Farrah Fawcett was a young starlet just beginning her career when she appeared as a contestant on The Dating Game in 1969. In the days when game shows still proliferated on the daytime schedules of the networks, many aspiring actors used game shows as a means of getting noticed. Mel Harris appeared on The $100000 Pyramid in 1973. Kirstie Alley appeared on Match Game in 1979. The Dating Game seemed particularly attractive to aspiring actors, with such one day to be famous names as Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck (who went otn the show twice and lost both times)and Suzanne Somers, among others, all appeared on the show.
By the time Farrah Fawcett appeared in the film Logan's Run she was an established actress. She had guest starred on shows such as The Partridge Family and Owen Marshall: Counsellor at Law. The movie Logan's Run was based on the popular novel of the same name by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. The film almost entirely did away with the plot of the novel, retaining only the idea of a society in which individuals are put to death at age a certain age (30 in the movie, 21 in the book). Based on a popular novel and with a huge budget, complete with impressive special effects for the time, Logan's Run was heavily promoted by MGM. At the time it seemed as if it was set to be a major hit. Unfortunately, this would not be the case. Logan's Run received mixed reviews. Released too late to take advantage of the success of 2001: A Space Odyssey and too early to take advantage of the success of Star Wars, Logan's Run quietly died at the box office. Still, many noticed Farrah Fawcett in the film, in which she played Holly, assistant to the body reconstructionist Doc at The New You Shop.
"Once upon a time there were three little girls who went to the police academy..." (Charlie's opening narration to Charlie's Angels)
Charlie's Angels proved to be the big break for Farrah Fawcett, catapulting her to fame in a way that few television shows have ever done. In its first season an estimated 59% of all Americans tuned into the series and it ranked number 5 for the year in the Nielsen's ratings. Farrah Fawcett left the show after its first season, making guest appearances on it afterwards.
The movie Extremities was based on the off Broadway play by William Mastrosimone. The play, which involved a violent attempted rape, the culprit's stalking of his victim, and his victim's revenge, proved controversial at the time, although highly successful as well. Farrah Fawcett took over the role of the victim in the play from Susan Sarandon and received some of the best notices of her career. Reprising her role in the movie, Farrah Fawcett would again received great marks from critics.
Producer, director, and lead actor Robert Duvall cast Farrah Fawcett himself in The Apostle, in which she plays a preacher's wife who leaves him for another man. She received critical acclaim for her performance and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Actor.