Farrah Fawcett was the best-known star of the television series Charlie's
Angels, even though she was only a part of the cast for one year and a few guest
spots. A photo of Farrah in a red swimsuit was the most popular pin-up poster of
the 1970s, and her layered, feathery-looking hairdo was among the most emulated
hairstyles of the decade. She was married to actor Lee Majors from 1973 to 1982,
though the two separated in 1979.
There were s--y blondes on television before Fawcett, notably Donna Douglas and Barbara Eden but Fawcett became TV's first blonde bombshell to become a pop culture phenomenon like film actresses Mae West and Marilyn Monroe in earlier decades. Fawcett was everywhere in 1976-77 on the covers of dozens of magazines, toys, and miscellaneous merchandise. Believing she had no legal ties to "Charlie's Angels", Fawcett left the program after the first season in search of movie stardom. She was replaced on the show by Cheryl Ladd. "Charlie's Angels" continued high in the ratings without her but Fawcett's films repeatedly sank at the box office. She gave up on movies in 1981 and signed a major contract with ABC-TV but could not come to an agreement on another series for her.
Farrah Fawcett finally achieved critical praise as a serious actress for her role as a battered wife in the 1984 television movie, The Burning Bed. She also won acclaim in the stage and movie version of Extremities. In this role, she played a rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker.
From 1980 to 1997, Farrah Fawcett was involved in an often-abusive relationship with actor Ryan O'Neal. The relationship produced one child, Redmond, in 1985 (they are still dating on and off). In 1998 she was injured by then boyfriend James Orr when he tried to stop her from vandalizing his house; Orr was arrested and charged.
In 1997 she received some negative attention after giving a less-than-coherent interview on The Late Show with David Letterman. It was speculated that her rambling, incoherent manner was because of drug abuse. She claims that she was just nervous and unprepared for the appearance.
Farrah Fawcett has appeared nude at least twice in Playboy, the most recent appearance was when she was 50.
In 2005, Farrah Fawcett starred in a reality series for the TV Land network, Chasing Farrah, which chronicles a day in the life of the s-- symbol. It also showed her relationship with Ryan O'Neal, father of her son, Redmond, which is still going strong.
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