“I’m happy. I’m ready.”
- Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett (1947 – 2009) was an American actress and artist who became famous when she was cast as one of the original angels in Charlie’s Angels in 1976.
A poster of her in a red swimsuit, also dating from 1976, achieved iconic status and made her an international sex symbol. Her appearance in Charlie’s Angels helped boost sales of the poster, so much so that her earnings from the poster far outweighed her earnings from the TV show. (The swimsuit, made by Oz company Speedo, was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 20011 by her executors). Women emulated her hairstyle from 1976 until well into the 1980’s.
She left the show after one season, her character, Jill Munroe, being replaced by Cheryl Ladd who played Jill Munroe’s younger sister.
Her career after leaving Charlie’s Angels was erratic, although she made appearances on TV, in films and on Broadway.
Between 1973 and 1982 she was married to Lee Majors, the star of The Six Million Dollar Man, with a separation in 1979.
From 1979 to 1997 she was romantically involved with actor Ryan O’Neal and they had a son, Redmond, in 1985. Their son has been in various kinds of trouble with the law, including an arrest for possession of narcotics whilst she was in hospital.
By 1997 her personal life had included drugs and violence, taking a toll on her looks.
Diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, she took part in a TV documentary, Farrah’s Story, which recorded her attempts to beat the cancer.
Farrah Fawcett died in 2009 with Ryan O’Neal at her side.
Prior to her death she was visited by her son, Redmond, in shackles for parole violation and drug charges and wearing a prison issue jumpsuit. Reportedly her condition prevented her realising Redmond was in chains. He held her and said “Oh my gosh” repeatedly. His father, Ryan O’Neal, told him “Don’t rattle your chains!”
Her last words, “I’m happy. I’m ready.” were passed to O’Neal in a note.
According to O’Neal in an interview some weeks later:
It was horrible. It was horrible. It was-- he thought that she would live just another couple of hours, and she lived a couple of days. So I had a bed put in the room for me. And I just lay by her side. And she wouldn't-- move on. She wouldn't pass. She just-- she just looked at us with-- with a slight smile. Was awful. And then-- and then all the machines flat lined. After about-- 16 hours. And she was-- she was gone.
I said I'd see her soon. And I see her every day. And I write to her. I write in my journal now, to her. And-and Redmond says he-- he's trying to see her. It's a little harder in a reformatory. To grieve. So I told him to be patient. And, when he got out, we'd grieve together. We'd-- but we all kissed her goodbye and hugged her and held her. And didn't want to let her go. It was something that I had never experienced, and I'd done a movie about it. But I'd never experienced it.
The iconic swimsuit pic
Farrah Fawcett with Cher in The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, 1976