Raquel Welch, a veteran actress who rose to fame in the 1960s in the films “One Million Years B.C.” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died, according to a statement provided by her manager, Steve Sauer.
She was 82.
Welch died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles after a “brief illness,” the statement said.
The actress, with more than 70 film and television credits, got her start as a spokesmodel on a variety show, “Hollywood Palace,” and had a small role in the Elvis Presley film “Roustabout” in 1964.
Her career took off two years later, with the release of the science fiction film “Fantastic Voyage,” about a team of scientists shrunken and injected into a critically ill man’s body; and “One Million Years, B.C.,” a prehistoric drama that cast Welch as the cavewoman Loana, with the photos of her in a fur bikini becoming the foundation of the movie’s marketing campaign, while turning Welch into an international sex symbol. (The poster later became a central device in the acclaimed movie “The Shawshank Redemption.”)
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.