Farah Fawcett Dead at 62

Breaking: Actress Farrah Fawcett dies at 62, according to AP

CNN (Farrah Fawcett, sex symbol and actress, dies):

Farrah Fawcett, the blonde-maned actress whose best-selling poster and “Charlie’s Angels” stardom made her one of the most famous faces in the world, has died. She was 62.

People (Farrah Fawcett Dies of Cancer at 62):

Farrah Fawcett, who skyrocketed to fame as one of a trio of impossibly glamorous private eyes on TV’s Charlie’s Angels, has died after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.

Fawcett died at 9:28 a.m. PST at St. John’s Heath Center in Santa Monica, Calif. She was with longtime partner Ryan O’Neal, friend Alana Stewart and her doctor Lawrence Piro. She had recently returned to St. John’s for treatment of complications from anal cancer, first diagnosed three years ago.

“She’s gone. She now belongs to the ages,” O’Neal tells PEOPLE. “She’s now with he mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night. I told her how very much I loved her. She’s in a better place now.”

Like so much about Fawcett’s life — including her bumpy relationship with O’Neal — her heroic struggle to beat the disease was closely followed by her legion of fans.

“I’ve watched her this past year fight with such courage and so valiantly, but with such humor,” Fawcett’s Charlie’s Angels costar Kate Jackson told PEOPLE in November 2007.

[…]In 1973, Fawcett married actor Lee Majors, forever known as Col. Steve Austin on TV’s The Six Million Dollar Man. Three years later, she appeared in the cult sci-fi film Logan’s Run and began her stint with costars Jackson and Jaclyn Smith on Charlie’s Angels. Well-coiffed and scantily-clad, the threesome created an instant sensation, with a weekly following of 23 million fans.

Fawcett moved on after just one season. By then, she was already a phenomenon, having donned a one-piece red bathing suit and a perfect smile for her legendary pin-up poster, which sold a still-record 12 million copies.

“I became famous almost before I had a craft,” Fawcett told The New York Times in 1986, four years after her divorce from Majors. (By then, she was already involved with Ryan O’Neal.) “I didn’t study drama at school. I was an art major. Suddenly, when I was doing Charlie’s Angels, I was getting all this fan mail, and I didn’t really know why. I don’t think anybody else did, either.

Though she left TV for what was assumed to be greener pastures — feature films — Fawcett’s initial three big-screen vehicles all crash-landed. Her first, 1978’s Somebody Killed Her Husband, was lampooned in MAD magazine under the title, Somebody Killed Her Career.

It took some serious dramatic TV roles, including that of a battered wife in 1984’s The Burning Bed (which earned her an Emmy nomination), as well as starring in small-screen biopics about pioneering photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White and ill-fated Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, for Fawcett to bounce back.

Fawcett is only slightly younger than my parents but she was the first iconic sex symbol I was ever aware of.  She and Majors were the Hollywood “it” couple of the day and “Charlie’s Angels,” while not a show that has stood up well to the test of time, nonetheless remains a pop culture icon.

Even though she remained a celebrity through the end, she’ll always be remembered for that poster.  It’s amazing how tame it was compared to the images of today’s sex symbols.

More at Gone Hollywood, which also has some retrospective posts:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. just me says:

    I remember playing Charlie’s Angels with my friends back in the 70’s.

    My heart goes out to her family and loved ones.