Her revealing role in the Stone Age hit "A Million Years Before Time" made her world famous in the 1960s - now the US actress Raquel Welch has died at the age of 82. According to her management, the Hollywood beauty died on Wednesday morning (local time) after a "brief illness". The operators of the promenade announced that their "Walk of Fame" star plaque, which Welch unveiled in 1996, will be decorated with flowers.
Filmmakers and fans expressed their sadness. "Rest in peace," wrote actor Antonio Banderas (62) on Twitter. The Spaniard posted four photos of the actress with a black heart emoji. "She was elegant, professional and incredibly glamorous. Simply stunning," Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon (46) paid tribute to on Twitter. She loved being in front of the camera with Welch for Legally Blonde (2001).
"We've lost a true icon," director and actor Paul Feig wrote in a tweet. The 60-year-old recalled a joint appearance in 1996 in the sitcom "Sabrina - Totally Bewitched!". She was "warm, funny and a true superstar". He had a crush on Welch for most of his childhood.
Welch had big box office successes in the '60s and '70s and became one of Hollywood's most photographed beauties. The actress, born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago in 1940, celebrated her breakthrough in the Stone Age hit "One Million Years Before Our Time" (1966) - mainly thanks to her tight fur bikini. As cave girl Loana, the then 26-year-old became a sex symbol overnight. Welch had previously played several smaller roles, after which she celebrated numerous cinema successes.
She shot with Hollywood greats like James Stewart ("Bandolero"), Frank Sinatra ("Lady in Cement"), John Huston ("Myra Breckinridge") and Burt Reynolds ("Death Comes Softly"). She demonstrated her comedic talent in the film "The Three Musketeers" (1973), for which she received the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy. As recently as 2017, she was still on the big screen - in the comedy How to Be a Latin Lover, Welch played a widowed millionaire who is being ensnared by younger men.
In her 2010 memoir ("Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage"), she looked back on her iconic role as the scantily clad cave girl Loana in "A Million Years Before Time." The film and the advertising posters with Welch in a skimpy fur bikini would have changed her life in one fell swoop. Suddenly she was just a sex symbol. Welch told the Los Angeles Times in 2010 that she had been catapulted into the limelight and achieved superstardom overnight. She saw this as an opportunity that she should make the best of.
The actress also made a name for herself in Hollywood as a fighter for her rights. In the 1980s, she was sued against the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio after her sacking from the film Cannery Row for alleged breach of contract. Welch won the lawsuit against the powerful studio and was awarded over ten million dollars in damages.
Wel was married four times and divorced four times. Her first marriage has two children, son Damon and daughter Tahnee. Tahnee Welch, now 61, is also an actress and has appeared in several films, including 'Cocoon' (1985) and 'Night Train to Venice' (1993).