Saturday, June 27, 2009

Beautiful Belles: Farrah Fawcett

A series focusing on beautiful women throughout history with important contributions to the arts and entertainment industry and charity -- and a fabulous sense of beauty, inside and out!

In the wake of the lovely Farrah Fawcett succumbing to cancer this week at the age of 62, I thought it fitting to dedicate this edition of Beautiful Belles to her.

Farrah Fawcett was a true industry icon. Known best for her role as Jill Munroe on the 1970s classic Charlie's Angels, Farrah had a career that spanned decades. Her vivacious personality and glowing smile earned major accolades. And who could forget that hair? Her signature feathered flip was famous not only during her run as an Angel but for years and years to come, even remaining so today. And of course there's her iconic swimsuit poster from 1976 (seen above), originally published in Life and since selling more than 10 million copies worldwide.

See more photos and even a few videos after the jump.

Farrah Fawcett was born Ferrah Leni Fawcett on February 2, 1947 in Corpus Christi, Texas. (She later changed the "e" to an "a.") Her beauty was evident early, as she won the "Most Beautiful" award at her high school in 1965. Farrah attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she joined the Delta Delta Delta sorority and made a "Ten Most Beautiful Coeds" calendar for the university. A Hollywood publicist happened to see the photo and told her she should move to Los Angeles, which she did after her junior year. A bevy of commercials followed, including one for Ultra Brite toothpaste:

While Farrah is most remembered for her role on Charlie's Angels, she actually appeared on quite a few other shows as well. Stints on I Dream of Jeannie, Marcus Welby, M.D., Harry O and The Six Million Dollar Man followed, just to name a few. And then in 1976, Farrah's career skyrocketed as she appeared alongside Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson on Charlie's Angels. While she only spent one season on the show, millions of girls worldwide sported "Farrah Hair" and millions of men worldwide fell in love with her. Other commercials followed as well: Farrah Fawcett's funny 1970s Head and Shoulders commercial with Penny Marshall Farrah Fawcett Shampoo commercial from the 70s -- "Something beautiful happens to your hair!" Farrah's cute Lady Schick Speed Styler commercial Farrah followed her stint as an angel with many critically acclaimed roles, from her controversial role as the would-be rape victim in the 1983 Off-Broadway play Extremities to a battered wife in The Burning Bed, the latter winning her the first of three Emmy Award nominations and even being the first TV movie to promote a nationwide 800 number for battered women. A movie version of Extremities followed in 1986, winning Farrah a Golden Globe nomination, as well as Golden Globe nominations for her roles in Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story and Small Sacrifices. And who can forget the men in Farrah's life? After a brief marriage to actor Lee Majors, she spent over 20 years in a relationship with actor Ryan O'Neal. And don't forget the two controversial pictorials in Hugh Hefner's Playboy from the 1990s. Farrah was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. Sadly, she passed away this past Thursday, June 25, after succumbing to the disease.

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