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Farrah Fawcett dies at age 62.
June 25, 2009 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Farrah Fawcett died today of cancer at the age of 62. She was perhaps best known for her role in Charlie's Angels, and also for inspiring the lust of a whole generation of men with one photo.
posted by elder18 (127 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by ericb at 10:34 AM on June 25, 2009


Farrah Fawcett was my very first crush as a kid. My mom was a hairdresser and Farrah did alot of advertisements for shampoos and hair care products. When I was eight or so mom brought home a poster of her shilling for I believe Apple Pectin shampoo, which remained on my wall for many years. I was so jealous when she married the Six-million dollar man! I mean, how could I compete with a bionic man?!

Rest in peace Farrah.
posted by vito90 at 10:35 AM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by wiretap at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Liquidwolf at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by josher71 at 10:39 AM on June 25, 2009


We'll miss your smile, Farrah. RIP.
posted by heyho at 10:39 AM on June 25, 2009



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posted by DU at 10:40 AM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Astro Zombie at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by RussHy at 10:42 AM on June 25, 2009


also for inspiring the lust of a whole generation of men with one photo.

I had that photo on my wall as a kid also. It was like everything that people liked about the seventies [hair! orange! nipples! summertime!] without the bad coke, bad discos and bad jewelry. Farrah Fawcett was also pretty well known for getting an Emmy for The Burning Bed soon after leaving Charlie's Angels which pretty much cemented her "more than just a sex symbol" role, though she did pose nude for Playboy at the age of 48 (47?) and more power to her.
posted by jessamyn at 10:43 AM on June 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


I just watched her Letterman appearance recently. Hilarious.

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posted by lunit at 10:43 AM on June 25, 2009


Like most straight male teens in the 70s I had her poster on my bedroom wall. Right next to the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

Goodbye to an icon of my youth.

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posted by DieHipsterDie at 10:44 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Goodbye to an icon of my youth.

Am I the only one who feels like there's a lot of that going on lately?
posted by jquinby at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by HeyAllie at 10:46 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by rahnefan at 10:47 AM on June 25, 2009


Oh man. That's too bad.

And after the hours I've spent holding up her poster with one hand.
-Steve Martin
posted by chococat at 10:49 AM on June 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


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posted by Navelgazer at 10:49 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by JeffK at 10:49 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Malice at 10:50 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by JB71 at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by jerseygirl at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2009


I spent much of my childhood sleeping between Farrah and Loni.

And The Fonz was always there to tell me just how cool that was.
posted by JaredSeth at 10:53 AM on June 25, 2009


"Boy oh boy, I am so mad at Farrah Fawcett-Majors. She is so conceited. She has never called me once. And after the hours I've spent holding up her poster with one hand!"

Steve Martin, 1977
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:53 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Ironmouth at 10:53 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Go Banana at 10:55 AM on June 25, 2009


[JaredSeth, your Loni link jumped to a random sex video, presumably not what you had in mind.]
posted by cortex at 10:55 AM on June 25, 2009


jquinby - "Am I the only one who feels like there's a lot of that going on lately?"

Nope. We're getting to a certain age, friend, where it's going to happen more and more. And when you see someone in a contemporary movie that floats your boat (so to speak) and you check 'em out on IMDB - you find they were born AFTER you graduated high school, you just wince and shake your head...

Above all else, do not check the birth dates on Playboy Centerfolds. Just... don't.
posted by JB71 at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2009 [8 favorites]




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posted by The1andonly at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2009




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posted by HumanComplex at 10:57 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Thorzdad at 10:58 AM on June 25, 2009


I wasn't one of the kids who had a poster of her, because I wasn't wired that way, but it's still hard to imagine the 1970s and 1980s without Farrah.
posted by blucevalo at 10:59 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by OmieWise at 11:00 AM on June 25, 2009


Definitely not, cortex. Thanks for un-linkifying that...I guess the site I used doesn't like hotlinking.
posted by JaredSeth at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2009


When I was a little girl, I had The Farrah haircut and the Farrah Fawcett shampoo. My sister opted for the Dorothy Hamill, with corresponding Dorothy Hamill shampoo. We lived in constant fear that accidentally using the wrong shampoo would cause us to swap haircuts.

RIP, Farrah.
posted by jrossi4r at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2009 [19 favorites]


I had that photo on my wall as a kid also.

Me, too - my dad (now a Catholic deacon, go figure) put it up in our bathroom. I cannot for the life of my imagine why my mom stood for this. RIP to a great beauty.
posted by tristeza at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2009


Now she can wheel and peditate in heaven.

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posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:04 AM on June 25, 2009


My dad had the poster in his workshop from as early as I can remember. For years I didn't find it particularly interesting. Then around age 12 it got progressively more interesting by the day.
posted by diogenes at 11:05 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by rougy at 11:06 AM on June 25, 2009


Yep, had the poster. I was 14 when it came out, probably the perfect age. Years later my Dad got an iron-on t-shirt with that image as a gag for his 40th birthday. Never wore it, I still have it in a box with my old Rush and Who concert shirts. I should wear it to work tomorrow.

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posted by marxchivist at 11:06 AM on June 25, 2009


I met her briefly several years ago, when I worked on the exhibition of her collaboration with artist Keith Edmier. I was suprised by how tiny and delicate she was, as well as by how gracious and warm. (Not to mention that between her and Edmier, she was actually the better sculptor.)

RIP to a lovely, talented woman.
posted by scody at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


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posted by DreamerFi at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:16 AM on June 25, 2009


And when you see someone in a contemporary movie that floats your boat (so to speak) and you check 'em out on IMDB - you find they were born AFTER you graduated high school, you just wince and shake your head...

Remember: if she looks young to you, you look old to her.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:16 AM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nice appraisal of her post-Charlie's Angels work from Newsweek.
posted by scody at 11:20 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by rtha at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by maxwelton at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2009


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marxchivist, you have a Limbaugh T-shirt? Wow.
posted by bz at 11:27 AM on June 25, 2009


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(another "poster" child here)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:28 AM on June 25, 2009


Re: the poster -- I was reading through some '70s comics a few weeks ago (like I do), and I found an ad for all sorts of iron-on t-shirts (the only other one that sticks out is the Coneheads), and there was that photo. And my impression of it was basically everything jessamyn said above: It's just a big, hormonal nostalgia bomb in pixels. (Mind you, I was like seven when the 1970s ended, so my nostalgia is largely for nursery school, my first cat, period TV and...um...old comics. But still! It's a purer kind of nostalgia, untouched by the grim horrors that accompany any epoch one must live through as a responsible adult.) Anyway, first the unexpected sight of it made me really happy, and then really sad. Time is a bitch.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:29 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to a documentary on Farrah, (check Hulu for it. I would, but I'm at work), she declined Chemo so she could keep her hair, and turned down her original oncologist's recommendation of removing her anus and performing a colonoscopy. She chose vanity over health, and loses a lot of sympathy from me.

. anyway.
posted by SansPoint at 11:31 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, that was the hairdo that launched a thousand proms. Including mine. RIP, Farrah.
posted by jeanmari at 11:32 AM on June 25, 2009


She chose vanity over health, and loses a lot of sympathy from me.

Her body, her choice. Not a path I would have taken, but she also got to go a lot of places I'll never go.
posted by jessamyn at 11:34 AM on June 25, 2009 [11 favorites]


Also Re: the poster-
What was she posing in front of? I don't think I ever knew.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:35 AM on June 25, 2009


I bought a copy of the Sparks record Propaganda a few years ago and found a print reproduction of the poster, torn from a 1976 copy of The National Enquirer and stuffed inside the sleeve. I choose to let the picture stay with the record. I'll have to go home and put it on tonight in homage.
posted by orville sash at 11:38 AM on June 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Indian blanket thrown over the backseat of the photographer's convertible, I believe?
posted by jeanmari at 11:38 AM on June 25, 2009


turned down her original oncologist's recommendation of removing her anus

I could see myself turning down that recommendation also.
posted by snofoam at 11:38 AM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have not experienced life without an anus, but I believe I would substitute "dignity" for "vanity" on that point.
posted by adipocere at 11:38 AM on June 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


Hell, even guys did their hair like her back in 1977 (myself included - I used to sit under my sister's hairdryer before school to get that perfect feathered flip)... my class yearbook is a real horrorshow.
Thanks for all the hormone-soaked memories. R.I.P.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Pecinpah at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2009


kuujjuarapik: the Times obit mentions this: "Searching for a backdrop to Ms. Fawcett in her one-piece red swimsuit (which she chose instead of a bikini because of a childhood scar on her stomach), [photographer Bruce McBroom] grabbed an old Navajo blanket from the front seat of his 1937 pickup."
posted by thejoshu at 11:40 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]



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posted by EatTheWeak at 11:41 AM on June 25, 2009


marxchivist, you have a Limbaugh T-shirt? Wow.
posted by bz


Of course not you silly goose.

I know you had to be kidding.
posted by marxchivist at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2009


SansPoint, how can you judge the choices that someone else makes when they're facing death? Do you have a poo-filled bag hanging out of you today? Many people live with them just fine. Many others would choose differently. She obviously did whatever she could to both treat her disease and live what remained of her life in a way of her own choosing (which eventually did lead to losing her hair). Have a little respect.

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posted by Madamina at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


my dad had the puzzle version of 'the poster', shellacked and mounted on a piece of plywood in the basement workshop. If memory serves me correctly (which isn't likely) one puzzle piece was cut in such a way as to not disturb her nipple. I studied that poster quite closely as a kid and imagined that a puzzle maker had payed particular attention to making that specific piece. rest in peace farrah.
posted by fatbaq at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by ahdeeda at 11:46 AM on June 25, 2009


A particularly ugly death for such a famous beauty.

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posted by Joe Beese at 11:47 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking today that everyone has to go and slowly slowly (or maybe quickly wuickly) we will all be out of here
posted by EdwardFresco at 11:50 AM on June 25, 2009


SansPoint: Read this interview with the documentary's executive producer. According to him, creative control of the doc was taken away from him (he'd worked very closely with Fawcett, and she'd signed over creative control to him, should she become too ill to oversee it). He talks about the medical community and the FDA and other important issues surrounding cancer treatments in the U.S. that Farrah was adamant about including in the doc, which were removed. The editors made her look selfish, stupid, and vain by re-arranging clips and removing important pieces she wanted kept in. The critics blasted the documentary as selfish and ignorant because of this, slamming her while she was dying.
posted by tzikeh at 11:50 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


SansPoint, I say fiddlesticks to you and your judging. I've seen folks die of cancer and chemo is not at all a pleasant thing. We don't know how treatable it may have been, we don't know her mindset and honestly why would it matter if we did.

Isn't it the right of any person to make a decision on how they want to live and how they want to die and have that right respected? I can't see how opting out of treatments to preserve the life she was accustomed to and her identity as a person invalidates her struggle.

And Farrah, god speed.
posted by teleri025 at 11:52 AM on June 25, 2009


Thanks, thejoshu. I didn't RTFO.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:52 AM on June 25, 2009


Farrah did go through chemo, and even made a video documenting what dying from cancer was like.
posted by misha at 11:52 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by gushn at 11:57 AM on June 25, 2009


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posted by contrariwise at 11:58 AM on June 25, 2009


One of the flaws of most icons is that they appear to be more than human. While Farrah was never just plain folks, her flaws were always obvious and in that, so was her humanity. In some ways her life was a reality show we never got to see.
posted by Xurando at 11:58 AM on June 25, 2009


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Her and Jenny Agutter in Logan's Run — it was pure hormone overload for my 13 year old self. Sigh.
posted by tkchrist at 11:59 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hated her as a kid, i was a Kate Jackson fan. But as I aged and watched her in the media, grew to like her more and more.

I can't believe how sad I am.
posted by Max Power at 12:07 PM on June 25, 2009


Man, she was hot.
posted by kbanas at 12:09 PM on June 25, 2009


Here is the Logan's Run clip.
posted by tkchrist at 12:11 PM on June 25, 2009


this actually kind of broke my heart this morning. :(
posted by atsotsis at 12:12 PM on June 25, 2009


According to a documentary on Farrah, (check Hulu for it. I would, but I'm at work), she declined Chemo so she could keep her hair

I have been in the position of declining chemo, and in an attempt at a light moment I said it was because I didn't want to lose my hair. The truth was that my prior experience with chemo made me think I'd just rather die. So maybe tamp this down a bit, please?
posted by ersatzkat at 12:13 PM on June 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


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posted by a3matrix at 12:14 PM on June 25, 2009


I was working in a studio a few years ago. It was an hour or so before the live show, and we had a guest in who was poking around in order to familiarize himself with the layout and whatnot. There was a woman who was taking pictures, and I had angled myself to be somewhat close in an attempt to see what sort of camera she was using.

Eventually I sat down a few feet away. She sat down next to me, said hello, and just sat there looking around. After a couple of minutes, they both got up and left the studio. Two coworkers came over and said "Dude, do you know who that was?"

I had no idea who they were talking about, other than the guest who was taking the look/see, so I said his name.

"No, dumbass. That chick sitting next to you was Farrah Fawcett." I never had a clue.
posted by nevercalm at 12:15 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by OolooKitty at 12:21 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by grumblebee at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2009


Like many posters here, she was an icon of my pubescence. Except for me it was that glorious Playboy spread in the 90's-- the very first playboy I ever got my hands on.

Maybe that's why I have a thing for mature ladies...
posted by strangememes at 12:30 PM on June 25, 2009


She had the only good line in an otherwise horrid movie (Cannonball Run II):

"You know what I like best about trees? You can lie under them on a moonlit night, with the breeze blowing, and ball your brains out."

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posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:33 PM on June 25, 2009


having grown up in the 70s as the oldest of 3 daughters of a man named Charlie...well, you can imagine that we watched that show quite faithfully and when we 'played' Charlies' Angels I was Farrah Fawcett's character, since I had the fluffiest blondest hair of the 3 of us.


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posted by supermedusa at 12:35 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Xoebe at 12:40 PM on June 25, 2009


...[photographer Bruce McBroom] grabbed an old Navajo blanket from the front seat of his 1937 pickup.

I saw an interview with him earlier this year (I think it was on CBS Sunday Morning). The photo almost didn't happen. Farrah had worn a number of different colored bathing suits. He even had photos of her in the outdoor shower. He thought he "had" the shot with one of those. At the end of the session she put on a red bathing suit . He grabbed the blanket from the 1937 pick-up (which he still has) and the poster that sold 12 million copies was born!
posted by ericb at 12:41 PM on June 25, 2009


I always loved the fact that she was married to Lee Majors for a while. Jill Munroe and Colt Seavers under one roof? Powerful lot of awesome in that household.

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Yeah, I could've gone Steve Austin, but screw that. The Fall Guy was waaay cooler to the 10 year old that was me.
posted by quin at 12:53 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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posted by Justinian at 12:53 PM on June 25, 2009


There was a time when the entire Universe revolved around her right nipple.

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posted by Listener_T at 12:53 PM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't want to put this in my . post since she deserves that on its own.

I had that photo on my wall as a kid also.

Lots of people said something like this. I must say I now feel sorry for those who grew up before the 80s. 'Cause that's some weak sauce. Crazy big teeth smile, barely any skin, etc. Yay for the SI swinsuit issue (early-mid 80s) and the internet (post mid 80s).
posted by Justinian at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2009


i was never a huge fan--unless you consider white-hot burning jealousy over the fact that it wasn't only my hair that would never look that good--but she was an icon and she was everywhere and she was part of my worldview, like it or not. and she kept popping up for the next ... jesus ... 30+ years. in spite of her passing, she was a survivor of sorts. and she apparently did it her way. more power to her.

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posted by msconduct at 1:02 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Mitheral at 1:23 PM on June 25, 2009


'Cause that's some weak sauce.

Sometimes less is more.
posted by jquinby at 1:29 PM on June 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


She was a big part of my childhood.

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posted by Sailormom at 1:45 PM on June 25, 2009


Tragedy often comes in threes.

Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson?

Michael Jackson Suffers Cardiac Arrest, Rushed to Hospital.
posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on June 25, 2009


I think in one of the early issues of Nest magazine, maybe #2 or #3, they had an article on a guy with a completely Farrah room. It was pretty awesome.
posted by maxwelton at 2:10 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Joey Michaels at 2:11 PM on June 25, 2009




Oh, THAT Michael Jackson? Thank God. I thought you meant this one, in which case I would have been really upset.
posted by yiftach at 2:39 PM on June 25, 2009




Sorry, direct link.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2009


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Time: "Farrah Fawcett: The Golden Girl Who Didn't Fade"

I'm another "poster child," and I also appreciated Trikilis' poster of Cheryl Tiegs.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:00 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by exlotuseater at 3:03 PM on June 25, 2009


I'd throw a . out there for Jackson, but as far as I'm concerned the man died years ago, and his largely plastic body just figured it out.

He did make Thriller though. Whatever else you can say about him, there's that. And it's something.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:04 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by fixedgear at 3:10 PM on June 25, 2009


Am I the only one here who was simultaneously turned by Farrah wanted to be her?

If so, too bad. She is one hot lady, forever. And if I was a woman she's the one I'd like be!

In fact, except for Supergirl (and maybe Zantana), she was the female superhero I always wished I could be.

Ah, a boy's dream, indeed!

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posted by humannaire at 3:50 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by jlbartosa at 4:02 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by bjgeiger at 4:16 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by HabeasCorpus at 4:28 PM on June 25, 2009


I had the poster too, and man, what a poster, surpassed only by the Heather Thomas poster.

I prefer to remember Farrah as she was in her prime.

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posted by bwg at 5:20 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by Mael Oui at 7:13 PM on June 25, 2009


I spent my teen years growing up in Corpus Christi, Farrah's hometown. Matter of fact, my high school American history teacher, Coach Kucera, dated Farrah while the two of them went to Ray high school. He always said she wasn't terribly bright, but was just the sweetest, nicest person he'd ever known. He also once confided in me that although he tried like crazy, she'd never go all the way with him.

Farrah was a big part of my coming of age, and she was at the top of her game when I was going through puberty. I remember my mom freaking out once because I had bought a spiral notebook for school with her iconic swimsuit poster on the front of it (it matched the poster on my wall, surrounded by a multitude of KISS posters). 'YOU CAN SEE HER NIPPLE!!! THAT'S NOT APPROPRIATE FOR SCHOOL!!!'

Moms.

Anyway, my sorrow for the day goes to Farrah. While I admire Jacko's earlier works (with and without the Jackson 5) and was amused by his childlike freakishness, Farrah had a significantly bigger impact on my life. RIP, Tex. It was a lousy way to die, but at least it's all over now.
posted by davelog at 8:22 PM on June 25, 2009


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posted by SuzySmith at 9:22 PM on June 25, 2009


It's strange, maybe, but my enduring memory of Farrah was her role in Burning Bed. That and being bored witless by all my male contemporaries talking about her far too much! But I'm like that when it comes to sex symbols.
posted by Goofyy at 12:03 AM on June 26, 2009


I was a ball boy for Farrah at the Jonathan Winters Wild West Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Great Falls, Montana in 1974, or so. She was mainly known as Lee Majors's wife then. I was a know-it-all 13-year-old and told her that ditching the extra ball she held in her hand after she successfully hit her first serve in was in violation of the rules.

She was kind enough not to smite me with her racquet.

Although, in retrospect, that would have been a better story.
posted by bigskyguy at 10:32 AM on June 26, 2009


She never did pick the greatest of men. I think Ryan O'Neal is a douche. I hope her kid wakes up and gets his act together.
posted by dasheekeejones at 1:01 PM on June 26, 2009


I think Ryan O'Neal is a douche.

He also appears to be turning into some emo-version of William Shatner.
posted by scody at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2009


I'm very sorry that Farrah suffered and died the way she did; I hope that her family and her son can find some peace. Redmond, you are going to an early grave if you don't stop sabotaging yourself.

It's never too late.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:55 PM on June 26, 2009


Hey, Farrah in the Logan's Run comic book!
posted by marxchivist at 6:16 PM on June 27, 2009


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