Ms. Welch was first known for her appearance in the 1966 sci-fi film ‘Fantastic Voyage’, as a scientist who has shrunk to the size of a microbe. Later that year, she played the role of Loana, a woman who lives in a cave, in ‘One Million Years B.C.’, a British adventure fantasy starring John Richardson. She barely spoke in the film – in one scene she was terrorized by a giant primeval bird – but rose to international fame after the release of a publicity photo that showed her in a torn animal hide, staring off into the distance with her hair falling past her shoulders .
The photo made her an instant pin-up star and propelled her to a film career that spanned more than five decades and 70 film and television credits.
“Nothing could look more vibrant and enduring than Miss Welch,” Howard Thompson wrote in the New York Times, reviewing “One Million Years B.C.” The actress, he said, was “a great breathing monument to womanhood.”
In the following years, Ms. Welch continued to play screen roles that emphasized her beauty, while also refusing repeated requests to appear nude in films.
A full obituary will be published shortly.