Posted by: Lawrence D. Elliott | June 29, 2009

A Place In Our Hearts For Farrah

Farrah Fawcett will remain in our hearts.

Farrah Fawcett will always remain in our hearts.

The news coverage of the death of Michael Jackson seemed to smother us as the afternoon passed into the night. I flipped from channel to channel as every network seemed to report the same details of his life, play the same songs we’ve all heard seemingly a million times, and offer the same images and sounds of the multitude of shocked fans as they gathered all over the world to pay their respects to a great musical icon we grew to know as The King of Pop.

Of course, there were those who eagerly discussed the many scandals and oddities that peppered his life of great successes. They were tragic, but they didn’t just happen yesterday. So I see no need for me to dwell on them today.

But on this day, we lost another famous person. Unfortunately, her loss was eclipsed by this avalanche of The King’s news coverage. Someone who was also known worldwide for her great talent. Someone who had a successful career of her own. She was the face of beauty for a generation.

She was, of course, Farah Fawcett.

Most of us remember her from the 1970’s television show Charley’s Angels. In her role as Jill Monroe, she was one of three attractive women employed by mysterious millionaire Charles Townsend at his private detective agency.

Of course, many of us also knew her from being immortalized on the most popular and arguably highest selling pinup poster of all time. Ah yes, that wonderful poster with that blonde hair and beautiful smile.

But I also remember her as a very talented actor. I learned that from the made-for-television movie The Burning Bed as she gave a wonderful performance as a battered wife who finally took matters into her own hand. It drew much-needed attention to spousal abuse, something that is near and dear to my heart, having seen the hurt and destruction this cause when I was a child. Her triumphant performance forever changed how we saw spousal abuse.

She was able to attack our prejudices that such a beautiful woman can also have great talent.

But her greatest role came later in life. She personified the image of a strong and courageous woman dealing with cancer with great strength. And by her side during this ordeal was her companion, Ryan O’Neal. He lovingly bid her farewell as she made her journey from this world.

It’s great to remember such an iconic artist as Michael Jackson. He did revolutionize the music industry in so many ways. But we should also reserve a space in our hearts for the loss of Farrah Fawcett. She will also be remembered for her contribution to pop culture.

And our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

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