American actress Raquel Welch reportedly passed away on February 15, 2023, at the age of 82. Her family members told TMZ that Welch died after suffering from a “brief illness.”
Welch garnered mass attention after appearing in the 1966 sci-fi drama Fantastic Voyage despite having only three scenes in the film.
She also appeared in projects like One Million Years B.C., Bedazzled, Bandolero!, 100 Rifles, Myra Breckinridge, and Hannie Caulde. The actress earned recognition for her portrayal of strong female characters and became one of the most sought-after stars in the 60s and 70s.
Welch won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy in 1974 for her role in The Three Musketeers. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Film for her performance in Right to Die.
In 1995, Empire Magazine named Welch one of the “100 S*xiest Stars in Film History.” Similarly, she was ranked third in Playboy’s “100 S*xiest Stars of the 20th Century” list.
On a personal front, Raquel Welch was married four times during her lifetime. Her former husbands were James Welch, Patrick Curtis, Andre Weinfeld and Richard Palmer. She also had two kids, Tahnee and Damon Welch, whom she shared with her first husband.
Everything to know about Raquel Welch’s marriages and husbands
Raquel Welch’s first husband was her high school sweetheart James Welch. The pair were married between 1959 and 1964. The former was only 19 when she walked down the aisle in a Las Vegas ceremony shortly after graduation.
The Flareup actress opened up about her first husband in her 2010 memoir and said she was distracted from her studies in school due to her immense love for James:
“I was always elated to see him and would chatter away nonsensically, out of sheer excitement. He, on the other hand, hardly said a thing! If he had, I might have discovered how little we had in common… but my schoolgirl crush on Jim lulled me into believing that he was the man of my dreams.”
Although Welch did consider James the man of her dreams “in some ways,” the actress realized years later that she was “needy” and it caused her to “project certain qualities onto Jim that he didn’t have.”
Welch also shared that her first marriage happened against her father’s wishes and said she did not realize how it would complicate her life:
“By marrying Jim, I was doing something for my own personal satisfaction and pretty much in defiance of my father’s wishes. What I didn’t anticipate was how a series of events would dovetail together and forever complicate my life.”
She recalled that the pair were settling into an apartment together and “tackling the realities of married life” while James was looking for a job and she was calling her mother ten times a day for recipes and tips on cleaning products.
Raquel Welch also revealed that first pregnancy was accidental, but said that she was happy to have “two adorable, healthy children” at the heart of her feminine soul. The couple welcomed their first child, son Damon, in 1959.
Their second child, daughter Latanne “Tahnee” Welch, was born in 1961. Raquel and James Welch ultimately separated in 1962 and finalized their divorce in 1964.
Raquel Welch’s second marriage was to American film producer Patrick Curtis. The pair worked together in the 1965 A Swingin’ Summer and married in 1967 at Paris City Hall.
In addition to his work as a producer, Curtis also had an uncredited role as Baby Beau Wilkes in the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind. He is the nephew of filmmaker Billy Wilder.
While Curtis produced several of Welch’s projects, they also established their own production company called Curtwel. Unfortunately, the couple decided to call it quits in 1972 after six years together, making it Welch’s shortest marriage. Curtis died last November at the age of 83.
Raquel Welch met her third husband, Andre Weinfeld, in 1977 and the duo tied the knot in 1980. Weinfeld is a French-American film and TV producer, director, screenwriter, cinematographer, photographer, and journalist.
He is an alumnus of the prestigious Lycee Louis-le-Grand and the Sorbonne University in Paris. Welch and Weinfeld stayed together for 10 years before parting ways in 1990. Weinfeld reportedly lived in New York City.
Welch's fourth and final marriage was to Richard Palmer, owner of Mulberry Street Pizzeria. According to The New York Post, the duo first met at a party in 1996 and walked down the aisle in 1999. Speaking about his wife, Palmer told the publication:
“My wife is a living legend. I get great seats at the fights. You go wherever you want to go. It’s great.”
Unfortunately, the marriage ended following their divorce in 2004. Shortly after, Raquel Welch said she would no longer consider remarriage.