Friday, May 08, 2009

Outlook Appears Grim for Farrah

If you were a teenage boy in the 1970s — as I was — there can be little dispute that Farrah Fawcett was perhaps the most desired woman in the entertainment industry. Most boys my age had a copy of her famous poster on the wall. It sold 12 million copies, a figure that remains unsurpassed.

But Farrah, with her tousled hair, perfect teeth and slender build, was more than a pretty face. She proved over the years that she was a talented actress, earning Emmy nominations for performances in TV movies based on the true stories of a battered wife and a predatory and narcissistic mother.

Next week, she will be featured in what may be the most important film of her life — a two–hour documentary on her battle with cancer.

According to recent reports, it may be miraculous if she lives to see the airing of the documentary a week from today — although, based on comments made by her longtime partner and current caretaker Ryan O'Neal in an interview with People magazine, she spends much of her time asleep these days. She might not be awake to watch it.

Reports suggest that Farrah is in the final stages of her cancer, and she seems to have reached a level of acceptance. Her weight is said to be between 86 and 101 pounds, and she seems to be taking most, if not all, of her nourishment via IV. O'Neal says her treatments have ended and her famous hair is gone now, and her appearance has been described as "hauntingly gaunt."

Farrah is to be commended for her courage in filming her fight with cancer and allowing it to be shown. Many people might consider it an intrusion to be filmed at such a time, but Farrah has put personal considerations on the shelf, choosing to show as realistically as possible what people facing cancer must endure.

If your life hasn't been touched by cancer, all I can say is that you are fortunate. I have seen the ravages of what O'Neal calls an "insidious enemy" in my own life.

I wish Farrah the best. I pray for a cure. But I probably will not watch the documentary.