Farrah Fawcett

Hollywood icon Farrah Fawcett, the star of "Charlie's Angels" who was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 1970s, died today after battling cancer. She was 62. Farrah died shortly before 9:30 a.m. in a Santa Monica California hospital, her spokesman Paul Bloch said. Ryan O'Neal, the longtime companion who had reunited with Fawcett as she fought anal cancer, was at her side, along with close friend Alana Stewart, Bloch said." After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away," O'Neal said. "Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world." Her cast mates from "Charlie's Angels" also paid tribute to her."Farrah had courage, she had strength, and she had faith. And now she has peace as she rests with the real angels," Jaclyn Smith said. Said co-star Cheryl Ladd: "She was incredibly brave, and God will be welcoming her with open arms."Fawcett was a huge hit across the world in 1976 as one-third of the crime-fighting team in the hit television show "Charlie's Angels." A poster of her in a clingy swimsuit sold millions of copies. Her full, layered hairstyle became all the rage, with girls and women across America adopting the Farrah look. The actress turned to more serious roles in the 1980s and 1990s, winning acclaim playing an abused wife in "The Burning Bed." She had been diagnosed with cancer in 2006. As she underwent the very hard treatment, she enlisted the help of O'Neal, who was the father of her now 24-year-old son, Redmond.This month, O'Neal said he asked Fawcett to marry him and she agreed. They would wed "as soon as she can say yes," he said. Her struggle with painful treatments and dispiriting setbacks was recorded in the television documentary "Farrah's Story." Fawcett sought cures in Germany as well as in the United States, battling the disease with iron determination even as her body weakened from all the treatments." Her message of hope to people was don't give up, no matter what they say to you, keep fighting," her friend Stewart said. NBC estimated that the May 15, 2009, broadcast drew nearly 9 million viewers. In the documentary, Fawcett was seen shaving off most of her trademark locks before chemotherapy made it's mark. Toward the end, she's seen huddled in bed, barely responding to a visit from her son. In September 2006, Fawcett at age 59, still maintained her lifestyle of tennis and paddleball, but she began to feel exhausted. She underwent two weeks of tests and was told the devastating news. She had anal cancer. O'Neal, with whom she had a 17-year on and off relationship with, again became her constant companion, escorting her to the hospital for chemotherapy. "She's so strong," the actor told a reporter. "I love her. I love her all over again." Her decision to tell her own story through the NBC documentary was meant as an inspiration to others, friends said. The segments showing her cancer treatment, including a trip to Germany for procedures there, were originally shot for a personal, family record, they said. And although very weak from the treatments, she continued her good humor in the documentary. "I do not want to die of this disease. So I say to God, `It is seriously time for a miracle,'" she said at one point.
Photos By: Sara De Boer/Retna