Farrah Fawcett was a television and pin up icon of the 1970’s. Her famous poster of her in a red bathing suit sold more than twelve million copies when it came out but even more than that she will be remembered for being Jill Monroe in television’s Charlie’s Angels which also starred Jacquelyn Smith and Kate Jackson.
She was born Ferrah Leni Fawcett, on February 2, 1947, in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was an oil field contractor. Farrah’s beauty didn’t start with her famous poster or her one season stint on Charlie’s Angels. In fact, during her four years of high school at W.B. Ray, she held the title of the “Most Beautiful Student” for all four years. She went to college in 1965 at the University of Texas at Austin where she was going to major in microbiology and she joined the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She was in college for a year when a celebrity publicist asked her if she wanted to go out to California to be a model. Her parents were against it and forbade her from going but they eventually changed their minds and accompanied her to the “Golden State.” She landed a modeling contract within her two weeks of being there and also received many offers for television commercials and ads in magazines.
Shortly after that she began dating an actor named Lee Majors and they dated for five years before marrying in 1973 and it was that same year that Majors got the starring role in the hit series The Six Million Dollar Man. A series in which Farrah Fawcett, then known as Farrah Fawcett-Majors, made several guest appearances. There marriage ended in 1979 when hey separated and officially ended in divorce in 1982. After that she began dating Ryan O’Neal and they had a son in 1985, Redmond.
It was 1976 when she received the “Charlie’s Angels” role and she only stayed with the show for its first season and went on to star in less than stellar movies such as Logan’s Run and Sunburn. It wasn’t until 1984 when she starred in the movie The Burning Bed that she received her first Emmy nomination and also garnered her national attention. The movie was about a woman who eventually killed her husband by setting his bed on fire while he slept in it after she suffered years of abuse from him. The movie was based on the real life plight of a woman named Francine Hughes who set her abusive husband’s bed on fire in 1977. Hughes got into the car with her children, drove to a police station and gave a full confession. At trial, Hughes was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Critics had said that there were not many actresses who could pull off this role like Farrah Fawcett did. She would go on to receive a total of three Emmy nominations in her career. One for the Burning Bed then one for a movie called Small Sacrifices in 1989 and then one more in 2001 for the movie The Guardian.
Farrah Fawcett died on this day in history, June 25, 2009 due to complications from cancer. Unfortunately, her death was overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson, who died later on that same day at the age of fifty. Ryan O’Neal was there at the hospital when she passed away. Farrah Fawcett was sixty-two years old. For more on Farrah Fawcett, please follow the links at the bottom of the page.