Farrah Leni Fawcett (/ˈfærə ˈfɔːsɪt/; originally spelled Ferrah; February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) was an American actress of stage and screen, model, and artist. A five-time Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she starred as private investigator Jill Munroe in the first season of the television series Charlie’s Angels (1976–1977).
Fawcett began her career in the 1960s appearing in commercials and guest roles on television. During the 1970s, she appeared in numerous television series, including recurring roles on Harry O (1974–1976), and The Six Million Dollar Man (1974–1978) with her first husband, film and television star Lee Majors. Her breakthrough role came in 1976 when she was cast as Jill Munroe in Charlie’s Angels, alongside Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith. The show propelled all three to stardom, but especially Fawcett, who was then billed as “Farrah Fawcett-Majors”. After appearing only in the first season, she decided to leave the show, but returned as a guest star in six episodes during the show’s third and fourth seasons (1978–1980). For her role in Charlie’s Angels, she received her first Golden Globe nomination.
In 1983, Fawcett received positive reviews for her performance in the Off-Broadway play Extremities. She was subsequently cast in the 1986 film version and received a Golden Globe nomination. She received two Emmy Award nominations for her roles in TV movies, as a battered wife in the 1984 film The Burning Bed and as real-life murderer Diane Downs in the 1989 film Small Sacrifices. Her 1980s work in TV movies also earned her four additional Golden Globe nominations.
In 1997, she gained some negative press for a rambling appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, but also garnered strong reviews for her role in the film The Apostle with Robert Duvall. She continued in numerous TV series, including recurring roles in the sitcom Spin City (2001) and the drama The Guardian (2002–2003). For the latter, she received her third Emmy nomination. Her film roles include Love Is a Funny Thing (1969), Myra Breckinridge (1970), Logan’s Run (1976), Sunburn (1979), Saturn 3 (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), Extremities (1986), The Apostle (1997), and Dr. T & the Women (2000).
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, and she died three years later at age 62. The 2009 NBC documentary Farrah’s Story chronicled her battle with the disease. She posthumously earned her fourth Emmy nomination for her work as a producer on the documentary.