Farrah Fawcett Dies at 62: A Feminist Icon

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Farrah Fawcett became almost an instant celebrity, not to mention sex symbol, after bursting into the public eye in the 1976 hit series “Charlie’s Angels”. Her famous, feathered hair quickly became the most requested hairstyle of the era and cemented her status as an icon. Her face (and popular hairdo) sold lunchboxes, posters, and t-shirts and a famous poster of her sporting a red bathing suit put her on the wall of every teenaged boy in America .

But Fawcett was never interested in being an American icon, or a sex symbol, she was most interested in becoming a serious actress and being recognized as such by her peers. Despite becoming the most popular of the three angels, Farrah left the show “Charlie’s Angels” after only one season to pursue more serious acting roles. Producers of the show were shocked that she would give up her spot on television’s top 5 show to appear in feature films. Farrah claimed that the studios were warned not to touch her by the producer’s of Charlie’s Angels. She claimed they threatened to sue the studios for damages if they employed her. She agreed to return to Charlie’s Angels for three episodes every season. After a string of flops that failed to connect with the public, she finally received the critical acclaim she was looking for (along with an Emmy nomination) in 1984 for “The Burning Bed” for her role as an abused wife.

Ever the feminist she decided to actively search for roles where she would not portray the victim stating that she “felt she were doing a disservice to ourselves by portraying only women as victims”. She posed in 1995 at age 50 for Playboy magazine. Talk about a feminist!

In 1997 Farrah appeared on the David Letterman Show and her wild, disconnected, almost manic answers led to speculation that she was on drugs – which she denied vehemently.

Farrah Fawcett was originally diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and immediately underwent treatment. She was brave enough to share her painful and unglamorous treatments with the public in the NBC documentary “Farrah’s Story” and briefly went into remission before doctors rediscovered the cancer.

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