Actress Raquel Welch, who rose to fameas a sex symbol in the 1960s, has died. She was 82.
Beginning with a doeskin bikini in ‘One Million Years B.C.,’ she built a celebrated show business career around sex appeal and, sometimes, a comic touch.
The actress became the 1960s’ first major American sex symbol and maintained that image for a half-century in show business, died on Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles.
No cause of death was given. Though, she died after a brief illness, per CNN.
‘She passed away with no pain,’ Damon, her son said.
‘I’m very proud about what she contributed to society and her career and everything. I’m most proud of her doing the U.S.O tours with Bob Hope during the late 60s and early 70s.
‘We missed Christmas with her for three years while she was doing that. She said that was the hardest thing.’
Welch’s career in TV and film spanned decades. A number of starring roles for Welch followed in the late 1960s, including the westerns ‘Bandolero!’ and ‘100 Rifles,’ the latter notable for her then-controversial interracial love scene with former football star Jim Brown.
The veteran actress appeared in 2001’s ‘Legally Blonde’ alongside Reese Witherspoon and portrayed Mrs. Windham Vandermark, ex-wife of the late Hayworth Windham, whose murder Witherspoon’s Elle Woods helps solve.
As the momentum pushed forth for Welch, the ‘sex symbol’ moniker also continued to stick around.
‘Part of being a sex symbol is very flattering and it does help you get success in the business – but only to a point,’ Welch said in an interview with Cinema.com around the release of her 2001 film ‘Tortilla Soup,’ adding that ‘it does cloud people’s imagination.’
‘They just can’t see you being able to do anything else.’
The Hollywood star also dedicated time to a career as an entrepreneur, which included jewelry, skincare and wig lines.
She leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and her daughter Tahnee Welch, according to her manager’s statement.
The actress has more than 70 film and television credits to her name.