“God gave women intuition and femininity.”
Farrah Fawcett, who spoke these words, certainly had both. She died June 25th in a Santa Monica hospital losing her long term battle with cancer shortly after winning the struggles of love. She and longtime companion Ryan O’Neil were recently engaged to be married.
Farrah Fawcett will be remembered for her many successes including her biographical chronicle of the cancer she thought she had beaten. More importantly she will live on in the memories of millions of Americans.
Farrah Fawcett’s legacy is quite diverse. She was a gorgeous international celebrity. Looking back on her career is like a time capsule of American social life. Her career took off in 1976 playing one of the unforgettable original Charlie’s Angels.
She was a staple of American TV during that time appearing of several series including the 6 Million Dollar Man and is still a point of hot debate for the women’s liberation movement. Many feminists saw her role of Charlie’s Angels as sexist but girls of later generations see the same character as strong and empowering.
Farrah Fawcett’s iconic hair style may have made a bigger impact that Jennifer Aniston’s 1990’s style. Beyond being the fashion envy of young women everywhere her best selling poster is burned in the memory of teenage boys during the 1970’s and 80’s. Men across America are saddened by the loss of the woman they came to respect after having her unforgettable poster hung on their bedroom wall.
The practical definition of a “babe”, Farrah Fawcett was much more than hairspray and sex appeal. She successfully gained critical acclaim with serious roles in movies such as The Burning Bed.
In 1984 TV movie The Burning Bed was a revitalizing role. Farrah Fawcett was seen differently as she came into our homes with a serious role that was unsettling to many.
The Burning Bed is a true account of a battered woman who murders her husband by burning him to death in a house fire and then drives to the police station with her children to confess.
It helped bring domestic violence and spousal abuse out of the closet and depicted a debate that is still emotional today. The Burning Bed changed America’s perception of the beautiful Farrah Fawcett and greatly impacted movements that continue to empower battered women.
Monday in a 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neil announced their engagement but sadly Friday night’s airing of the interview will be no less than heartbreaking. When it airs O’Neil will not be basking in their engagement but having to live through the role he played with Ally McGraw in the movie “Love Story”.
“Love Story” chronicles the story of a couple’s deep but fleeting romance squelched by cancer. O’Neil must now endure the painful experience of Life imitating Art.