It didn't take much for Raquel Welch to become famous overnight in 1966. She donned tiny fur clothes as a cave maiden in a Stone Age picture, which set the stage for a long Hollywood career. At the age of 82, the actress passed away. She died on Wednesday following a "short illness," her managers said the German Press Agency.

raquel welch death
Raquel Welch

In the early 1960s, Welch rose through the ranks of the film industry with little appearances. In the drama "Madame P. and her daughters," the dark-haired beauty portrayed a call girl. In the musical film King of Hot Rhythms, she played a college student opposite Elvis Presley. In the Stone Age smash "A Million Years Before Time," Welch didn't have much to say (1966). But her little outfit - a prehistoric bikini with cleverly placed fur flaps - proved crucial.

The then-26-year-old became a sex icon in the role of cave girl Loana. Her proportions were highlighted in magazine covers, and Life magazine named her the most photographed lady of the year. This performance stayed with her far into old life. But Welch made the most of a bad situation. "I'm often asked whether I'm sick of talking about this swimsuit," she told The Sunday Post in 2018. "It was a significant incident in my life, so why not discuss it?" Welch claimed she got the bikini shot virtually every day in fan mail, with requests for an autograph.

Raquel Welch was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago in 1940. The Latina daughter of an American mother and a Bolivian father kept her first husband's surname even though the relationship quickly fell apart. At the time of the divorce she was only 24 years old and the mother of two small children. Three more marriages followed. In 1999 she said yes to a much younger restaurateur, and that only went well for a few years.

Professionally, the former curve star remained active till his death. Welch starred as a widower millionaire who is pursued by younger men in the 2017 comedy How to Be a Latin Lover. She subsequently tweeted a photo of herself in a skin-tight white gown with a plunging neckline, accompanied by Rob Lowe and Eugenio Derbez.

The former ballet dancer's age was hardly visible. She said that she didn't have to do anything for it. She merely focuses on excellent eating and a healthy lifestyle, a little exercise, and skin care, according to Welch in a 2018 "Sunday Post" interview.

She collaborated with stars including James Stewart ("Bandolero"), Frank Sinatra ("Lady in Cement"), John Huston ("Myra Breckinridge"), and Burt Reynolds ("Death Comes Softly"). In the comic strip "The Three Musketeers," she demonstrated her humorous flair (1973). For her performance, she won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Actress.

She reflected on her memorable performance as the scantily clad cave girl in "A Million Years Before Time" with a sense of humour. If there is a sequel, she would want to see more conversation than in the original. She was only permitted to utter three phrases at the time. "This film was not about words. It's no surprise that many believed I couldn't act "In an interview with The Sunday Post, she joked. She was relieved that things had changed in her professional life. "I'd hate to be remembered as the renowned actress who never said anything."
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