Raquel Welch, the film actress whose sultry, curvaceous looks made her a leading sex symbol of the 1960s and ’70s, has died at age 82, news media outlets reported on Wednesday.
According to France 24, her death was initially reported by TMZ.com, citing unnamed family members, and later by Hollywood trade publication Variety and the French news agency AFP, which cited her manager.
Welch came to the wide attention of moviegoers for her role in the 1966 sci-fi adventure Fantastic Voyage, followed by her iconic appearance later that year in the prehistoric drama One Million Years B.C.
Although Welch had just a few lines of dialogue in B.C., memorable images of her appearance in a deer-skinned bikini made her a bestselling pinup that transformed her into a global sex symbol.
Other screen credits in the late 1960s and early ’70s include starring roles in Bedazzled, Bandolero! 100 Rifles, Myra Breckinridge and Hannie Caulder.
The brunette star’s portrayal of strong female characters was credited with reshaping the stereotype of the traditional sex symbol, and her rise to fame was also seen as eclipsing Hollywood’s embrace of the blonde bombshell.