Writer’s note: This is taken from my personal blog at dimland.com. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years (and two days) since Farrah Fawcett left the world. The following piece was written the day she died. I have revised it slightly.
When Farrah burst on the scene in 1976 on the very popular television series Charlie’s Angels, a crime series featuring the adventures of three female private detectives, I was about 12 years-old. I had had a crush or two on girls my age, but…WHAM! There was Farrah. I was captivated. I was smitten. That hair, that smile, those two protrusions in the red bathing suit… Ahem.
Farrah was the first woman that I fell in love with. She became my girl. I was obsessed. I collected her posters and magazines featuring articles about her. I cut photos of her out of newspapers. In fact, collecting images of Farrah became my passion. My corner of the bedroom I shared with my younger brother became a virtual shrine to a woman I would never meet. I still have most of that collection packed away somewhere.
I remember an uncle of mine telling my mother that, at the very least, my Farrah obsession confirmed I wasn’t gay. Why that mattered to my uncle, I was never quite sure. How questionable was my behavior toward the opposite sex that my uncle would be relieved by my love for Farrah? I was only 12. Come on! Besides, why should anyone care?
My obsession with Farrah lasted well into high school. I had drawn several portraits of her, read one of her unofficial biographies, I even wrote a biographical paper on her for a writing class during my senior year. For a time, I took to adding a little FF to my signature on my drawings. It stood for “Farrah Freak”, which is what fellow classmates took to calling me.
(Incidentally, the paper I wrote about Farrah was to be given three grades: one for research, one for composition, and one for grammar. I received three As on the paper. My teacher spotted me in the cafeteria on the day the graded papers were to be returned, she told me she could tell I really liked my subject. I wish I had held onto that paper. It would be nice to read it now.)
The years and my obsession passed. I became more interested in women I actually knew. (Although I wasn’t any luckier with them than I would have been with Farrah. Oh, woe was me. I’m married now, so I had some success.) It’s strange but I didn’t go to her movies. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because many were so poorly reviewed that I didn’t want to see my girl humiliated. I did watch her triumphant performance in the made for TV movie The Burning Bed and her not so triumphant performance in the made for the garbage heap Cannonball Run.
However, my obsession had ended. I had long since dropped the FF from my signature. I had moved on.
Occasionally, I would note some of her doings with mild interest. Such as her very short-lived TV sit-com with Ryan O’Neal, Good Sports; her appearance on Arsenio Hall’s show during which I remember thinking her legs looked damn good; her less than flattering appearance on David Letterman’s show; her two nude photo layouts in Playboy (ok, the Playboy stuff was a bit more than mildly interesting), but the feeling wasn’t the same. The crush was gone.
Then came the cancer. She seemed to handle it well. She was going to fight it with everything she had. And she fought hard. In the end, as will happen to us all, death claimed her.
Now, I feel just a little bit older, a little bit emptier, a little bit lonelier. A big part of my youth is gone. I will miss Farrah Fawcett, she was my first girl.
Update: As most of you probably know, pop music icon Michael Jackson also died later that same day. Farrah had been the biggest female sex symbol of the latter half of the 1970s. She had cemented her place along side other legendary female sex symbols (Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Sophia Loren, Raquel Welch, etc.), but because Jackson was considered the bigger star at the time, Farrah quickly dropped from the conversation. Her death became an “oh, yeah, she died, too” segment on the news. The TV networks did give her some attention, but the King Of Pop stole her moment.
And I will always hold that against him.
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Images used under Fair Use.
Warehouse Find is the official blog of NostalgiaZone.com, where you can find books, games, toys, cards, and a huge selection of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comic books. Jim also has a podcast called Dimland Radio. He’d love it if you checked it out. It’s available on iTunes.