Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett, 1947-2009 (RIP)

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.

20 comments:

Michelle said...

Her best work was The Burning Bed, Extremities, and The Apostle. Farrah started as one of Charlie's Angels. Now she's a real one. R.I.P

mrripley said...

check out extremities she was aces plus small scarifices a 2 part 1989 mini series.

Encore Entertainment said...

Although I will always be a Cheryl Ladd guy, it's sad to see Farah gone. Death of an angel.

Chrystal K. said...

This is very sad news. I send my condolences out to her friends and family.

Ivo said...

I just heard that Michael Jackson!!
(I'm not kidding)
Rest In Peace

Ivo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AuntieMeme said...

Michael Jackson died as well... And here in Belgium, a well-beloved singer-presenter committed suicide... This is one of the worst days ever. My thoughts go to their friends and family.

18 Year Old Blogger said...

My favorite quote about Farrah was from Jaclyn Smith. “Farrah had courage, she had strength, and she had faith. And now she has peace as she rests with the real angels.”

you a fish said...

michael jackson died

Jim T said...

This is just horrible.

RIP Mrs Fawcett

RIP King of Pop Music

Wayne B. said...

This is pretty sad, she was my parents' favourite on the show. If I had been born a girl they were going to name me after her. Does anyone else remember her from Dr. T and the Women?

Sally Belle said...

She was brilliant in Extremities....and really I wasn't a fan and didn't expect her to be. That won me over to her ability as an actress. Also, Small Sacrifices, and The Burning Bed.

Michael Jackson...what can I say. I grew up with Michael...I was a huge Jackson 5 fan, I stuck with Michael when he was looking like a has been , then Off The Wall came out, and Thriller! I was vindicated! But what tortured inner life led him to become such a tragic figure?
I mourn for that little boy from Gary Indiana.

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

Michael Jackson...what can I say. I grew up with Michael...I was a huge Jackson 5 fan, I stuck with Michael when he was looking like a has been , then Off The Wall came out, and Thriller! I was vindicated! But what tortured inner life led him to become such a tragic figure?
I mourn for that little boy from Gary Indiana.


Yes, I'm not sure what kind of post if any Nathaniel will make on Michael Jackson's death, but I like to think that the young boy from Gary Indiana who was involved in all that great music died a long time ago, and that's the one I'll mourn. Not the second evil Michael Jackson that I like to pretend is a totally separate person otherwise I'd never be able to listen to his music again. Yes, he had a tragic life, but I feel sorrier for those kids he molested, and "his" kids that he's totally isolated from the world who probably won't ever to function normally even with him gone.

moviefreak said...

I had two Farrah posters on my wall even well after her light dimmed. She was my generations beauty icon. Some had Monroe, some had Welsh. We had Farrah. I even had a photo of her under my desk at school. I had day dreams that she would come to my class and pick me to marry and whisk me off if front of the whole class.
So you think she might have made an impression on me ? Just a tad.
R.I.P Farrah the pain is gone.

NoNo said...

This has been the most confusing week and the most terrible day! I can't stop crying.

par3182 said...

#1 rule of showbiz: never die on the same day as someone more famous

r.i.p. farrah

lawyer tony fernando said...

I lost someone today too. I´m just glad that this day will be over in less than 2 hours

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

Sorry about your loss Tony.

#1 rule of showbiz: never die on the same day as someone more famous

r.i.p. farrah

9:29 PM


Also, sorry to hijack the entry about Farrah. Kate Jackson is my favorite Angel too, but I also admired a lot of Fawcett's work even in that Dr. T movie. I wish she had done though because I think she had the talent.

Anonymous said...

RIP Michael Jackson, never an evil man, The greatest muscial artist of all time.



Rip Farrah



M

NATHANIEL R said...

yes Tony... so sorry. embrace the good memories and let the tears flow. best wishes going out to you.