Farrah Fawcett, 1970s sex symbol, dies aged 62

Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:44pm EDT
 
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Farrah Fawcett, the "Charlie's Angels" television star whose big smile and feathered blond mane made her one of the reigning sex symbols of the 1970s, died on Thursday after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.

Fawcett, who first vaulted to stardom by an alluring poster of her in a red swimsuit, was diagnosed with anal cancer in late 2006. It spread to her liver in 2007, proving resistant to numerous medical treatments in Germany and California.

"After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away," Fawcett's long time companion, actor 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."

Fawcett's death in a Los Angeles hospital came just six weeks after the TV broadcast in May of a video diary she made chronicling her battle with cancer and her final months.

Called "Farrah's Story," the documentary was effectively a self-penned obituary by the actress, who was bedridden and had lost her famous hair by the time it was shown.

O'Neal said she had wanted to tell her story on her own terms. Earlier this week, O'Neal said Fawcett had agreed to marry him before her death, but a marriage never took place, a spokesman for the actress and O'Neal said.

Fawcett, born February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, was an art student in college before she began modeling, appearing in shampoo ads.   Continued...

 
<p>Actress Farrah Fawcett releases a live Monarch butterfly in commemoration of comedian Rodney Dangerfield's one year anniversary death at the comedian's home in West Hollywood, California on October 5, 2005. REUTERS/Staff</p>