Farah Fawcett was so much more than a woman with a pretty face and healthy head of hair, but there’s nothing wrong with being remembered as one of the most beautiful women in history. She was always the woman guys wanted to date and girls wanted to mimic and her dazzling smile, billowy mane and sheer courageousness won’t be easily forgotten.
Farrah first entered the lives of millions through their television screens as Jill Munroe in TV’s Charlie’s Angels in 1976. She later starred in films such as Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story and The Burning Bed, which brought the topic of domestic violence to the forefront and she became an advocate for women worldwide.
But it was a poster of her posing in a red bathing suit that broke records and sold millions, making her an international sex symbol, and her dark blonde feathered hair that made millions for hairstylists around the world who emulated her style for the young women of the 70s and 80s.
Women these days are fans of hair straighteners and smoothing serum but in the 70s, Farrah, who never appeared to have a problem with thinning hair, wanted her long, one-length hair to look fuller. Cue Los Angeles stylist Allen Edwards, who gave Farrah the famous layered cut with swept-back sides, and the Farrah ’do was born.
“I invented a way to do it without rollers,” Edwards said in a recent interview. “I used a roller brush, dried her hair 85 percent and clipped it away from her face. Run your fingers through it after it dries and there’s the Farrah.”
The New York Times called it “a work of art that looked as if it had just come out of the sea and been tossed by the wind into a state of careless perfection.”
The fabulously underrated actress, who wanted to be known for more than just a beautiful body and thick, luscious hair, said she never had a burning desire to act. And as the years passed, she did become known for other reasons. Her tumultuous lifestyle saw her become more famous for her fall from grace than her poster girl or actress days. Still, everyone kept a soft spot Farrah Fawcett, not normally reserved for the rebellious divas of modern society.
In 2006, Farrah was diagnosed with rectal cancer and she began a TV documentary to raise awareness. When it became necessary for Farrah to undergo treatments that would cause hair loss, her doctor, Lawrence Piro said that “Farrah probably has the most famous hair in the world”, but acknowledged that it is not a trivial matter for any cancer patient, whose hair “affects [one’s] whole sense of who [they] are”.
Her treatment ended last month and Farrah returned to the Malibu mansion she shared with her long-time on-again-off-again love, Ryan O’Neal. But Farrah was left bald and bedridden and her courageous battle with cancer ended on 25 June 2009. She was just 62.
In a statement, O’Neal said: “After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away… We take comfort in the beautiful times we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life bought joy to so many people around the world.”
He later told U.S. People Magazine: “She is gone. She now belongs to the ages.”
But Farrah will not soon be forgotten. She attracted the attention of the world and as one Hollywood producer put it, “Farrah is the one everyone remembers. She epitomised the freedom of women in the 70s. She was a free spirit.”