Since the Academy left Farrah Fawcett out of their In Memoriam segment last night, I decided to write my own tribute to the TV/Movie star, who lost her long battle with cancer, on the same day we lost Michael Jackson last year.
The normally liberally biased Academy never does anything without a reason. Leaving Farrah Fawcett out of their list of actors, who passed away in the past year, was surprising, however.
The blonde beauty that rose to fame with her role in the television hit, Charlie's Angels, was born on February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas. The actress claimed that her mother made up the name, Farrah, because the name went well with Fawcett.
Like other stories of successful Hollywood women discovered by accident, a publicist saw a photo of Farrah, in a photo with the caption, "Ten Most Beautiful Coeds" from the University of Texas at Austin.
Farrah Fawcett started her career in television commercials, such as ads for Noxzema shaving cream, Ultra Brite toothpaste, the 1975 Mercury Cougar, and shampoo commercials. Faberge marketed Farrah's own brand of hair care products in 1978.
Farrah's first appearances on television were a guest spot on I Dream of Jeannie, followed by a spot in the Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law show.
In 1976, Farrah Fawcett's agent received a pitch for a poster of Fawcett. From 40 rolls of film in photo shoots, Farrah selected six of these, her favorite went on to become a best seller, and as of today, as many as 12 million sold.
Farrah Fawcett, by this time billed as Farrah Fawcett Majors, starred in the pilot of Charlie's Angels, aired as a movie of the week, a popular concept in the mid 1970's. Along with Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith, due to the high Nielsen rating the movie received, became a series, which debuted on September 22, 1976.
Farrah quickly became a favorite among fans of the show. Her role as Jill Munroe earned her a People's Choice Award for Favorite Performer in a New TV Program. Her appearance on Charlie's Angels boosted the sale of her now famous poster, along with her gorgeous head of hair.
Farrah's famous hair became a trend, nationally and internationally. Every woman wanted the "Farrah Do" or "Farrah Hair".
Farrah Fawcett-Majors left Charlie's Angels after one year. Fans angered at the star for leaving, did not understand why she chose to do so, but later realized why as Farrah showed she was more than just a pretty face with a perfect body and a gorgeous head of hair.
Farrah her, in a TV Guide interview in 1977, "When the show (Charlie's Angels) was number three, I thought it was our acting. When we got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra."
Farrah Fawcett showed her acting talents were worthy of accolades when she starred in the television movie, "The Burning Bed". Playing the wife of an abuser, forced to kill her husband to save herself and her family, the role earned Farrah two nominations, one for an Emmy and one for a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Although she starred in other feature films before the Burning Bed aired, such as Myra Breckinridge, Logan's Run, and The Cannonball Run, none brought her the media attention like The Burning Bed.
Starring in the off-Broadway Extremities, she also took the role in the 1986 film version of the play, which earned her a second nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, in a Motion Picture Drama
Farrah Fawcett was in and out of the public eye over the next twenty years, for her professional and personal life, but nothing compared to the breaking news that Farrah had cancer. First diagnosed in 2006, on the day she celebrated her 60th birthday, the Associated Press stated that Farrah Fawcett was cancer-free.
Learning that her cancer was back, she went through painful experimental treatments in Germany and other treatments here in the United States. By 2009, Farrah learned her cancer had metastasized.
While she went through the latest round of treatments, Farrah decided to document her experiences, and on May 15, 2009, NBC aired the two-hour documentary, entitled Farrah's Story. Her courage and determination to beat the cancer that was destroying her body, Farrah Fawcett even shaved her head of the beautiful mane that once attributed to the image many of her fans had combined with the squeaky-clean 'girl next door' image they loved.
Farrah Fawcett died June 25, 2009, in a hospital, Santa Monica, California, losing her battle with cancer. Her fans will remember her for many things. Television fans remember her for her role in Charlie's Angels, as well as her tremendous performances in television movies, such as The
Burning Bed and Small Sacrifices. Others remember the award-winning performance she gave in Extremities.
Perhaps besides Farrah Fawcett's family, no one can know what Farrah Fawcett would have wanted her fans to remember about her, better than her co-star and friend, Kate Jackson, who said of Farrah:
"She was a selfless person who loved her family and friends with all her heart, and what a big heart it was. Farrah showed immense courage and grace throughout her illness and was an inspiration to those around her... I will remember her kindness, her cutting dry wit and, of course, her beautiful smile...when you think of Farrah, remember her smiling because that is exactly how she wanted to be remembered: smiling."
Therefore, although the Academy Awards simply forgot, or deliberately omitted Farrah Fawcett's name from the list of their In Memoriam stars, her fans did not forget her, and will remember that famous smile.