Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett 1947-2009

I just learned that Farrah Fawcett lost her long battle with cancer at the age of 62. When it became clear that her chances of surviving were grim at best, I was a bit surprised at how it affected me. I think it was because she represented youthful sex appeal and it was hard to reconcile that with the cold hard fact that sex symbols are humans just like the rest of us.

I do have to give props to Farrah for "glamming down" and taking on demanding acting roles when she easily could have kept cruising on Cheesecake Lane. If you haven't seen her Emmy-nominated turn as a battered wife in the 1984 TV movie The Burning Bed, you should check it out because she was quite convincing.

I think she also may have helped make it chic for sex symbol actresses to take on parts that were far from glamorous (think Raquel Welch in the 1987 TV movie Right to Die, Halle Berry in Monster's Ball, or Charlize Theron in Monster just to name a few). Farrah followed her triumph in The Burning Bed with other serious projects such as the 1987 film Extremities and the 1989 TNT biopic Double Exposure: The Story of Margaret Bourke-White.

Even though Farrah had a long and varied career, it's hard not to conjure up images of Charlie's Angels, her cascading feathered blonde hairstyle (inspiring countless women, for better or worse, to adopt the "do"), and the famous poster (inspiring legions of males in other ways) when you first think of her. Because Farrah was such a big part of Charlie's Angels success, it's easy to forget that she was only a regular during the show's 1st season (1976-1977). However, she did do guest appearances on the show in subsequent seasons.

Below is an early 1970s commercial for Ultra-Brite toothpaste featuring Farrah at her toothy, All-American girl best.


Jessica The Rock Chick said...

I'm really feeling the loss of Farrah, too. I've seen her other work, but I think in my mind, she is young and vibrant on Charlie's Angels. With her passing and the loss of Ed McMahon, it's like 2 huge celebrities of my youth are gone! I loved the Tonight Show..on Fridays my parents would let us stay up and watch Johnny and it was such a treat.

Us Magazine is reporting that even though it was Farrah's last wish, she and Ryan O'Neal did not marry. I don't know why, I think it was like two weeks ago they said they were going to do so. That relationship was stormy and I feel bad for all the drug problems her son has had. She hadn't had an easy life.

X. Dell said...

Funny. I remember the commercial. I didn't remember Fawcett as the actress in it.

pjazzypar said...

I was a huge fan of Charlie's Angels and I really enjoyed her Emmy nominated work in the Burning Bed and Extremities. I know she suffered for quite a while and that is all through now, may she rest in peace.

Malcolm said...

Jessica: Because of all that's been going on, it had slipped my mind about responding to comments made during the past week and a half. I wonder if Farrah was just too weak to go through the ceremony. Even though it probably would have been a bedside wedding, I seem to remember reading that most of her final days were spent sleeping.

X. Dell: It's sometimes fun to go back and see now famous people in commercials from their early days. I first remember Farrah from the spots she did for the Ford Cougar in the mid 70s.

Pjazzy: It's a bit ironic that the original Charlie's Angels were all stricken with cancer. I had never even heard of anal cancer until I learned that Farrah was suffering from it.

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