Raquel Welch, born Jo Raquel Tejada, is an American actress, author, and sex symbol known for her striking looks and talent on both the big and small screens. Welch was born on September 5, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, and was the eldest of three children. Her father, Armando Carlos Tejada Urquizo, was an aerospace engineer of Bolivian descent, and her mother, Josephine Sarah Hall, was an American actress of English ancestry. Welch’s parents divorced when she was young, and she moved with her mother and siblings to San Diego, California.
Welch’s early life was marked by several struggles. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, which made her school years challenging. Her mother struggled to make ends meet and worked several jobs to provide for the family. Despite these hardships, Welch persevered and eventually began her career in show business as a model and beauty pageant contestant.
Welch’s big break came in 1966 when she starred in the film “Fantastic Voyage,” which led to her being cast in the iconic role of Loana in the film “One Million Years B.C.” Her performance in the film catapulted her to international fame and made her a sex symbol of the 1960s. Welch went on to star in several other successful films, including “Bedazzled” and “The Three Musketeers.”
Throughout her career, Welch was known for her striking looks and voluptuous figure, which earned her the title of “Most Desired Woman” by Playboy magazine in 1979. However, she also proved her talent as an actress, earning a Golden Globe Award for her role in the television film “The Legend of Walks Far Woman.”
In addition to her success on the screen, Welch also wrote several books on health and fitness and became an advocate for healthy living. She launched her own line of fitness equipment and workout videos and became a spokesperson for Total Gym, a home fitness equipment company.
Raquel Welch passed away on February 15, 2023, at the age of 82, due to cardiac arrest at her residence in Los Angeles. It was also revealed that Welch was battling Alzheimer’s disease at the time of her death. Her passing was a great loss to the entertainment industry, and she will always be remembered for her beauty, talent, and contributions to film and television.
Today, Welch is remembered as a sex symbol of the 1960s and 1970s and as an accomplished actress and health advocate. Moreover, she paved the way for other women in the entertainment industry and continues to be an inspiration to many. Her legacy lives on through her films and her contributions to the health and fitness industry.