West News Wire: According to her representative, actress and model Raquel Welch, best known for her parts in the 1966 movies “Fantastic Voyage” and “One Million Years B.C.,” has passed away. Welch was 82 years old.
Welch’s representative told KABC that the “renowned bombshell actress of film, television, and stage, died away quietly early this morning after a brief illness.” “Over the course of her more than 50-year career, she appeared in more than 30 films and 50 television shows. In more recent years, the Golden Globe winner was associated with a hugely popular wig brand.”
Her representative continued, “Raquel leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and daughter Tahnee Welch.
Welch was born on Sept. 5, 1940, in Chicago, to Armando Carlos Tejeda, an aerospace engineer, and his Irish American wife, Josephine Sarah Hall. When she was 2 years old, she and her family moved to San Diego.
Welch had a desire to perform at a young age. As a child, she took dance lessons and earned teen beauty titles including Miss La Jolla and Miss San Diego.
In 1958, she attended San Diego State College where she studied theater arts. That same year, she married her first husband, high school sweetheart James Welch, and they had two children: Damon Welch and Tahnee Welch.
Outside of school, she got a job as a weather forecaster at a local San Diego station.
After her separation from James Welch in 1962, she moved to Los Angeles where she began applying for film roles. It was during this time that she met her agent, Patrick Curtis, who devised a plan to turn Welch into a sex symbol. To do so and avoid typecasting as a Latina actress, he advised Welch to keep her ex-husband’s last name.
The move led to Welch being cast in small roles in the films “A House Is Not A Home” and the Elvis Presley musical “Roustabout.”
She also landed small roles in the TV shows “Bewitched,” “McHale’s Navy” and “The Virginian.”