Farrah Fawcett, considered the All-American blonde bombshell of the 1970s, was extremely popular with both men and women for more reasons than just her amazing looks.
When you look back at the career of Farrah Fawcett, now 62, the first thing that comes to the mind of most people is “Charlie’s Angels”. She played Jill Munroe for only one season in 1978, although she guest starred several times in the show the next two years.
Her beauty was obviously the first attraction to Fawcett for many. But when you talk to many women who were young girls in that time, you will find she was also a role model. Fawcett’s portrayal of Munroe showed women could be both beautiful, and intelligent. You didn’t need to sacrifice one for the other.
Her bubbly disposition, incredible smile and always perfect hair made her a TV icon almost immediately. Her bathing suit poster sold over 8 million copies and many were sold to women who admired her.
As a child Fawcett was who I, and most of my friends, wanted to be. I grew my hair long and went for the Farrah Fawcett look. I was very athletic as a child and was glad to see someone I could model myself after. Around the same time Lynda Carter played the strong female role of “Wonder Woman” but Fawcett’s portrayal of Munroe seemed more real and achievable.
For me Carter appeared as a prissy woman who happened to have skills. I never saw her as believable. But Fawcett was more real and easy to cheer for.
I could not help but continue to admire Fawcett for divorcing Lee Majors in 1979 after rumors of his attempted control and jealousy of her. She seemed not to take guff from anyone.
Although Fawcett starred in several movies the next few years including “Somebody Killed Her Husband” in 1978, “Sunburn” in 1979 and “Cannonball Run” in 1981 her popularity seemed to diminish.
The next thing I remember about Fawcett was seeing her in the movie “Extremities” in 1986. Fawcett plays a woman who turns the table on a would-be rapist and holds him as a prisoner until he will admit his crimes. The movie was thrilling and disturbing but Fawcett again had me rooting for her as the gorgeous but tough woman who held her own. Fawcett was nominated for a Golden Globe as best actress for that movie. Her gritty performance, in my eyes, led the way for other beautiful women to take on intense rolls. For example, Jody Foster who seems to have made a career of being the tough woman you root for against any odds.
After seeing “Extremities”, I immediately regained my admiration for Fawcett. I always felt Fawcett could have starred in movies in which she played the sex symbol but she refused to let her looks rule her movie choices.
After “Extremities”, Fawcett continued working in dramatic movies such as the true crime TV movie “Small Sacrifices” in 1989. She also played several other dramatic movies roles in “The Apostle” in 1997 and “The Guardian” in 2003.
Her greatest role, however, appears to be her battle with cancer. In “Farrah’s Story”, Fawcett showed a somewhat candid video diary that details her fight with cancer. It once again illustrated Fawcett’s strength. Her admirable fight to also help others with cancer is inspiring.
Both men and woman have been able to see the many sides of Fawcett. She has impacted many lives and has proved to be a true hero both men and women could be proud of.