Farrah Fawcett: Remembered for her Work and Fight against Cancer
Farrah Fawcett passed away today at age 62 after a three year battle with cancer. She passed away in the St. John's Health Centre in L.A. at 9:28 a.m. PST surrounded by her long term love Ryan O'Neal and her friends, including Alana Stewart.
She will be rememberd by family, friends and fans, not only for her work on shows like Charlie's Angels and in the film The Burning Bed, but also for her documented story against cancer in the film Farrah's Story, which she shot herself with the help of Stewart.
She was known in the 70s as well for her blond hair and her famous red bikini poster, and became the all-American pin-up poster girl.
When she was diagnosed with cancer, she never stopped fighting.
"In the face of excruciating pain and uncertainty, I never lost hope and it never occurred to me to stop fighting – not ever," she once said in a statement to fans.
She had been bed-ridden in the last few weeks and had lost all her hair, which Ryan O'Neal spoke about to People Magazine:
"The hair is gone," said O'Neal. "Her famous hair. I have it at home. She didn't care. I rub her head. It's kind of fun, actually, this great, tiny little head. How she carried all that hair I'll never know. She doesn't have a vanity about it."
O'Neal said that he 'won't know this world without Farrah' in it.
Farrah had previously been a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society before being diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006. She made a statement shortly after:
"Throughout the journey of my life, I have maintained a strong faith in the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity. I deeply believe in one's own positive will to overcome even the most daunting challenges. I am resolutely strong and I am determined to bite the bullet and fight the fight."
She was deemed to be cancer free in May 2007, but later scans showed that the cancer had spread to her liver and she underwent more treatment later that year. She traveled to the Alpenpark Clinic in Germany to have treatment over a two-year period, but the trip did not produce the results she was looking for.
Fawcett recently returned to the U.S. from the Alpenpark Clinic in Germany where she sought treatments on six separate occasions over a two-year period. She was hospitalized briefly upon her arrival home and underwent what her doctor, cancer specialist Lawrence Piro, told Fox News was a "minor procedure" that "led to a small amount of bleeding into a muscle in her abdominal wall."
"At about the halfway point in our trips the news started to get darker and darker and darker," Ryan O'Neal said. "The hope started to fade. But not for Farrah. She continued fighting. There was always a courage there, and a quiet dignity. Farrah never changed. I fell in love with her all over again because of how she handled this."
She documented her fight against cancer in Farrah's Story, a two-hour television special on NBC. It followed her through the highs and lows of battling cancer and Farrah did most of the filming herself. Her friend Alana Stewart helped her when she couldn't film herself.
In a clip from Farrah's story, she says:
"Of all the things I've ever hoped for in my life, finding a doctor to surgically remove my anal cancer did not even make the top one million on my list,” Fawcett said in "Farrah’s Story." "But now it was number one – number one as in primary cancer, meaning it was the first in and, for that reason, it needed to be the first out. Because it was this peanut-sized tumor that had sent its army of mutant cells into my liver. And it would continue to send reinforcements into any organ into my body unless someone did something to stop it."
Farrah's son Redmond with Ryan O'Neal was not present at his mother's side when she died, as he is currently serving time in jail for drug offenses, but he was released in April for a brief time to spend some time by his mother's side.
Farrah always said that she did not want to die of cancer and that she hoped for a miracle.
She was born February 2nd, 1947 in Corpus Christi, Texas and attended the University of Texas for a short time before traveling to Hollywood to try her hand at acting.
Shortly after her arrival she began dating actor Lee Majors and they were married in 1973 but separated in 1979.
Farrah started her acting career small, with roles in commercials, but eventually began making it big in shows such as the Six Million Dollar Man, and eventually her most famos role came along, as Jill Munroe in Charlie's Angles.
She stared with Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson and this show made all three ladies superstars of their day. Her red bikini poster is still the best-selling poster of all time.
However, Farrah quit the show at the end of the first season and made some movies such as The Cannonball Run and Logan's Run. She then sought to gain more acclaim through roles in movies like The Burning Bed.
She also posed in Playboy at the age of 48, and it is still the magazine best selling issue of the 90s.
Towards the end of her life, she wanted to help people learn about cancer through her own struggle and that will be part of her legacy:
"As much as I would have liked to have kept my cancer private, I now realize that I have a certain responsibility to those who are fighting their own fights and may be able to benefit from learning about mine," said Fawcett.