February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009
Farrah Fawcett was a pretty girl with great hair, whose spectacular golden moment came in 1976, with the debut of the megahit “Charlie’s Angels” and the simultaneous release of the most popular pinup poster ever. And thus was born the biggest sex symbol of the 1970s.
Fawcett, who died after a long, public and courageous battle with cancer, was 62.
It wasn’t really that Fawcett had that “approachable” kind of beauty — her genetic gifts were breathtakingly unique — yet her persona was all girl-next-door, gorgeousness with a wink right at the camera. Men wanted to be with her, and women just wanted to have that hair. That she was loved and admired by both sexes is testament to Fawcett’s underlying earthiness and deft gifts as an actress, as well as her ability to work seamlessly with an ensemble, if “Charlie’s Angels” can be considered a typical “ensemble.”
The Texas-born beauty had gained popularity in TV shampoo commercials in the ’70s and was wed to popular actor Lee Majors, the “Six Million Dollar Man.” Then, in 1976, she was cast as Jill Munroe, one of the three original “Charlie’s Angels.”
……As for being a sex symbol, the affable Fawcett once said, “The reason that the all-American boy prefers beauty to brains is that he can see better than he can think.”
Fawcett’s pinup poster, shot before “Angels,” with the photographer reportedly hanging his own Indian blanket as an impromptu backdrop, showed that Fawcett could also work a red one-piece, while effortlessly tossing back the golden layers that would inspire thousands of copycats.
Farrah Fawcett has died after a long battle with cancer.
Fawcett, 62, died at St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica at 9:28 a.m. Thursday morning with her longtime love, Ryan O’Neal, and her friend Alana Stewart by her side. O’Neal told reporters waiting outside the hospital this morning only that “she’s gone.”
O’Neal later released this statement:
“After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away. Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world.”
The couple’s son, Redmond O’Neal, learned of his mother’s death while serving time in the L.A. County jail. Officials sent a grief counselor accompanied by a Sheriff’s deputy to help him deal with the loss, according to L.A. County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.
“He’s doing well considering the circumstances,” Whitmore said. O’Neal will be allowed to go to him mother’s funeral, he added. A similar court-approved visit was allowed when Fawcett fell ill in April.
Fawcett’s death brings an end to a 3 year battle with anal cancer which later spread to her liver.
Fawcett, a native of Texas, is the daughter of James Fawcett and Pauline Evans.
She attended the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in art, but still wanted to be an actress.
After winning a campus beauty contest, she was spotted by an agent, who encouraged her to pursue acting.
After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles. Her all-American look helped her easily land roles in various television commercials for such products as Ultra-Brite toothpaste and Wella Balsam shampoo.
In 1968, she met actor Lee Majors, star of the popular TV series “The Big Valley” (1965).
In 1970, she won her first major role in the film adaptation of the Gore Vidal novel Myra Breckinridge (1970).
In 1973, she and Majors married, and the following year, she won a recurring role in the crime series “Harry O” (1973).
A supporting role in the science fiction film Logan’s Run (1976) brought her to the attention of producer Aaron Spelling.
Spelling cast her in what was to become her trademark role in the TV series “Charlie’s Angels” (1976).
She played a private investigator who worked for a wealthy and mysterious businessman, along with two other glamorous female detectives, played by Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.
The show immediately became the most popular series on television, earning record ratings and a huge audience.
Farrah left the show at its peak to pursue a movie career.
I saw the documentary she had done during her last stages of cancer. A lot of people probably think it was exploitive, but I don’t think so. She was a very courageous woman who did not give up easily and her talent and enthusiasm for life will be missed.