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16th Feb 2023

Tributes pour in for Hollywood star Raquel Welch after she dies following brief illness

Jack Peat

‘We’ve lost an absolute legend’

Tributes have poured in after Hollywood megastar Raquel Welch died aged 82 following a “brief illness”.

The actress rose to fame in the 1960s for her roles in Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C, quickly becoming one of the industry’s most sought-after stars.

Her family confirmed the tragic news to TMZ, telling the outlet that she passed away on the morning of 15th February.

NBA star Rex Chapman led tributes on social media, tweeting: “Raquel Welch has passed away at the age of 82. What a life. Rest in peace.”

Carol Vorderman tweeted “what a woman”, saying she was at her son’s wedding to Fred Trueman’s daughter which was “wild”.

Reese Witherspoon, who starred alongside Welch in Legall Blonde, tweeted that she was “elegant, professional and glamorous”.

Raquel won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her 1974 role in The Three Musketeers.

She had pathed a life in the entertainment industry as a teenager, winning titles for Miss Contour and Miss Photogenic, and going on to grab the titles of Miss La Jolla and Miss San Diego.

Early in her glistening Hollywood career, she became a local TV weather reporter in San Diego and it was in 1979 that she posed for Playboy, without ever going fully nude.

Speaking about Welch, Hugh Hefner once said: “Raquel Welch, one of the last of the classic sex symbols, came from the era when you could be considered the sexiest woman in the world without taking your clothes off, she declined to do complete nudity, and I yielded gracefully, the pictures prove her point.”

Over the course of her career, Requel stood her ground and refused to undress on camera stating that was the way she had been brought up.

It was her legendary fuzzy bikini in One Million Years B.C. in 1966 that made her an unforgettable pinup girl.

Her long list of TV credits includes Bewitched, Seinfeld, and McHale’s Navy. Her film credits include 100 Rifles, The Three Musketeers and The Last of Sheila.