Who didn’t have THAT poster?
-Oh, and by the way, Farrah Fawcett died, too
In 1975 a slinky blonde girl was featured in a television automobile advertisement as she drove the vehicle along the beach, only to be met by a cougar. Few people noticed the car or the cat this time, but they noticed the girl, and they tuned in to watch her drop the white evening gown to reveal a swimsuit after all that driving around.
Fast-forward to 1976 and a television drama featuring three females who are, simultaneously, detectives and fashion plates. There was something about that smile, those sea- green eyes, and mane of cascading hair that seemed to go on forever. She was approachable but breathtaking, funny and sweet, a promise of a new type of girl. Males felt IT, and women did not feel threatened. Professionals told us how to have the hair, the body, the smile, but no one could copy her. At one time she was on every magazine cover in the United States. One magazine even made sales by advertising her on the cover and a headline: “in this issue: absolutely nothing on Farrah Fawcett Majors” (New Times 06/77).
Brave girl: whose life hasn’t been touched by cancer?
And now, at 62, cancer has claimed her and taken her away.
But if you haven’t paid attention, not many would know. Farrah Fawcett has been jostled to the back page because she did not sing or dance or make a lot of records. She did not die of a potential drug overdose. She did not have a shocking lifestyle of constant plastic surgery, race change, potential child abuse, or even alleged charges of child molestation (a debate hotly debated, usually not on fact, but on fan loyalty). Nothing, evidently, to make an entire tribute in Life Magazine, not even People.
She had her times. In 1984 she gained attention for portraying a real victim of domestic violence who killed her abuser, and hosted a documentary, “Prisoners of Wedlock.” This was during a time when the words “domestic violence” were not normally a part of the public’s vernacular, much less on television. Yet an abusive relationship went public in 1998 when a boyfriend beat her severely. She was the epitome of clean living, but her son and long-time lover were arrested on drug charges. No one is perfect, and she knew it. She never claimed to be flawless, and this is one reason fans loved her. Initially, she told us on her last video, she wanted to keep her cancer treatment secret. But life took a different twist, as it always had for her, and she used the opportunity. Cancer is not a pretty pink ribbon and a ‘fun run.’ She bravely showed the world all of the warts: no makeup, no hair, no pretty clothing or airbrushing. Who else has done this? Fans loved her even more.
The girl from Texas grew to be the woman whose poster – THAT poster –was also a talented artist, coauthoring a book and publicly showing her work, some of which has been featured in her films. She opted to play women who dared, such as Margaret Bourke-White, and women who tried, such as Barbara Hutton.And now she is gone, out like a comet, and appears to have been shoved to the back page because of the date she died.
Farrah, your fans will miss you. Merriam-Webster’s definition of a hero is “admired for (their) achievements and noble qualities … one that shows great courage…” Know that you will always be on the front page for us.
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