"I do not want to die of this disease. So I say to God, 'It is seriously time for a miracle'" - Farrah Fawcett
From her glory days as a pinup girl, to her days on "Charlie's Angels," to her valiant fight against cancer, Farrah Fawcett, who died today at the age of 62, became a symbol of the will to live.
At the end of her two and half year battle with cancer, those who know and love Fawcett spoke exclusively to Barbara Walters in the actress's final days.
"An amazing woman, with simple roots that ... took on challenges that others wouldn't try. I always admire women that are independent, that ... have a dream and look as good as she does," longtime love Ryan O' Neal told Walters.
Farrah's Golden Career: Pinup, Sex Symbol
In 1976, Fawcett was the pinup girl who launched a million fantasies. The iconic poster with her dazzling smile, cascading golden hair and bombshell body sold an unprecedented 12 million copies, catapulting Fawcett into a sex symbol, idolized by both men and women.
As the decade's "It Girl," her hair, which became known as the "Farrah Do," was emulated by millions around the world.
"That signature hair will definitely be remembered forever and ever and ever ... It was an easy carefree haircut, windblown, but also very sexy and very feminine. Everybody wanted it," legendary hairstylist Jose Eber, who has known and worked with the actress for over 30 years, told Walters.
"...But I think that Farrah ... represented to me what a woman was in the 70s," Eber said. "Woman's lib ...There was a freedom about Farrah's look. There was something healthy about her."
In a 1980 interview, just as her career was beginning to blossom, Fawcett opened up to Walters about her self-regard, ranking herself on a scale of one to 10.
"A nine. ... Barely a nine. I was going to say eight-and-a-half but I thought fractions aren't good," Fawcett told Walters.
"I think you have to have all of me in order to think that I'm beautiful. In other words, it's not just my looks. I think I have to speak and move and relate for you to feel that ... for you to feel beauty from me."
Known for her good looks, the actress later told Walters she was "exasperated" by those who seemingly ignored her intellectual side.
"I think it's a little bit of a curse," Fawcett said of her looks.
Farrah's Road to Fame
Growing up in Texas, that so-called "curse" always lingered. In 1969, as a college beauty queen, Fawcett's looks earned her a ticket to Hollywood where she was discovered by a talent scout. At first, she was one more model and actress surviving on guest parts and commercials, selling everything from shampoo to toothpaste.
In 1973, she married actor Lee Majors, who was starring in "The Six Million Dollar Man." Three years later, everything changed when posters of Fawcett in her red one-piece bathing suit flew off store shelves and she entered the world of television with a starring role on "Charlie's Angels."
"She wasn't a great actress then, but she was learning," said Leonard Goldberg, who created the hit, along with partner, producer Aaron Spelling. "She just had that way about her. When she would turn and look at you, you were mesmerized."
Fawcett played one of three undercover, underclothed crime fighters and "Charlie's Angels" became an enormous hit and cultural phenomenon, working to redefine gender roles.
"What we had for the first time were women operating in what was heretofore a man's world," Goldberg said.
But after only one year, Fawcett walked away from the show at the height of her fame to explore a career in film -- a move, the star told Walters, she did not regret.
"I would do it over again ... I felt that I needed to grow," Fawcett said in 1980. "I find that, for me, personally -- and this is in everyday life -- if I'm not growing, if I can't be stimulated in a conversation, then I am bored. And I'm not good when I'm bored."
Jaclyn Smith, one of Fawcett's "Angels" co-stars, told Walters, "I was sad because it was not an actress leaving, it was my friend," but says her friend didn't make a mistake. "When Farrah makes up her mind to do something, uh, it's well thought out, it's well ordered and planned, and it's right for her."
Her career faltered, but Fawcett was determined to take charge of her life. Firing her manager, her publicist and separating from Majors, the sweet blond from Texas revealed to Walters that she was no more.
"I think that when you're kind of just shoved out there and you have to be tough and you're facing tough people and people are saying bad things about you, that all of a sudden, you have to become a little less sweet. ... And with this surge in strength, you lose a little of the softness, I guess," she said.
Tired of being the sex symbol, Fawcett wanted to be taken seriously, so she dove into an unrecognizable role, playing an abused wife, Francine Hughes, driven to kill her husband in the 1984 movie "The Burning Bed."
"I knew that if I wanted to stay in the business, I had to change. I mean, I wanted to change," she told Walters in a later interview.
The TV movie became one of the most highly-rated in history and earned the actress the first of three Emmy nominations.
But if her acting career was finally the triumph she always knew it could be, her personal life wasn't...
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