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Farrah Fawcett Introduction
Ask your dad, and he'll tell you he probably had Farrah Fawcett's infamous poster hanging in his room at some point.
Farrah Fawcett Life Story
Forget those Charlie's Angels remakes, as Farrah Fawcett (one of the original three Angels) puts the new cast to shame. Fawcett's career started out slowly. Born in 1947, she attended the University of Texas and graduated with a degree in microbiology. While at school, she won a campus beauty contest and was noticed by a talent agent. She moved to Los Angeles and did commercial TV work for a while. Her career didn't take off until she met actor Lee Majors, who at the time, was among the top TV stars. The two became romantically involved and Majors helped Fawcett's career by getting her parts on the series Henry O and in the cult classic film Logan's Run. She was also photographed for what would become one of the best selling posters in history: A simple photograph of Farrah with a wide smile and visible nipples beneath a tight one-piece bathing suit.
Producer Aaron Spelling took notice of the young actress and cast her in his new crime show Charlie's Angels, as Jill Munroe. Her sex appeal, and famous hairstyle, helped make the show the most popular thing on TV. But her success may have caused a riff between herself and Majors, who's own career was being eclipsed. Fawcett was unhappy with the light-weight feel of the Angel's scripts, and decided to leave the show in 1977 to work on films. Unfortunately, her choice of films weren't remarkable. Films like Saturn-3 and Sunburn didn't do well at the box-office.
In 1982, she left Majors and fell in love with Ryan O'Neal and throughout the 80's and 90's appeared in countless made-for-TV movies. She also appeared in the films The Apostle, and Dr. T and the Woman (Kate Hudson, Liv Tyler).
In 1997, Fawcett was a guest on a now infamous episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. Fawcett appeared to be drugged and aloof, and rambled about nonsense to a shocked Letterman. Afterwards, Fawcett blamed her odd appearance on the show on her nerves.
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, and began treatment, including chemotherapy and surgery. Four months later, on her 60th birthday, the Associated Press wire service reported that Fawcett was, at that point, cancer free.Fawcett said in a statement, "This is an extraordinarily happy day for me and my family. I hope that my news might offer some level of inspiration to others who unfortunately must continue to fight the disease."
Less than four months later, in May 2007, Fawcett brought a small digital video camera to document a doctor's office visit. There, she was told a malignant polyp was found in the area where she had been treated for the initial cancer. Doctors contemplated whether to implant a radiation seeder (which differs from conventional radiation and is used to treat other types of cancer). Fawcett's U.S. doctors told her the cancer was inoperable and that she would require a colostomy. Instead, Fawcett traveled to Germany for treatments described variously in the press as "holistic", "aggressive", and "alternative". There, Dr. Ursula Jacob prescribed a treatment including surgery to remove the anal tumor, and a course of perfusion and embolization for her liver cancer by Doctors Claus Kiehling and Thomas Vogl in Germany, and chemotherapy back in Fawcett's home town of Los Angeles. Although initially the tumors were regressing, their reappearance a few months later necessitated a new course, this time including laser ablation therapy and chemoembolization. Aided by friend Alana Stewart, Fawcett documented the highs and lows of her battle with the disease.
In early April 2009, Fawcett, back in the U.S., was rushed to a hospital, reportedly unconscious and in critical condition. Subsequent reports, however, indicated that the severity of her condition was not as dire as first reported. On April 6, the Associated Press reported that her cancer had metastasized to her liver. Fawcett had learned of this development in May 2007 and her subsequent treatments in Germany had targeted this as well. The report denied that she was unconscious, and explained that the reason for Fawcett's hospitalization was not her cancer but a painful abdominal hematoma that had been the result of a minor procedure, according to the Los Angeles cancer specialist treating Fawcett, Dr. Lawrence Piro. Her spokesperson emphasized she was not "at death's door", adding "She remains in good spirits with her usual sense of humor ... She's been in great shape her whole life and has an incredible resolve and an incredible resilience." Three days later, on April 9, Fawcett was released from the hospital, picked up by longtime companion O'Neal, and, according to her doctor, was "walking and in great spirits and looking forward to celebrating Easter at home."
A month later, on May 7, Fawcett was reported as being critically ill, with O'Neal quoted as saying that she now spends her days at home, on an IV, often asleep. The Los Angeles Times reported that Fawcett is in the last stages of her cancer and had the chance to see her son Redmond in April 2009 under supervision, as he was then incarcerated. Her 91-year-old father James was being flown out to visit with his ailing daughter.
Her doctor, Lawrence Piro, and Fawcett's friend and Angels co-star Kate Jackson—a breast cancer survivor—appeared together on The Today Show dispelling rumors—including that Fawcett had ever been in a coma, had ever reached 86 pounds, and had ever given up her fight against the disease or lost the will to live—as had all been reported in the tabloid press. Jackson decried such demoralizing fabrications, saying they "really do hurt a human being and a person like Farrah". Piro recalled when it became necessary for Fawcett to undergo treatments that would cause her to lose her hair, acknowledging that "Farrah probably has the most famous hair in the world," but acknowledged that it is not a trivial matter for any cancer patient, whose hair "affects (one's) whole sense of who (they) are". Of the documentary, Jackson averred that Fawcett "didn't do this to show that she is unique, she did it to show that we are all unique... (T)his was...meant to be a gift to others to help and inspire them."
The two-hour documentary, Farrah's Story, filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC on May 15, 2009. The documentary was watched by nearly 9 million people in its premiere airing and it was re-aired on the broadcast network's cable stations MSNBC, Bravo and Oxygen.
Farrah Fawcett Death
Farrah succumbed to the cancer on Thursday June 25th 2009, with her family by her side.