Farrah Fawcett, the actress who rose to fame in 1976 on the TV series “Charlie’s Angels,” has died at 62.
Fawcett had waged an almost three-year battle with cancer, which she was diagnosed with in September 2006. After recently checking in to the hospital, she died Thursday morning (June 25) in the intensive-care unit of St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
“After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away,” longtime partner Ryan O’Neal said in a statement. “Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world.”
“She’s gone. She now belongs to the ages,” O’Neal also told People magazine. “She’s now with her mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night. I told her how very much I loved her. She’s in a better place now.”
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Fawcett married actor Lee Majors — who played the Six Million Dollar Man on the popular television show — in 1973. Three years later, she made her debut on “Angels,” as private investigator Jill Munroe, along with two glamorous co-stars, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. A photo of Fawcett in a red swimsuit with blond curls falling over her shoulders became an iconic pinup poster. Despite the wild success of the show, Fawcett left after just one season. In 1979, she and Majors divorced.
Her initial post-“Angels” movie career proved to be something of a struggle, including the 1978 flop “Somebody Killed Her Husband.” But in 1986, she was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe Award for her role in “Extremities.” She continued to have success in TV movies and series, most recently garnering an Emmy nomination for her guest role on the CBS drama “The Guardian.”
In May, Fawcett participated in a NBC documentary called “Farrah’s Story,” which documented in unsparing detail her fight with cancer, including numerous trips to Germany to try an experimental treatment.
During her final days, O’Neal was at her side. In an ABC News interview, he told Barbara Walters, “I’ve asked her to marry me, again, and she’s agreed.”
TMZ reports that a marriage was never carried out. She died at 9:28 a.m. PT. According to several reports, she was also with friend of 30 years Alana Stewart, friend and hairdresser Mela Murphy and doctor Lawrence Piro.
“She was with her team when she passed,” O’Neal told People. “Her eyes were open, but she didn’t say anything. But you could see in her eyes that she recognized us.”
According to People, a funeral service at a Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles will be held in the next few days.
[This story was originally published at 1:20 p.m. ET on 6.25.2009]