Raquel Welch, Hollywood Icon, Dead at 82

The legendary sex symbol starred in films like Fantastic Voyage and Bedazzled.

Dan Avery Former Writer
Dan was a writer on CNET's How-To and Thought Leadership teams. His byline has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, Architectural Digest and elsewhere. He is a crossword junkie and is interested in the intersection of tech and marginalized communities.
Expertise Personal finance, government and policy, consumer affairs
Dan Avery
2 min read
Raquel Welch

Raquel Welch at the Incredible Women Gala in 2017.

Donato Sardella/Getty Images

Hollywood bombshell Raquel Welch died Wednesday at age 82 after a brief, undisclosed illness, according to multiple media reports. 

Born Jo-Raquel Tejada in Chicago on Sept. 5, 1940, Welch was one of the leading sex symbols of the 1960s and '70s. She made her film debut in the 1964 Elvis musical Roustabout and went on to have a lengthy screen career that included movies like Bedazzled, Fantastic Voyage, One Million Years B.C., Myra Breckinridge and Bandolero, a 1968 western co-starring Jimmy Stewart and Dean Martin.

She won a Golden Globe for her performance in the 1973 film The Three Musketeers and was nominated for another Golden Globe for the 1987 TV movie Right to Die.

Raquel Welch in Fantastic Voyage

Raquel Welch with Stephen Boyd in 1966's Fantastic Voyage.

Getty Images

Welch made numerous television appearances, from early small parts on Bewitched and McHale's Navy to later turns on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Seinfeld; and the PBS series American Family.
On Broadway, she appeared in 1981's Woman of the Year and replaced Julie Andrews in the musical Victor/Victoria in 1997. 

She reportedly had feuds with several Hollywood costars, including Mae West, but in 2011, Welch told AARP she was more mindful about nurturing relationships.

"I wasn't impossible before, but in the past 10 years I've made a concerted effort to think about what I have to do for other people -- what I owe, what my part is in whatever relationship or situation I find myself in," she said. "It's getting older, I guess, that makes you think that way."

Welch is survived by her children, Damon, 63, and Tahnee, 61.