Farrah Fawcett - Charlie's Bravest Angel
A Brave Soul
With the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, a lot of the news of that day was lost. One important story was the death of Farrah Fawcett after a long battle with cancer. While Farrah Fawcett was not the world known icon that Michael Jackson was, Farrah was an American icon known for her beauty and grace. In the last years of her life, however, Fawcett was no longer a blond bombshell but a woman suffering from a fatal disease. She did not run and hide though. In fact, she let the world see what was happening to her in order to bring attention to her disease and help others. For this, she will always be remembered as the bravest angel.
Farrah Fawcett Early Life.
Born Farrah Leni Fawcett on February 2, 1947 in Corpus Christi, Texas, Fawcett was the oldest of three children of Pauline and James Fawcett. Fawcett attended Catholic School until high school. After high school, Fawcett attended the University of Texas at Austin and was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. In her junior year, Fawcett appeared in a photograph of the Ten Most Beautiful Coeds in Cashbox magazine. A Hollywood publicist saw the photo and urged Fawcett to go to Hollywood. With her parents’ permission, Fawcett left Texas and moved to California.
Fawcett’s Early Career
Fawcett found work in Hollywood in Television commercials. She appeared in ads for shampoo, skin cream and other personal care products. She eventually pitched her own line of hair care products and appeared in a series of ads.
Fawcett also found work on Television. She first made guest spot appearances on I Dream of Jeanie. Then she appeared in the Six Million Dollar man with Lee Majors, who she eventually married. In 1976, Fawcett caught the attentionof executives from Pro Arts Inc, who believed that Fawcett would do well sitting for a photo shoot that would be turned into a poster. From 40 rolls of film, Fawcett picked her favorite which became the poster that became an American legend.
In 1976, Fawcett appeared in a new television show about three beautiful women who work as private investigators and report to an unseen man who only speaks to them through a speaker phone. In Charlie’s Angels, Fawcett starred as Jill Munroe. The show also featured Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. The show was an instant success and Fawcett became a fan favorite. Fawcett won a People’s Choice Award. Her hairdo from the show became a fashion trend. She was on top of the world.
Remarkably, Fawcett left the show only after one season and was replaced by Cheryl Ladd. However, Fawcett would always be remembered for her role on the show and the show itself would become an icon of American televsion.
Fawcett’s Later Career.
After Fawcett left Charlie’s Angels she did a number of other works that received poor critial acclaim. Then in 1983, Fawcett replaced Susan Surandon in the off Broadway Play Extremities. In the play, Fawcett played a would be rape victim who turned the tables to defeat her attacker. The next year, Fawcett starred in The Burning Bed that told the story of a battered wife. The role earned her an Emmy nomination. In 1986, Fawcett starred in the movie version of Extremities which was well received by critics. She also received a Golden Globe nomination.
Fawcett later starred in numerous television movies and received numerous Golden Globe nominations. In 1995, Fawcett caused a stir by appearing nude for the first time in her career in the December issue of Playboy magazine. The issue was Playboy’s best selling issue of the 1990s. Two years later, at the age of fifty, Fawcett again posed for Playboy and the July 1997 was one of the top sellers of the 1990s. She later appeared in other movies and guest spots on television shows including Ally McBeal and SpinCity.
Fawcett’s Brave Fight With Cancer
In 2006, Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer. She immediatley began chemotherapy and had surgery. By her 60th birthday, it was reported that the cancer was gone. However, in 2007, Fawcett was told that she had a maglignat polyp in the spot where her intial cancer was found. Fawcett brought a digital camera to the appointment to take the doctor’s visitor.
Instead of allowing doctors to implant a radiation seeder or perform a colostomy, Fawcett traveled to Germany to received alterntive treatment. Fawcett struggled with different procedures and surgeries and in an effort to bring attention to her disease and help others, Fawcett documented her battle with the disease.
Eventually, the cancer metastasized in her liver. She had numerous episodes and vistis to the hospital. Her boyfried, Ryan O’Neal reported that the last stages of the cancer had taken root. On May 15, 2009, NBC aired a documentary called Farrah’s Story. It was filed by Fawcett and documentaed her struggles with cancer. On June 25, 2009, Fawcett died at the age of 62.
Farrah Fawcett was an American Icon. She was known for her beauty. But Fawcett was also a very talented actress. But her legacy must include the work she did documenting her struggles with cancer. In that documentary, Fawcett allowed herself to be viewed in the most unflattering terms in order to help others who suffer from the same disease. For that, she will be remembered as the bravest angel.
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