Raquel Welch Dies; Sixties Screen Legend Was 82

Raquel Welch Dies

By at Feb 15, 2023 • Category Raquel Welch
Sad news out of Hollywood today, as movie icon Raquel Welch has passed away at the age of 82.
According to a statement from Welch’s publicist, the actress died following a brief illness.
Some of our younger readers might not be familiar with Raquel’s body of work, but those who came of age in the sixties and seventies are likely remember a time when few names were more recognizable.
Thanks to her work in such popular films as Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C., Welch became one of the biggest stars on the planet while still in her twenties.
Her wardrobe in the latter film was described by one critic as the “definitive look of the 1960s.”
Born Jo Raquel Tejada in 1940 to a Bolivian immigrant father, Welch was encouraged by her first manager to use her husband’s name professionally, so as not to be “typecast in Latina roles.”
She drew the line, however, at changing her first name to “Debbie” at the advice of a studio exec who thought “Raquel” would be too hard for audiences to pronounce.

In the decades that followed, Welch racked up more than 40 film credits.

In addition to the popcorn fare that made her famous, Welch tackled more challenging roles, such as the transgender title character in the 1970 film Myra Breckenridge, based on the controversial novel by Gore Vidal.
She also skewered her own image as a sex symbol with humorous roles in Seinfeld, Spin City, and Naked Gun 33+1/3: The Final Insult.
“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 a 2001 interview with Cinema.com, adding that “it does cloud people’s imagination.”
“They just can’t see you being able to do anything else,” she explained.
Around that same time, Welch made herself known to a whole new generation thanks her to work in the beloved Reese Witherspoon comedy Legally Blonde.
News of Welch’s death made her name an instant trending topic on Twitter, as heartfelt tributes poured in from family, friends, and a legion of adoring fans.
She is survived by her two children, including the actress Tahnee Welch.
Our thoughts go out to Raquel’s loved ones as they mourn the loss of a true Hollywood legend.

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