Friday, March 31, 2023

Racquel Welch, Hollywood sex symbol, Golden Globe winner, dies at 82

Raquel Welch, the actor who became an icon and sex symbol thanks to films such as ‘One Million Years B.C.’ and ‘Three Musketeers’, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, her manager confirmed to ‘Variety’. She was 82 and is survived by son Damon and daughter Tahnee.
She came onto the movie scene in 1966 with the sci-fi film ‘Fantastic Voyage’ and the prehistoric adventure ‘One Million Years B.C.’, the latter of which established Welch as a sex symbol.
The actor, notes ‘Variety’, went on to appear in the controversial adaptation of Gore Vidal’s ‘Myra Beckrinridge’, ‘Kansas City Bomber’ and Richard Lester’s delightful romps ‘The Three Musketeers’ (1973), for which she won a Golden Globe, and ‘The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge’ (1974).
She was one of the first women to play the lead role — not the romantic interest — in a Western, 1971 revenge tale ‘Hannie Caulder’ — an inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ (2003), according to the director.
Welch also showed some grit in the 1972 roller derby movie ‘Kansas City Bomber’. ‘Variety’ had then said the film “provides a gutsy, sensitive and comprehensive look at the barbaric world of roller derby. … Raquel Welch, who did a lot of her own skating, is most credible as the beauteous but tough star for whom team owner Kevin McCarthy has big plans. At the same time, Welch is torn between her professional life and her two fatherless children.” Besides film and television dramas, Welch appeared on Broadway twice, replacing Lauren Bacall in the starring role of Tess Harding in the hit musical ‘Woman of the Year’ in the early 1980s and replacing Julie Andrews in ‘Victor/Victoria’ in 1997.
Welch was last seen on the big screen in 2001 — in ‘Legally Blonde’, starring Reese Witherspoon, and in Maria Rispoll’s comedy drama ‘Tortilla Soup’, a remake of Ang Lee’s ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’, where she played the romantic interest for Hector Elizondo.


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