Thursday, June 25, 2009

An Angel Gets Her Wings

This comes as no surprise, given all of the reports about her declining health over the last couple of years, but the news is sad nonetheless: Farrah Fawcett, the blond and bright-smiling, Texas-born model and actress who starred in the 1970s TV hit Charlie’s Angels, died today in Santa Monica, California, at age 62. She succumbed to anal cancer.

I was never a big fan of Aaron Spelling’s Angels series. But I did enjoy watching Fawcett--then credited as Farrah Fawcett-Majors, because of her marriage to The Six Million Dollar Man’s Lee Majors--on the mid-’70s David Janssen TV series Harry O (she played private eye Orwell’s bouncy next-door neighbor, Sue Ingham). And I remember appreciating her in the lead role in a 1989 teleflick called Margaret Bourke-White, about the famous 20th-century U.S. photojournalist. During the late ’70s and early ’80s, a poster of Fawcett wrapped up in a one-piece red bathing suit (above) made her the No. 1 sex symbol in America, perhaps rivaled only by The Fall Guy’s Heather Thomas.

Even sadder than word about Fawcett’s passing this morning may be reports that she and her longtime love, actor Ryan O’Neal, who had planned to wed while she remained on her deathbed, weren’t able to follow through on that wish. “There just wasn’t time, and Farrah wasn’t in any condition to do it,” O’Neill is quoted in People magazine as saying.

In fond memory of Fawcett, here’s a video tribute to the actress in her best-remembered role, as Jill Munroe on Charlie’s Angels:

READ MORE:What Was It About Farrah?” by Mary Elizabeth Williams (Salon); “Hollywood Pays Tribute to Farrah Fawcett,” by Mike Fleeman (People); “Farrah Fawcett Dies at 62; Actress Soared with, then Beyond, Charlie’s Angels,” by Valerie J. Nelson (Los Angeles Times); “Farrah Fawcett, Actress and Iconic Beauty, Dies at 62,” by Susan Stewart (The New York Times); “Good-bye Farrah,” by Sandra Stephens (You Call Yourself a Writer--Me Too); “Former Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett Dies,” by Jesse Baker (NPR); “Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009),” by Edward Copeland (Edward Copeland on Film); “Why We Loved Farrah Fawcett,” by James Ledbetter (Slate); “Farrah Is Dead at 62,” by Marty McKee (Johnny LaRue’s Crane Shot); and video tributes to the actress can be found here, here, and here.

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