Following her time on Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett became a huge celebrity; her distinctive hairdo and “pin-up” status only contributed to increase her notoriety.
Fawcett went through difficult times in her life at the same period. She had a multi-million dollar lawsuit pending against her former company, and she was known to have occasionally tangled love lives.
Her turbulent relationship with actor Ryan O’Neal in the 1990s was nothing short of a disaster. The saddest aspect of all, though, was that she ultimately made the decision to end her relationship with him due to a very unexpected finding.
What you need to know about cult favorite actress Farrah Fawcett is here!
On February 2, 1947, Farrah Fawcett was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was the second child of Pauline and Jim; Pauline was a stay-at-home mom, and Jim was an oil field contractor.
At birth, Farrah was given the name Ferrah, which is Arabic for joy. Later, she made the decision to alter it.
Fawcett would go on to become one of the most attractive “golden girls” of her generation.
Her mother, Pauline, told the Texas Monthly that when she brought Farrah into a store, shoppers would pause their cart and exclaim, “She looks like an a-n-g-e-l.” Pauline further asserted that neighboring kids frequented their home expressly to see her.
For Farrah, it wasn’t all good news, either. Even while her mother appreciated that everyone admired her daughter, it subsequently caused her problems.
Farrah was aware of her beauty, yet even that presented challenges for her.
The actress reportedly said, “I always felt so self-conscious,” according to Farrah’s mother Pauline. “I wanted people to stop staring at me since they were doing it so much.”
There’s no disputing that Fawcett’s appearance became a significant aspect of her life, even though appearances aren’t everything.
She won the “Most Beautiful” award from her high school peers three years in a row. Then, in 1965, she relocated to Austin to attend the University of Texas, and during her first year there, she was once more selected as “Most Beautiful.”
Fawcett attended the University of Texas to study both microbiology and art. But a year after she started, a new kind of career started to take off.
A picture of Farrah was sent to Hollywood PR expert David Mirisch after she was selected as one of the “Ten Most Beautiful” women at the University of Texas. He called her because he felt she was gorgeous and wanted to persuade her to go to Los Angeles so he could help her start a modeling career there.
Now, Mirsch had a number of other well-known clients, such as Patt Boone and Perry Como. He called Farrah while she was still in class to persuade her to drop out and move to Hollywood.
Mirisch persisted despite Fawcett’s requests for him to speak with her father.
After completing her junior year, Farrah finally came to a conclusion. A photographer for the Texas Student Publications took her picture in a park in Texas. Her intention was to visit Los Angeles for a brief period of time to get a taste of the city before returning to school for her senior year.
After relocating to Los Angeles, Fawcett quickly got a deal with Screen Gems, which reportedly paid her roughly $360 per week. She started performing work for Max Factor and Mercury Cougar Cars, as well as advertisements for Wela Balsam and Ultra-Brite toothpaste.
Farrah was a talented actor as well as a fantastic model. After a few more assignments as a model, which involved posing for numerous magazine covers, she started landing acting roles in the middle of the 1960s. Soon after, she started starring in television advertisements.
She first made an appearance in TV shows like The Partridge Family, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Flying Nun.
Farrah was then steadily ascending the fame ladder. Then, in 1976, everything changed when she achieved global fame thanks to two jobs.
Farrah was cast in the 1975 television movie Murder on Flight 502 by renowned television producer Aaron Spelling. He had been quite taken with her acting after that.
After that, he made the decision to put her in a brand-new television series called Charlie’s Angels, which would feature three female detectives as its main characters.
In his 1996 autobiography A Prime-Time Life, he stated, “We were looking for the California beach-girl type, and Farrah was great for that.” “She was breathtakingly beautiful and the embodiment of the lovely L. a blonde wearing a bathing suit or tennis shorts.
The program premiered in September 1976, and despite some harsh criticism, the audience adored it.
Alongside Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith, Farrah played the role of agent Jill Munroe on the show. She was mostly responsible, in Spelling’s opinion, for Charlie’s Angels’ positive reception among viewers.
Initially, “we briefly considered modifying it, and had we been shooting a regular cop program, we would have,” he added. But the show was made better by her hair. It turned became one of our trademarks.
The actress from Texas soon rose to fame as her hair gained international notoriety. The New York Times even claimed in 1996 that Farrah may have had the most famous hair ever, if not of all time, and certainly during the 1970s.
“Her feathery, highlighted, layered phenomenon was a work of art that appeared to have just emerged from the water and been carelessly perfected by the wind. Before the reality of mortgage payments and single parenthood set in, Farrah’s hair was symbolic of women in the initial stage of independence; it was powerful, self-assured, and joyful, the Times reported, quoting the source.
However, Farrah had had enough of Charlie’s Angels after just one season.
She believed that the lengthy production schedule and the screenplay both needed improvement. She therefore deemed her contract void and fled.
A $7 million contract breach case was then filed against her. Fawcett later consented to return for six more episodes as part of a settlement. She only made an appearance in 29 of the 115 episodes, yet she was still the big star.
Farrah stated, “I quit Charlie’s Angels because I felt creatively restricted.”
“Now that I return, Charlie’s Angels is considerably improved. I get to collaborate with the director and script authors. I was harmed at first because I was sued, but now I can approach it like a business.
“I read hurtful things in the press, such things that girls had said,” she said. All of that has since passed. We are all once more close. I’m considerably better now.
Through Charlie’s Angels, Fawcett not only rose to fame as a huge Hollywood star, but she also made an appearance on a poster that essentially transformed her life.
She appeared on a poster in a red one-piece swimming suit in 1976, the same year the drama television series debuted. It helped make her into the international star she eventually became and became one of the best-selling posters of all time.
“It was difficult to avoid the phenomenon that resulted from the pairing of that poster with Charlie’s Angels. It’s difficult to escape the wide smile, big hair, and that swimming suit because around 12 million males and more had the poster on their walls, according to Mike Pingel.
Life as a celebrity wasn’t always enjoyable for Fawcett at the same time she gained international recognition.
She claimed in a 1979 interview that authors were free to invent stories about her because they knew they would be popular.
Farrah Fawcett confessed, “I go through life thinking everything is beautiful. “People hide information from me. Most of the things written about me I don’t read. To avoid getting wounded while reading, you nearly have to stop. Because it sells, authors write nasty things about you.
She continued, “I get quite depressed sometimes. “I simply want to go outside and be myself. I want to go shopping or to the movies, buy some popcorn, and sit peacefully in the audience. But I’m always being watched. Things become extremely valuable, like going to dinner with friends.
She has frequently expressed her desire to be in total control of both her personal and professional brand. But as we all know, working in Hollywood can be a famously difficult environment.
“I think the merchandise in general has bothered me the most. Things like the bedsheets and similar items were things over which I had no control. There wasn’t much that could be done about it, but I didn’t enjoy any of that,” she said.
As she started her career in television, Fawcett had a difficult start to the 1980s. She received many roles, but none of them allowed her to truly establish herself as a brilliant actor.
After that, in 1984, Farrah produced and acted in the television show The Burning Bed, for which she received widespread acclaim and a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special at the Emmy Awards.
She received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Special for her work in Small Sacrifices five years later. She later received a third nomination for her work in 2001.
Fawcett’s private life was turbulent as she became into a cult figure. She was married to Lee Majors from 1973 to 1982, but over the years, she has also been in a number of well-known partnerships, including one with Canadian director James Orr.
The one that gained the greatest notoriety—and may have been more significant to Fawcett—was her protracted union with actor Ryan O’Neal.
In 1979, O’Neal saw Fawcett for the first time. He was Lee Majors’ close friend and claimed to have once caught a glimpse of a “beautiful girl.” The girl in question was Farrah.
In his 2012 book Both of Us: My Life with Farrah, O’Neal stated, “She’s delightful, full of innocent sweetness.” She is bright and wholesome, which is a breath of fresh air in this town, and she has no pretense or cattiness at all.
One evening, Majors requested O’Neal to take Farrah to dinner while he was away from the city. After they started dating, O’Neal quickly joined Lee Major and Farrah Fawcett’s inner circle.
He got to observe the couple’s marriage crumble up close as he spent more time with them.
O’Neal remembered, “They were saying the marriage was over, and I was saying they were amazing together.
“Remember when we were initially married and living in Nevada, Lee? You used to leave me in this tiny cabin while you went to a bar, she recalled. You would instruct me to undress, get into bed, and wait for you, but you never showed up. He said, “Same man I am now as I was then.
Even though Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett didn’t get divorced until 1982, they had already split up by 1979.
Even though O’Neal was a friend of Majors, Fawcett and O’Neal didn’t hide their relationship from the media and even had a kiss while being questioned by reporters.
“Farrah and I do not have any intentions to get married or divorced,” O’Neal declared. “Don’t fix what ain’t broke,” they say.
Fawcett gave birth to Redmond O’Neal, the couple’s son, in 1985. However, the union wasn’t everlasting.
According to rumors, Farrah Fawcett witnessed her boyfriend dating Leslie Ann Stefanso around 1997. The couple divorced in 1998, but they reconciled after O’Neal was given a leukemia diagnosis in 2001. Ryan devoted his time to caring for Farrah Fawcett when she was diagnosed with cancer herself five years later.
While he was keeping an eye on her, he told People, “The hair is gone.
“Her renowned hair. It is with me at home. She was apathetic. I massage her head. Actually, this wonderful, little little head is kind of fun. I’ll never understand how she carried all that hair. She lacks vanity in this regard.
“It’s a romance. Simply put, I have no idea how to play this. Without her, this world won’t exist for me. O’Neal continued, “Cancer is a sneaky foe.
Farrah Fawcett, 62, passed away on June 25, 2009. Ryan O’Neal lost his soul love, and her son Redmond lost his mother. Moreover, a magnificent star was lost to the universe. Farrah’s estimated net worth at the time of her passing was $20 million.
O’Neal described how Farrah died in his arms in his book.
I lay down next to her once the priest has left, encircle her with my body to keep her warm, and then I take her hand. A constant pulse is present. I spend hours petting her hand. In Both Of Us: My Life With Farrah, O’Neal writes that her heart “refuses to give up.”
“My love and I are by ourselves. Her hand is in mine. Her pulse is still there, but it is now fluttering. She’s attempting to release. Her heartbeat becomes erratic, then stops. The morning of June 25 finds Farrah dozing off forever.
O’Neal still feels remorse about the past after having spent three decades with Farrah.
He told People he hoped he could go back in time and be “far kinder, more understanding, and more mature.”
“I’d tone down the savagery a bit. I’m not sure how she contracted cancer; perhaps I played a role in it.
“However, I must admit that I have always loved her.”