‘One Million Years BC’ actress Raquel Welch dies at 82

‘One Million Years BC’ actress Raquel Welch dies at 82

‘One Million Years BC’ actress Raquel Welch dies at 82

Raquel Welch, the U.S. actress who became an international sex symbol after appearing in a deerskin bikini in “One Million Years BC,” died Wednesday, her manager said. She was 82.

Welch “passed away peacefully” after “a brief illness,” her manager said.The Golden Globe winner starred in more than 30 films, including “Fantastic Voyage” and “The Three Musketeers,” as well as some 50 television series in a career spanning five decades. 

But she would be forever associated with “One Million Years BC.”

The fantasy movie’s poster of Welch’s bikini-clad cavewoman became part of cinema history.

In her 2010 autobiography “Beyond the Cleavage,” Welch admitted she had struggled to avoid being typecast, writing that her acting career became “eclipsed by this bigger-than-life sex symbol.”

But in a rare 2018 interview, Welch said she was at peace with being forever associated with her prehistoric bombshell heroine.

“I’m often asked if I get sick of talking about that bikini but the truth is, I don’t,” she told The Sunday Post.

“It was a major event in my life so why not talk about it?” Welch, born Jo Raquel Tejada in 1940, grew up in California, and won several beauty titles in her teens.

She launched her acting career with a string of walk-on parts in minor films, including the 1964 musical feature “Roustabout” starring Elvis Presley.

Her break came when she was picked by the 20th Century Fox studio to star in the 1966 science fiction film “Fantastic Voyage.”

Her leading role in “One Million Years BC” came later that same year, cementing her global sex symbol status, despite the film itself receiving mediocre reviews. 

Welch won the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy or musical for “The Three Musketeers” (1973), in which she plays the queen’s dressmaker.

A lover of yoga, Welch later launched herself into the business of wellbeing, publishing her “Total Beauty and Fitness” program in 1984.

Having long hidden her Latino origins, she took on Hispanic roles in the “American Family” series on PBS in 2002 and “Tortilla Soup” in 2001.

Welch married four times.

She divorced her fourth husband Richard Palmer, who was 14 years her junior, in 2008.

Welch is survived by her son Damon Welch and her daughter Tahnee Welch.