After a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer, 62-year-old Farrah Fawcett died this morning in Santa Monica, California.
Over the course of her career, Fawcett tackled the big screen and Broadway with tenacity, but what she will probably be most remembered for is her turn as Jill Munroe on the iconic ’70s sitcom Charlie’s Angels — that, and the hair. My goodness The Hair.
In reality, Fawcett only spent one full season with the Angels (she appeared in later seasons as a guest star), but her face spawned a million Charlie’s Angels bubble gum cards, dolls, folders, notebooks, pencils, lunchboxes, toy cars, puzzles and, of course, that poster.
In 1976, she posed in a one-piece red bathing suit, all hair and smiles and perky breasts for a studio out of Nowhere, Ohio. The print sold a record 12 million copies worldwide, making her literally the poster girl for an entire generation of high schoolers and dorm-dwellers.
Fawcett started her career with guest spots on I Dream of Jeanie and The Six Million Dollar Man, and after her run on Charlie’s Angels she went on to try her hand at more dramatic film roles. She finally settled on a place in TV movies and mini-series’, where she earned nine Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
In later years, Fawcett embraced her role as Jill Munroe, even though she’d spent most of her career trying to distance herself from the Angels. She told Aaron Spelling‘s biographer, "When the show was number three, I thought it was our acting. When we got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra."
In 2006, the Angels reunited at the Primtime Emmys to pay tribute to Spelling. There, she tearfully told the audience, "The three of us didn’t experience the Charlie’s Angels phenomenon like the rest of the world did. We experienced it from the inside — the eye of that televised storm — together."
Shortly after the appearance, Fawcett was diagnosed with cancer. Her battle has been well-documented. She faced the treatments — occasionally in front of a camera — with guts and grace.
"Farrah had courage, she had strength, and she had faith. And now she has peace as she rests with the real angels," Angels co-star Jaclyn Smith said today.
In recent years, Smith and Kate Jackson have affectionately referred to Fawcett as "the money," which is, of course, true. Of all the sex symbols of the ’70s and ’80s, Farrah Fawcett shined the brightest — brighter even than The Hair. And that is saying something.
Share your favorite Farrah Fawcett moments in the comments.