Farrah Fawcett 1947-2009

farrah

My heart is heavy and my words are clumsy right now so I turn the floor over to a contributing writer, Christian Moralde, who had several personal encounters with Fawcett over the years. I thought his impressions of her would make a fitting tribute.

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I’ve long respected Farrah Fawcett’s work as an actress but only in the last ten years have I really appreciated the person and become aware she was a lot more than the pin-up in the red bathing suit and one of Charlie’s angels.

She was an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominee, worked off-Broadway and held her own against co-stars such as Cicely Tyson, Robert Duvall, Sidney Poitier, Geraldine Page, Kirk Douglas, and Glenn Close. She was actively involved in charity work against domestic violence and served as a board member for the National Advisory Council for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

First time I met her was in 2002, at a Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition of her artwork. I asked Farrah what kept her going and made her a survivor in the industry.

“Always be yourself. Always use yourself,” she said.

The second time I met her was at the 2004 TV Land Awards, where she was being honored and having the time of her life. I asked her backstage if I could take her photo and she flipped her hair playfully in full Farrah mode. At another point, someone asked her to hold up a product (I don’t recall what it was) and have her picture taken with it. This was strictly against the orders of her manager, who was standing nearby. When he wasn’t looking, she grabbed the product and told the person to hurry up and take the picture before her manager turned around. I’ve never forgotten her graciousness, lively spirit, and genuine sense of self.

In 2006, I had the opportunity to talk to the late director, Robert Altman, at an Oscars nominee luncheon about directing Farrah in Dr. T and the Women. His face lit up and his eyes sparkled. “She is lovely, a genuine lady and pleasure to work with.”

A couple of years later, Farrah was invited to speak to the Los Angeles chapter of the Screen Actors Guild about her career, which spanned more than three decades. We chatted afterwards about how she’d managed to have this longevity and she said, “Don’t look at the negative. Always look at the positive.” She must have used those words often during her fight with cancer.

I don’t want to focus on that final struggle for which she was primarily known these past few years. In writing this, my hope is to acknowledge her spirit and celebrate her life because she was a class act.

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6 responses to “Farrah Fawcett 1947-2009

  1. I think it was too easy to dismiss her talent early on due to her good looks since many in the industry/media saw her that way. Luckily for us, she sought, and gained, respect as an adept actor by branching out in that field, and beyond. She left this world way too early. May she rest in peace.

  2. Farrah Fawcett. What a way to go…..

    I met her a long time ago (1986?) when she checked into a hotel I was working at on Madison Ave in NYC. She pulled up in a powder blue Volkswagen Beetle with a luggage rack on the roof. She stepped out looking like the epitome of All-American girl. Jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. No sunglasses. Very accessible. She didn’t want to valet and asked me to hop in and show her the way to the garage we used. Her laughter felt like sunshine. One of the nicest people I have ever met.

    • popculturenerd

      That’s a cool story, Reader #9, and beautifully expressed. I’ve never met her but have always heard stories like this from people who have.

  3. I’m still crying…

    I can’t believe it. I actually prayed she could live forever.

    But the Angel’s now in Heaven.

  4. What a sad day…
    I remember having loved her a lot in the drama “Extremities”. I was quite young the first time I saw it and totally fell under her spell.
    I will keep the nicest pictures in my memory.

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