Golden Globe award winning actress Raquel Welch has died aged 82.
Welch’s manager confirmed her death in an emailed statement, saying she died peacefully early on Wednesday morning after “a brief illness”.
Welch shot to international fame when she played a sexy cavewoman in a fur bikini in 1966 hit One Million Years BC, despite only having three lines in the film.
Following her 1966 breakout, Raquel went on to star in more than 30 films over her career, as well as 50 television series, with her biggest accolade – a Golden Globe – being awarded for best actress in a comedy or musical for The Three Musketeers, in which she played the queen’s dressmaker.
Born as Jo-Raquel Tejada into Latino heritage in 1940, Raquel spoke in later years about her pride of being Latino, but having to conform to the standards of the film industry in the 1960s to 80s.
Speaking to the New York Times in 2002, she said “I’m happy to acknowledge it (her Latino heritage) and it’s long overdue and it’s very welcome.
“There’s been kind of an empty place here in my heart and also in my work for a long, long time.
“You just couldn’t be too different. My first big breakthrough part in One Million Years BC, they died my hair blonde. It’s a marketing thing.”
Raquel featured on Women’s Weekly covers several times over the years, mainly in the 1980’s, with her passion of fitness being a focus of the November 1984 issue.
That same year she released The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program program – an easy-to-follow health and exercise program for people of all ages, which was based on the principles of hatha-yoga rather than aerobics.
In later years, Raquel also developed her own line of wigs, hair pieces and hair extensions.
Raquel had a busy love-life, marrying and divorcing four times across her life, with her most recent divorce in 2008 being with a man 14 years her junior.
She is survived by her son Damon and daughter Tahnee.