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FARRAH FAWCETT 


FEBRUARY 2 1947-JUNE 25 2009






 

 

 

Farrah Leni Fawcett (born Ferrah Leni Fawcett; February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) was an American actress. A four-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she played a starring role in the first season of the television series Charlie's Angels.

 

Mary Ferrah Leni Fawcett was born on February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, and was the younger of two daughters. Her mother, Pauline Alice Fawcett (née Evans; 1914–2005), was a homemaker and her father, James William Fawcett (1917–2010), was an oil field contractor. She was of Irish, French, English and Choctaw Native American ancestry.

Fawcett once said the name "Farrah" was "made up" by her mother, because it went well with their last name.

 

A Roman Catholic, Fawcett began her early education at the parish school of the church her family attended, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Corpus Christi. She graduated from W. B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, where she was voted "most beautiful" by her clas.smates in her freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school. Between 1965 and 1968, she attended the University of Texas, where she studied microbiology before switching her major to art. She lived at the Mayfair House on Pearl Street, west of the campus, and was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority.

 

In her freshman year of college, she was named one of the "ten most beautiful coeds on campus", and it was the first time that a freshman had been chosen for the honor. Her photos were sent to various agencies in Hollywood. David Mirisch, a Hollywood agent, called her and urged her to come to Los Angeles. She turned him down, but he continued for the next two years. Finally, in the summer of 1968, Fawcett moved to Los Angeles, initially staying at the Hollywood Studio Club, with her parents' permission to "try her luck" in the entertainment industry.

 

In 1976, Pro Arts Inc. pitched the idea of a poster of Fawcett to her agent. A photo shoot was then arranged with photographer Bruce McBroom, who was hired by the poster company.According to friend Nels Van Patten, Fawcett styled her own hair and did her makeup without the aid of a mirror. Her blonde highlights were further heightened by a squeeze of lemon juice. Fawcett selected her six favorite pictures from 40 rolls of film, and the choice was eventually narrowed to the one that made her famous.The resulting image of Fawcett in a one-piece red bathing suit is the best-selling poster in history.

Cast of the television program Charlie's Angels. From left: Jaclyn Smith, Farrah Fawcett, and Kate Jackson in 1976

Fawcett earned a supporting role in Michael Anderson's science-fiction film Logan's Run (1976) with Michael York. She and her husband, television star Lee Majors, were frequent tennis partners with producer Aaron Spelling. Spelling and his business partner eventually chose Fawcett to play Jill Munroe in their upcoming made-for-TV movieCharlie's Angels, a movie of the week which aired on March 21, 1976, on ABC. The movie starred Fawcett (then billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors), Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith as private investigators for Townsend as.sociates, a detective agency run by a reclusive multimillionaire whom the women had never met. Voiced by John Forsythe, the Charles Townsend character presented cases and dispensed advice via a speakerphone to his core team of three female employees, whom he referred to as "Angels". They were aided in the office and occasionally in the field by two male ***ociates, played by character actors David Doyle and David Ogden Stiers. The program quickly earned a huge following, leading the network to air it a second time and approve production for a series, with the pilot's principal cast minus Ogden Stiers.

The Charlie's Angels series proper formally debuted on September 22, 1976. Each of the three actresses was propelled to stardom, but Fawcett dominated popularity polls. She subsequently won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Performer in a New TV Program.  In a 1977 interview with TV Guide, she said, "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."   Fawcett's appearance in the television show boosted sales of her poster, and she earned far more in royalties from poster sales than from her salary for appearing in Charlie's Angels. Her hairstyle went on to become an international trend, with women sporting a "Farrah-do", a "Farrah-flip", or simply "Farrah hair". Iterations of her hair style predominated among American women's hairstyles well into the 1980s.

In the spring of 1977, Fawcett left Charlie's Angels after only one season. After a series of legal battles over her contract with ABC, Cheryl Ladd replaced her on the show, portraying Jill Munroe's younger sister Kris Munroe. Over the years, numerous explanations were offered for Fawcett's precipitous withdrawal from the show. Because her husband, Lee Majors, was the star of an established television show as well (ABC's Six Million Dollar Man, which aired from 1974 to 1978), the strain on her marriage due to filming schedules that kept them apart for long periods was frequently cited, but her ambition to broaden her acting abilities in films has also been given as an explanation. She never officially signed her series contract with Spelling, owing to protracted negotiations over royalties from her image's use in peripheral products, which led to an even more protracted lawsuit filed by Spelling and his company when she left the show. As a result of leaving her contract four years early, she reluctantly signed a new contract with ABC, stating that she would make six guest appearances on the series over a two-year period (1978–1980).

Charlie's Angels was a global success, maintaining its appeal in syndication and spawning, particularly in the show's first three seasons, a cottage industry of peripheral products, including several series of bubble gum cards, two sets of fashion dolls, numerous posters, puzzles, and school supplies, novelizations of episodes, toy vans, and a board game, all featuring Fawcett's likeness. The "Angels" also appeared on the covers of magazines around the world, from countless fan magazines to TV Guide (four times) to Time.

In 2004, the television film Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels dramatized the events from the show, with supermodel and actress Tricia Helfer portraying Fawcett and Ben Browder portraying Lee Majors, Fawcett's then-husband.

Fawcett died of cancer at 2:28 a.m. PDT on June 25, 2009, at the age of 62, at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, with O'Neal and Alana Stewart by her side.


A private funeral was held in Los Angeles on June 30, 2009. Farrah's son Redmond was permitted to leave his California detention center in order to attend the service, where he gave the first reading. Fawcett was interred at the Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, next to Rodney Dangerfield.




 

 

 

 


 


 

 

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