Thursday, June 25, 2009

Death of an 'Angel'

Only minutes ago, it was announced that 1970s TV icon Farrah Fawcett has died of anal cancer at the age of 62.

I don't think the news will come as a surprise to anyone. She has been struggling with cancer off and on for the last three years. Last month, her longtime partner, Ryan O'Neal, suggested, in an interview with People, that the end was near. Recent reports indicated she was back in the hospital and was not doing well. But, in spite of all the advance warning, I think the news of her death will be met with sadness from anyone who is old enough to remember her incredibly popular poster or her breakout role on "Charlie's Angels."

I was a teenage boy in the '70s. I had a copy of her poster on my wall. Like many of the boys my age, I was taken — if not taken in — by her looks. But there always was more to Fawcett than her tousled hair and shapely figure.

Fawcett herself spoke of the mixed blessing that her popularity was. It opened doors for her, but, at the same time, it obscured her talent as an actress, which can be seen in the films she made and TV programs on which she appeared.

Cancer, as O'Neal told People, is an "insidious enemy." Truer words were never spoken. I've seen cancer claim my friends, and I've seen it take famous people I admired. It is true that we have made strides against it in my lifetime, but there is still so much to be done.

Today, I doubt that we will conquer cancer in my lifetime. Indeed, I wonder if we will ever conquer it. But, if you are in a position to contribute to the effort in any way, please visit the American Cancer Society's website.

About the only thing I have left to say is this:

Rest in peace, Farrah.