ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Raquel Welch, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ star, has died at age 82

Feb 15, 2023, 1:51 PM

FILE: American actress Raquel Welch at a Royal Film performance in 1966.  (Photo by George Freston/...

FILE: American actress Raquel Welch at a Royal Film performance in 1966. (Photo by George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

(Photo by George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Originally Published: 15 FEB 23 15:07 ET
Updated: 15 FEB 23 15:20 ET

(CNN) — 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.”)

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.

Welch leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and her daughter Tahnee Welch, according to her manager’s statement.

This story is developing…

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Raquel Welch, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ star, has died at age 82