For starts, I hadn’t heard about her till I started working on “EXTREMITIES”. She is an all American girl and I’m an all Indian girl. Poles apart. Back then, she was to me, every guys pin- up girl, dream – girl, fantasy element keeping them awake at night; an icon under whose light even Pamela Anderson or Marlyn Monroe would diminish in comparison. She was beautiful beyond imagination, but this is not why we are talking about her. Everyone knows beauty when they see it (I think). No, its not beauty we are talking about, but the struggles, trials and tribulations that come with trying to be someone.
Farrah Fawcett, American Actress, Golden Globe and Emmy Award Nominee, TV Star for Charlie’s Angels, Pop Culture Figure, and International Sex symbol of the 1970’s and 1980’s. She was best known for her hairstyle, which was emulated by many young women of that time, and her red swimsuit picture.
Isn’t it strange that most Sex symbols and people growing up on the wild side… or for that matter beautiful people; grow up in strict households, or stringent catholic communities with very disciplined surroundings, good education, etc.. So was Farrah. The youngest of the daughters, Farrah was a Roman Catholic educated in the parish school of the church her family attended. What’s fascinating is that she became a sister of Delta Delta Delta Sorority before being chosen as the “Ten Most beautiful Coeds” from her University.
She started her career by acting in TV Commercials and then went on to serials. Her big break though was Charlie’s Angels. The movie and the series gave her super publicity. Even then, she fell short of achieving super stardom. Her biggest accomplishments ended up being her hairstyle and Charlie’s Angels. For many who don’t know, Farrah got her first movie break at the age of 30.
The series Charlie’s Angels, formally debuted on September 22, 1976. Fawcett emerged as a fan favorite in the show, and the actress won a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Performer in a New TV Programshe said: “When the show was number three, I thought it was our acting. When we got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra”.
People considered her a bimbet, and a poster girl; she wanted to break out of it to show people she could be better and do better. she therefore decided to choose a more serious side to acting and creativity and took up characters which were not only challenging but outrageously brave.
Everything was not proper in Beauty town. She did have her fair share of flops because people always found it difficult to take someone so beautiful, seriously; however, Fawcett finally won critical acclaim for her 1983 role in the off-Broadway stage production of the controversial play Extremities, written by William Mastrosimone. Replacing Susan Sarandon in the role, she was a would-be rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker. She described the role as “the most grueling, the most intense, the most physically demanding and emotionally exhausting” of her career. Extremities, was also well-received by critics, and for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama.
This was only the beginning of a series of serious roles she was offered to play. Surprisingly, she got parts similar to Marjorie’s; where the characters were battered or bruised and struggling. For example, Tv Movie, The Burning Bed where she plays a battered housewife, earning her, her first of three Emmy Award nominations. The project is noted as being the first TV movie to provide a nationwide 800 number that offered help for others in the situation, in this case victims of domestic abuse. It was also the highest-rated TV movie of the season.
Fawcett, who had steadfastly resisted appearing nude in films or magazines throughout the 1970s and 1980s, caused a major stir by posing nude in the December 1995 issue of Playboy magazine, which became the best-selling issue of the 1990s, with over four million copies sold worldwide. At the age of 50, she returned to the pages of Playboy with a pictorial for the July 1997 issue, which also became a top seller. That same year, Fawcett was chosen by Robert Duvall to play his wife in an independent feature film he was producing, The Apostle. Fawcett received an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Actress for the film.
There is so much more to write about her and you could read more about her out here:
Fawcett died on June 25, 2009 after a prolonged suffering due to cancer; her death coinciding with the death of Michael Jackson.
Her image brings to us advertisements of the yesteryears Torino ads… with girls on skateboards riding in the wind, with their hair perfectly blown away somewhere unseen. Farrah Fawcett will be remembered by guys all over the world for the childish fantasies it created for them all thanks to her hair, her larger than life honest smile and a soft and subtle eroticism emitting from her innocence. Her eyes belied the 70’s tryst with anger and rebellion and her naivity possessed all those who ever set their eyes on her.
While there will be many who will remember her for her nudes and all the wrong reasons; I would remember her otherwise. She shattered images of a stereotypical mindset and was the last of a proper pin- up girl. To me, she was an inspiration and amazing woman. The more I researched and read about her. The more I was in awe of a woman who struggled and fought all her life for her space. her smile belied her struggles. Her attitude towards life; the blend between beauty and ambition. The will to carry on despite all odds.
‘THE importance of the individual against the massified and the collective is actually one of the most important lessons to have been imparted by the 20th century.” The statement comes from Vanity Fair: The Portraits—A Century of Iconic Images.
(Some Photos of Farrah Fawcett borrowed from the Internet:)