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‘One Million Years B.C.’ Star Raquel Welch’s Iconic Fur Bikini That Made Her Hollywood’s Most Iconic S*x Symbol Was So Humiliatingly Skimpy She Almost Died Wearing it: “They had to shoot me with an anti-dote”

'One Million Years B. C.' Star Raquel Welch's Iconic Fur Bikini That Made Her Hollywood's Most Iconic S*x Symbol Was So Humiliatingly Skimpy She Almost Died Wearing it: "They had to shoot me with an anti-dote"

Raquel Welch’s name got etched into the minds and hearts of everyone who had the pleasure of watching One Million Years B.C. However, the actress took her last breath yesterday morning, 15 February. She was 82 and suffering from a brief illness.

Welch received a Golden Globe for her performance in The Three Musketeers in 1974. Welch, whose birth name was Jo-Raquel Tejada, was born in 1940 and grew up in California, where she competed in adolescent beauty pageants and later worked as a local weather forecaster. The actress ironically did not have much to do in the film that shot her to fame, she only had two lines in One Million Years B.C.

Raquel Welch said she is no Meryl Streep

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Raquel Welch

The actress was aware that her role had no acting merit but it was the Fur Bikini that caught the fancy of people making her an eternal sex symbol. She acknowledged this in an interview saying,

 “I am not a fool. I’m not Meryl Streep. I was somebody that got rocketed into the spotlight and superstardom overnight. I knew this would give me an opportunity, and I should make the best of it.”

She continued,

“There were so many things going for me, but with it came many stereotypical opinions about my abilities and who I was. I felt a rite of passage where I am over that part where I have to run around in a bikini forever. It’s just so painfully uncomfortable and, in a way, kind of humiliating.”

The actress did not shy away from indulging in the gruesome details of shooting the scene. Welch’s photo in the fur bikini spread like wildfire, and people watched One Million Years B.C. just for her to come on screen in the infamous outfit.

Also, Read Raquel Welch, Best Known for One Million Years B.C. That Made Her a ‘60s S*x Symbol, Passes Away at 82

Raquel Welch froze to death shooting in the Fur Bikini

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Raquel Welch with her son.

Raquel Welch featured as a cavewoman Loana in the campy thriller One Million Years B.C., which chronicled the narrative of Tumak (John Richardson), a prehistoric human who was exiled from his violent community. He encounters Loana, a member of a kinder coastal tribe. To get her approval, he must defeat caveman Payto. She described to LA Times how tough the shooting was, the weather conditions were less than ideal,

“We were so far from civilization. There was a hotel at the bottom of the volcano near the sea. And I was at the top. And it was snowing. I had already so much penicillin when I was wearing the fur bikini that I almost died,” 

She had developed tonsilitis on the set. Her deteriorating health condition and harsh climatic conditions led to a rough shoot.

She continued,

“I had to rush, turn my car around, head right back to the doctor’s office, just run upstairs, jump in the elevator, and all that,” the actor continued. “And I barely got there. They had to shoot me with an antidote. Otherwise, I would have died. It was a rough shoot, man. Rough. And then I came to London, and everybody knew who I was.”

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Raquel Welch

Till 2017 the actress would receive autograph requests for her Bikini picture and she had no problem with it. It was a monumental moment in her life that changed everything, she took it in her stride and was never exhausted by it.

Welch became a s*x symbol in the 70s and continued to rule the hearts of millions, many debates have been held around her fame and celebration of the actress as an s*x symbol. It is indeed sad that an actress is celebrated for titillating the audience and not her acting or professional life.

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After this film she became restricted in a way that she was only seen as an s*x symbol, her opportunities widened but were still limited to the imagination of male directors and their gaze. Although Welch won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Three Musketeers her persona was forever attached to the girl wearing a fur bikini. Today as we pray for her soul to rest in peace our hearts flood with respect for her craft.

Source: LATimes

Written by Pragya Sancheti

Currently a college student with big aspirations and a ton of assignment. Pursuing Bachelors in Mass Communication and Videography from St. Xavier's. Movies and Pop-culture get me through life.