“TV had much more impact back in the ’70s than it does today. Charlie’s Angels got huge numbers every week – nothing really dominates the television landscape like that today. Now there are so many channels and so many more shows it’s hard for anything to get the audience, or amount of attention, that Charlie’s Angels got. Farrah was a major TV star when the medium was clearly dominant.” – Larry King
The sensation that Farrah Fawcett caused in the 1970s can be confirmed by the fact that TIME magazine designated her as the “epitome of ’70s glamour”. Indeed, there was no actress or supermodel that so comprehensively captured the attention of the American public during that decade. Her career accomplishments are remarkable, considering Fawcett did not emerge into the cultural spotlight until halfway through the decade. Whereas most famous celebrities earn a reputation for themselves by their mid-20s, Fawcett did not become a household name until 1977, when she was already 30 years of age. In other words, when Farrah became famous, she defied the odds, and her continued success in subsequent decades demonstrated that women could stay glamorous well into middle age.
To limit the accomplishments of Farrah Fawcett to her glamour is to diminish the cultural importance of her appearance, to ignore the significant role she played with regard to the representation of women in popular American media.
In an effort to do justice to the intricacies of Fawcett’s image, this biography explores Farrah’s body of work, with attention paid to the distinct interpretations of her oeuvre and public image. Fawcett’s personal background also is discussed, as is her bout with cancer that ultimately took her life at the premature age of 62.