Somewhere you can hear Charlie's disembodied voice weeping for an Angel passing. I mean that in the kindest non-snarkiest way in case anyone misreads. If you lived through the 70s or 80s you will undoubtedly have at least a small place in your heart for the seminal Charlie's Angels cast and probably Farrah Fawcett in particular. She got the most mileage from the show, career wise, probably by exiting it so very quickly. Smart girl. I preferred Jaclyn Smith as a child and then Cheryl Ladd but now in retrospect I'm totally a Kate Jackson man. Yet through it all, personal preferences aside, it was Farrah who emerged as the true superstar among them.
She died this morning at 62, losing her long battle with cancer.
Farrah provided me with my first fully conscious ideas about the divide between TV stars and Movie Stars: TV stars were part of the fabric of every day life, movie stars were more godlike, unattainable celebrities for the special occasions. TV stars were famous for the character they played, movie stars for playing themselves. Etcetera. The divide was much clearer before, say, the 90s. But I remember feeling sort of weirdly proud of her when she was "promoted" to movies very very briefly for Extremities (1986) --which I didn't even see! -- after people suddenly realized she could act after her "deglam" abused wife role in The Burning Bed, a major television event in 1984. Farrah was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the Bed role, arguably the peak of her career, though she had amazing capacity for staying famous.
Rest in peace, Farrah.
Our hearts go out to her family and especially to Ryan O'Neal her life partner for the past three decades, himself a 70s superstar. They had that in common though Ryan's fame was from the other side of the divide. He hasn't been a major movie presence since the early 80s but he was a true A Lister in the 70s as Barbra Streisand's two-time sparring partner (What's Up Doc? and The Main Event), Peter Bogdanovich's preferred muse (Paper Moon, Nickelodeon) and star of the Oscar Best Picture nominees Love Story and Barry Lyndon.