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Farrah Fawcett Biography

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Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Vital Statistics:

Born: February 2, 1947
Died: June 25, 2009 (cancer)
Place of Birth: Corpus Christi, Texas
Name at Birth: Ferrah Leni Fawcett
Education: Graduated from W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi, TX in 1965. Graduated from University of Texas (Austin) in 1967.

Relationships:

Farrah was married to actor Lee Majors from 1973-1982 (separated in 1979). She then began a relationship with actor Ryan O'Neal in the early '80s and the two have been on-again/off-again ever since (mostly on-again). The relationship produced a son, Redmond O'Neal, in 1985.

Farrah Fawcett's Early Career:

Farrah's path to stardom began with commercial work for many different products including Wella Balsam shampoo, Ultra-Brite toothpaste and Noxema shaving cream. She got her first major guest starring TV role in I Dream of Jeannie in 1969. After meeting fellow actor Lee Majors, her career began to pick up when he helped get her first film role in Myra Breckinridge. Her relationship with Majors led to several guest starring appearances on his show, The Six Million Dollar Man and ultimately, the role that made her a star - Charlie's Angels.

'Charlie's Angels':

In 1976, Farrah scored one of the three leading female roles in Charlie's Angels, where she played Jill Munroe, a former policewoman-turned private investigator. The role turned her into an instant star. Realizing that the role wasn't challenging her as an actress, coupled with her declining marriage, Farrah decided to leave the show after only one season. After being sued for breach of contract, she agreed to several guest appearances on the show.

Farrah's Hair:

The same year her career launched into stardom, she posed in a red one-piece bathing suit for a photo shoot and a poster was created, which sold more than 8 million copies. Almost overnight, Farrah's hair became as famous as the actress herself, sparking the "Farrah Hair" craze all over the world. Fabergé cashed in on the hair sensation and created a Farrah Fawcett Shampoo.

After the Craze:

Following her departure from Charlie's Angels, Farrah experienced a slump in her career. It wasn't until 1984 that her career took off again when she starred in The Burning Bed, a role in which she earned an Emmy nomination. Following that role, she starred in Extremities, another successful TV movie which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Farrah continued to star in many TV movies, and experienced marginal success on the big screen. In 2005, Farrah captured our attention once again with her 7-episode reality show Chasing Farrah.

Farrah Fawcett Diagnosed with Cancer:

In 2006, Farrah was diagnosed with anal cancer and immediately began treatment which included surgery, followed by chemotherapy. On her 60th birthday (2007), she was declared cancer-free. In May of 2007, a malignant polyp was found and it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized to the liver. She was told it was inoperable and her only choice was to have a colostomy. Refusing to go that route, Farrah headed to Germany for alternative treatment. Although the alternative treatments have failed to put the actress back into remission, many specialists feel that it may have helped considerably prolonged her life.

Her Final Days:

On June 25, 2009, Farrah Fawcett lost her battle with cancer at the age of 62. With longtime companion Ryan O'Neal and best friend Alana Stewart by her side, the actress passed away peacefully in the ICU unit at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, CA.

Notable TV and Film Roles:

  • I Dream of Jeannie (TV) - 1969
  • Myra Breckinridge (Film) - 1970
  • The Six Million Dollar Man (TV) - 1974
  • Charlie's Angels (TV) - 1976
  • Murder in Texas (TV) - 1981
  • The Cannonball Run (Film) - 1981
  • The Red-Light Sting (TV) - 1984
  • The Burning Bed (TV) - 1984
  • Between Two Women (TV) - 1986
  • Extremities (TV) - 1986
  • Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story (TV) - 1986
  • Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story (TV) - 1987
  • See You in the Morning (TV) - 1989
  • Small Sacrifices (TV) - 1989
  • Criminal Behavior (TV) - 1992
  • The Substitute Wife (TV) - 1994
  • Children of the Dust (TV) - 1995
  • Man of the House (Film) - 1995
  • The Apostle (Film) - 1997
  • Silk Hope (TV) - 1999
  • Ally McBeal (TV) - 1999
  • Dr T and the Women (Film) - 2000
  • Baby (TV) - 2000
  • Jewel (TV) - 2001
  • Spin City (TV) - 2001
  • The Guardian (TV) - 2001
  • Hollywood Wives: The New Generation (TV) - 2003
  • The Cookout (Film) - 2004
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