Raquel Welch, the 1960s international sex symbol whose acting career spanned more than half a century, died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 82.
Welch shot to stardom in the ‘60s with the films “Fantastic Voyage” and “One Million Years B.C.” The pulpy movie poster for the latter famously featured Welch front and center in a doeskin bikini, and the rest was history.
“There was this bikini picture that came out that caused all the stir,” she told the New York Post in 2014. “I had been away shooting the film in the Canary Islands, and it was very remote. By the time I got back, everybody seemed to know who I was. I couldn’t have been happier, really, or more surprised. How was this possible?”
Welch acted in more than 30 films, dozens of television shows and made cheeky appearances on variety shows, like when she performed “I’m a Woman” alongside Cher on “The Cher Show” in 1975.
She even appeared on an episode of “Seinfeld,” playing herself, in which she got into a cat fight with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Elaine, and played Mrs. Windham Vandermark in the 2001 hit film “Legally Blonde.” In 1975, she won a Golden Globe Award for best actress for her role in “The Three Musketeers.”
While many of Welch’s best performances are now hard to find, here’s how you can watch five of her most notable films.
‘Fantastic Voyage’ (1966)
This was Welch’s breakthrough role, in which she portrayed Cora Peterson, the technical assistant for Dr. Duval, in this sci-fi adventure about a submarine crew tasked with repairing the brain of a scientist who’s nearly been assassinated. The crew is shrunken microscopically and injected into the bloodstream of the injured scientist. Naturally, they face many obstacles during their mission.
You can stream “Fantastic Voyage” on HBO Max and Amazon Prime.
‘One Million Years B.C.’ (1966)
This British adventure fantasy takes place in a fictional age when both dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth. Welch starred as Loana, a woman of the Shell tribe. When Tumak is banished from his savage Rock tribe to a harsh desert, he battles various prehistoric creatures before collapsing on a remote beach, which is where he meets Loana. Together they fight hunters and volcanoes and, of course, fall in love.
You can buy “One Million Years B.C.” on DVD and Blu-ray via Amazon.
‘Myra Breckinridge’ (1970)
This 1970 film adaptation of Gore Vidal’s satirical novel starred Welch as a trans woman in the title role. After Myron Breckinridge gets a sex-change operation in Copenhagen, she returns to America as Myra, where she arrives at her Uncle Buck’s acting school claiming to be Myron’s widow and that she’s been granted half of the school or $500,000 in his will.
You can buy “Myra Breckinridge” on DVD or VHS via Amazon, or watch it in Spanish on YouTube.
‘The Three Musketeers’ (1974)
Welch starred as Constance Bonacieux in this 1974 swashbuckler film. Swordsman D’Artagnan arrives in Paris chasing his dreams to become a king’s musketeer, where he commits many a faux pas and gets robbed, among other indignities. Ultimately, he finds himself in conflict with three musketeers who each challenge him to a duel.
However, when they are ambushed, they decide to join forces in opposition to the Cardinal. D’Artagnan then falls for his landlord’s wife, Welch’s Bonacieux, and they begin a torrid love affair.
You can stream “The Three Musketeers” on Amazon Prime.
‘How to Be a Latin Lover’ (2017)
In her final film, Welch portrayed widowed billionaire Celeste Birch, the target of Maximo, a rusty gigolo who’s made his career seducing wealthy older women. Maximo is shocked when his 80-year-old wife leaves him for a younger man, setting off his pursuit of Celeste.
You can stream “How to Be a Latin Lover” on Showtime, or rent it on Amazon Prime.