Even after entering her ninth decade, Raquel Welch is as stunning as when she donned a form-fitting fur bikini in the 1966 movie One Million Years B.C.
The prehistoric loincloth would both help and hinder the showbiz icon's career; although it quickly made Welch the most desirable woman in the world, it simultaneously side-tracked her lifelong dream to be a serious actress.
"There was a huge discrepancy between the symbol — Raquel Welch — and what I could ever aspire to be for real," explained the actress earlier this month, days short of her 80th birthday on September 5.
Her breathtaking beauty is still a topic of conversation, with some saying Welch looks too good for someone her age. While the star favors Botox "if done right," she denies having extreme plastic surgery.
"I've heard all the rumors…'Raquel Welch is silicone from the knees up'; I'm said to have scars under both my breasts; my a** has been lifted; I've had a rib removed," she said. "What can I do? Sue? Give everybody a squeeze test?"
Despite her bombshell status, Welch has never done a nude scene. She even turned down Playboy a staggering 57 times before finally posing in 1979 — in a swimsuit!
She never wanted to be judged by how she looked and told Rolling Stone magazine: "I'm not a phenomenon...I'm a person."
Welch also believes her refusal to disrobe is one of the reasons people called her trouble. She feuded with co-stars Mae West and Farrah Fawcett, while Burt Reynolds once said: "Put it this way: We don't send each other Christmas cards."
When Barbara Walters asked her about her "reputation of being difficult," Welch shot back: "I'm a perfectionist and quite demanding, but I'm worth it."