Farrah Fawcett Dies
An "Angel" made her way to heaven today when Farrah Fawcett lost her lengthy battle against cancer. She died this morning at 9:28 AM. She was 62.
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, she was voted "Best Looking" in high school and studied Microbiology and Art at University of Texas in Austin, but soon found her way to Hollywood to pursue an acting career, where she began dating actor Lee Majors. As a model, she was quickly recognized, posing for Ultra-Brite toothpaste, Wella Balsam shampoo and Noxema shaving cream, and landing small roles on TV shows "The Flying Nun" and "Mayberry RFD." Her big film break came in 1970 with the Raquel Welch film "Myra Breckenridge," in which her character slept with Raquel.
In 1976, Farrah was cast in the life-changing role of Jill Munroe on Aaron Spelling's "Charlie's Angels," which made her a household name, along with Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith, who remained lifelong friends. Her iconic feathered hairstyle was everywhere, as was a poster of her in a red one-piece swimsuit - which remains the best-selling poster ever. Farrah left "Charlie's Angels" to pursue a film career and was replaced by Cheryl Ladd.
After meeting with little success in films like "Somebody Killed Her Husband," Farrah broke up with Majors in 1979 and began dating Ryan O'Neal, becoming the tabloid couple of the day... and lived together for nearly 20 years. She appeared in Burt Reynold's "Cannonball Run" in 1981, a commercial success but critical flop.
In 1983, Farrah made her mark in a Broadway play, "Extremities," and in the TV movie, "The Burning Bed," which shed light on the problem of spousal abuse. She remained active in abuse issues for the rest of her life.
She and O'Neal had a son, Redmond, born in 1985, who was recently arrested with his father on drug charges.
Farrah and Ryan had a brief foray into TV comedy with 1991's "Good Sports," in which they played sportscasters. Her wacky 1993 appearance on "The Late Show" with David Letterman led to speculation that she was on drugs, which she denied. In 1997, she broke up with O'Neal and posed for Playboy at age 48, covered with paint. She enjoyed a brief resurgence opposite Robert Duvall in "The Apostle," in which she played the wife of a preacher.
In 1998, she was beaten by her then-boyfriend, writer James Orr, after reportedly whacking his car with a baseball bat. Orr was fined and sentenced to three years probation.
She began seeing O'Neal again in 2001 after he was diagnosed with leukemia, and dealt with their son's drug problems together. They began living together again when Farrah was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2006, and the following year with a malignant rectal polyp. She revealed on her 60th birthday in 2007 that she was now cancer-free. The cancer recurred later that year, and Farrah sought alternative treatments in Europe while making a documentary about her battle with the disease. She was hospitalized in April 2009 with complications resulting from her treatment.
Services are pending. In lieu of flowers the family has asked that donations to support cancer research be made to The Farrah Fawcett Foundation c/o P.O. Box 6478, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.