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Raquel Welch dies age 82 after brief illness

Raquel became an icon in the 1960s after appearing in the film

raquel welch

Raquel Welch has died at the age of 82. The actress, known for her roles in Fantastic Voyage and One Million Years B.C, died at home after a brief illness, according to her family.

"The legendary bombshell actress of film, television and stage, passed away peacefully early this morning after a brief illness," her representative said in a statement. "Her career spanned over 50 years starring in over 30 films and 50 television series and appearances. The Golden Globe winner, in more recent years, was involved in a very successful line of wigs."

"Raquel leaves behind her two children, son Damon Welch and her daughter, Tahnee Welch," it concluded.

WATCH: Raquel Welch sings 'I'm A Woman' with Cher

What did Raquel Welch say about B.C?

Her role in B.C only had three lines but the images of the actress in a doe-skin biknini turned her into an icon of the 1960s and the poster sold millions.

"I was happy that I had got a break so I could have my career, but at the same time, it was like, 'This isn’t me. But this is what I have to do because this is my ticket to ride," she said of the role in her memoir, Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage.

“I’m not in a position to just say: ‘Oh, no, wait a minute. You’ve got it all wrong. I’d like to do Shakespeare.'"

What films did Raquel Welch star in?

Raquel appeared in The Three Musketeers which starred Faye Dunaway and Charlton Heston, and which garnered Raquel a Golden Globe award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy in 1974, and she was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Television Film for her performance in Right to Die (1987).

She also appeared in the 1967 version of Bedazzled, Myra Breckinridge (1970) and Hannie Caulder (1971)

In recent years she starred in Legally Blonde, Tortilla Soup and How to Be a Latin Lover.

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Raquel with Brie Larson in 2017 

Was Raquel Welch a singer?

Raquel performed for many years in a successful one-woman nightclub musical act in Las Vegas.

In 1975 she also performed alongside Cher on the singer's hit TV show, with the pair dazzling fans with a rendition of I'm A Woman.

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Raquel was 82 when she passed away

When was Raquel Welch born?

Born in 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, Raquel and her family moved to San Diego when she was two and as a teenager she was a ballet dancer and she won beauty pageants.

She joined her local college on a theater arts scholarships and began performing in local productions, but she soon gave up her drama classes after she married her childhood sweetheart James Welch. The couple welcomed two children, son Damon and daughter Latanne 'Tahnee' Welch.

Following her split from James, Raquel moved her family to Dallas, where she began modelling for the department store Neiman Marcus; before long, they raised stakes again for a move to Los Angeles, where she signed a seven-year non-exclusive contract with 20th Century Fox.

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Raquel with her son Damon in 1994

What was Racquel Welch's real name?

Raquel was born Jo Raquel Tejada, but studio bosses encouraged Raquel to change her name to Debbie, fearing Raquel was too hard to pronounce for audiences.

However, she refused and only agreed to keep her ex-husband's name rather than revert to her father's Bolivian last name.

How many times was Raquel Welch married?

Raquel was married four times; in 1967, after her divorce from James, she married producer Patrick Curtis but they ended their relationship in 1972.

She was married to film and TV producer Andre Weinfeld for 10 years from 1980 to 1990, and Richard Palmer - the owner of Mulberry Street Pizzeria - from 1999 to 2004.

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Raquel only had three lines in what was her most iconic role

Was Raquel Welch sued by MGM?

In 1982 she was fired by producers of the adaptation of John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, who claimed she was not living up to her contract by refusing early-morning rehearsals.

Raquel sued MGM for breach of contract, and in response the studio alleged that she was suing them because she was over the age of 40 and actreses could no longer easily obtain roles after hitting that milestone.

Evidence proved there was a conspiracy to falsely blame her for the film's budget problems and delays, and she was awarded $10.8 million, however she was blackballed from the industry and her career was affected.

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Raquel in 2017 at the premiere of How To Be A Latin Lover

What other business ventures was Raquel Welch involved in?

Raquel launched a line of wigs with HAIRuWEAR in the late 1990s which had become a huge success and were well-reviewed.

"We are deeply saddened to hear of the news of our friend and legendary beauty, Raquel Welch’s passing. She has worked with us at HairUWear for 25 years and has been more than just a business partner. She was and still is an inspiration," the company's tribute read.

"We are honored to keep her memory, passion and timeless beauty alive through her legacy of Raquel Welch Wigs."

For her 65th birthday the Raquel Welch Signature Collection donated $1 million in wigs to the American Cancer Society.

In 2007 Raquel was selected as the newest face of MAC Cosmetics Beauty Icon series, and her limited edition lines featured a tiger print motif.

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