Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah Fawcett, 1947-2009 -- Rest in Peace

In the mid-1970s, Farrah Fawcett was the unrivalled princess of teenaged boyhood fantasy. Her iconic cheesecake image -- toothy grin and flip perm -- adorned many an adolescent bedroom, as her magazine shoots graced many a high school locker. Her famous poster broke all sales records, and was as ubiquitous in the suburbs as Frampton Comes Alive. And for just one season, thanks to Farrah, Charlie's Angels became "must see" TV.

Who would have known then (indeed, who would have cared?) that Farrah Fawcett was far more than just another pretty face, much more than just "this year's blonde"?

It was probably her sympathetic and chilling portrayal of a battered woman who murders her abusive husband in The Burning Bed that finally put the cheesecake image to rest. This role also earned Farrah her first Emmy nomination. She would accumulate a string of award nominations over her career (2 more Emmy nominations, and several Golden Globe nods); although -- call it the Susan Lucci Syndrome -- she never did hear her name called from the podium on awards night (unless it was to introduce her as a presenter).

Off screen, Farrah Fawcett was married to the action-TV star Lee Majors, of The Six Million Dollar Man fame. Their marriage lasted from 1973 until their divorce in 1982. Thereafter, Farrah and Ryan O'Neal became a romantic item -- this time for keeps, although they never actually got around to getting married. In addition to Ryan's own two children, he and Farrah had one son together.

In 2006, Farrah Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer. She battled the disease, enduring both surgery and chemotherapy. She lost that battle yesterday. Farrah Fawcett was 62.

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