. She appeared in One Million Years B.C. that same year, and her iconic image in a fur bikini went on to become one of the best-selling pinup pictures of the era.

She went on to star in Bedazzled (1967), Bandolero! (1968), 100 Rifles (1969), Myra Breckinridge (1970), and Hannie Caulder (1971) and won a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1973 film The Three Musketeers.

Welch was one of the “it girls” of the ’60s and ’70s, and her legacy lives on thanks to her portrayal of stronger female characters. Many Hollywood stars sent condolences to her family following her passing, including Reese Witherspoon, Paul Feig, Viola Davis, Eugenio Derbez, and Chris Meloni.