The passing of American actress Raquel Welch in February of 2023 marked the end of a glittering career that spanned several decades. With her death came the revelation of the cause, a cardiac arrest, and the news that she had been battling Alzheimer's disease for a long time, which she kept private from the public.
The actress, who was cremated as per her wishes, will forever be remembered as one of the sexiest stars in film history and a true icon of the silver screen.
The Rise of a Hollywood S*x Symbol
Welch rose to fame in the 1960s with her unforgettable performance in the movie "One Million Years B.C.", where she donned a leather bikini and became an instant sensation.
Her iconic look earned her the title of a s*x symbol and cemented her place in pop culture history. The Empire magazine listed her as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History" in 1995, and she ranked third on Playboy's list of the "100 Sexiest Women of the 20th Century".
Surviving a Brush with Death
In an interview, Welch revealed that she had a close call on the set of "One Million Years B.C." due to the extreme weather conditions. She told Fox News in 2017, "I had already so much penicillin when I was wearing the fur bikini that I almost died.
I had to rush, turn my car around and head right back to the doctor's office, just run upstairs, jump in the elevator and all that. And I barely got there. They had to shoot me with an antidote. Otherwise, I would have died. It was really rough shoot, man.
Really rough. And then I came to London and everybody knew who I was".
A Versatile Actress and a Trailblazer
Welch's acting career was not limited to her iconic role in "One Million Years B.C.". She went on to star in several other successful movies, including "Fantastic Voyage", "The Three Musketeers", and "Right to Die".
Her versatility and talent as an actress were unmatched, and she will forever be remembered as a trailblazer in Hollywood.
Her Personal Life
Welch was married four times, first to her high school sweetheart James Welch, with whom she shared two children, from 1959 to 1964.
She then went on to marry Patrick Curtis in 1967, but the couple divorced in 1972. Her third marriage was to André Weinfeld in 1980, which lasted a decade before ending in divorce. She married Richard Palmer in 1999, but the couple separated in 2004.