Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett R.I.P.

Farrah Fawecett, best known for her role on Charlie's Angels, passed today at the age of 62 after a long struggle with cancer.

Farrah Fawcett was born on February 2, 1947 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She attended W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi before going on to the University of Texas at Austin. There she majored in painting and sculpture. She entered the entertainment business through an article in Cashbox featuring the ten most beautiful co-eds from the University of Texas in Austin. Seeing the article, a Hollywood publicist gave her a call.

Fawcett left college and signed a contract with Screen Gems. In 1969 She appeared in the Claude Lelouch film Un homme qui me plaît, on the game show The Dating Game, and in small guest bits on I Dream of Jeannie and The Flying Nun. In 1970 she had the misfortune to appear in the movie Myra Breckinridge, long considered one of the worst films of all time. She also made guest appearances on The Partridge Family and The Young Rebels that year. The next several years Fawcett's career would primarily consist of guest appearances on shows such as Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, The Girl With Something Extra, McCloud, and Marcus Welby M.D.. she also played in such TV movies as The Girl Came Gift-Wrapped and The Feminist and the Fuzz.

Having gone from guest bits on shows to more substantial guest appearances, Farrah Fawcett became a semi-regular on Harry-O in 1975. She was also the original bionic woman on The Six Million Dollar Man, starring then husband Lee Majors. During the early to mid-Seventies she also appeared in many commercials for products including the 1975 Mercury Cougar, Noxema shaving cream, Ultra Brite toothpaste, and Wella Balsam shampoo.

In 1976 Farrah Fawcett appeared in a small but very noticeable role in Logan's Run. The role may have been a sign of bigger things to come. She was signed to appear in the television show Charlie's Angels. Debuting in 1976, Charlie's Angels became a smash hit. Farrah Fawcett became something of a phenomenon, with posters of her selling in the millions. After one season she left the series, although she would continue to make guest appearances on the show for some time.

Following her stint on Charlie's Angels, Farrah Fawcett appeared in feature films: the comedies Somebody Killed Her Husband and Sunburn, and the sci-fi movie Saturn 3. She was also one of a number of stars appearing in Cannoball Run. Farrah Fawcett did not give up on television entirely. She appeared in several television movies over the next several years, including Murder in Texas, The Red Light Sting, Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story, and Margaret Bourke-White. She received critical acclaim for her role in The Burning Bed, as well as the feature film Extremities.

From the Nineties into the Naughts, Farrah Fawcett continued to appear on both television and in movies. She appeared in telefilms such as Criminal Behaviour, Dalva, Baby, and Jewel. She guest starred on Johnny Bravo and Ally McBeal. She made a series of guest appearances on both Spin City and The Guardian. She appeared in the feature films Man of the House, The Apostle, Dr. T and the Women, and The Cookout.

If the level of her popularity in the Seventies was any indication Farrah Fawcett was the favourite Angel of a good many people (my favourite was always Jaclyn Smith). There was good reason for this. Farrah Fawcett had a girl next door quality that made her seem not only appealing, but approachable. In addition to this, Fawcett proved she was a very good actress. Over the years she won a good deal of acclaim for her roles in telefilms and movies ranging from The Burning Bed to The Apostle. I think this is something many sometimes forget. While they remember her as the girl next door turned detective on Charlie's Angels, they forget that she was also a very talented actress. She deserves to be remembered for that.

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