Published June 25, 2009
Farrah Fawcett, the multiple Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated American actress best known for her role as the vivacious Jill Munroe in the 1970s television series “Charlie’s Angels,” died in a Santa Monica hospital. She was 62.
Her spokesman, Paul Bloch, confirmed that the iconic actress died Thursday morning at 9:28 a.m. PDT.
Her long-time partner Ryan O'Neal told People magazine Thursday, "She's gone. She now belongs to the ages ... She's now with her mother and sister and her God. I loved her with all my heart. I will miss her so very, very much. She was in and out of consciousness. I talked to her all through the night. I told her how very much I loved her. She's in a better place now."
Other "Charlie's Angels" stars 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 Cheryl Ladd: "She was incredibly brave, and God will be welcoming her with open arms."
Her former producer Craig Nevius told FOXNews.com, "She will be remembered as
the modern Mona Lisa and so much more. I will remember her as my friend."
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006 and, despite going into remission and enduring extensive chemotherapy and surgery both in the U.S. and Germany, it was revealed earlier this year that the cancer had spread to her liver. She stopped receiving treatment in May.
Fawcett documented the trials and tribulations of her battle with cancer in the NBC documentary "Farrah’s Story."
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1947 to a homemaker and an oil field contractor, Fawcett was encouraged to pursue a career in Hollywood while attending the University of Texas at Austin after her photo as one of the “Ten Most Beautiful Coeds” landed on the lap of a Los Angeles publicist. After scoring a string of commercials for consumer products and a few small television roles she finally hit the big-time with “Charlie’s Angels.” But Fawcett, eager to pursue greater acting challenges, left the show after just one season.
The blond beauty soon became the all-American face of her generation when she posed in a red one-piece bathing suit for a poster that became an item of pop culture history and has reportedly sold over 12 million copies. Blessed with a flawless figure and stunning smile, Farrah also had a full head of thick blond wavy hair that took on a star-status of its own; the “Farrah Do” became the most requested style by women across the world.
"In the beginning her hair certainly captured the world and just about every man. She took that position and reinforced it with talent and did some really chancy rolls and became a good actress, and I think a lot of people were surprised," actress Jacqueline Bissett told FOXNews.com.
"But just seeing her moving around at parties and seeing her sitting on a barstool with a kind of pizzazz and just her charm and her light was what I’ll always remember. She always just had this fresh quality and a very clean quality."
In 1973, Fawcett married "The Six Million Dollar Man" actor Lee Majors. During the years they were married, she changed her name to Farrah Fawcett-Majors. The couple separated in 1979, at which point she changed her name back to Fawcett. They divorced in 1983.
Post-"Angels," Fawcett went on to tackle an abundance of dramatic screen and stage roles and caused a major stir by appearing nude in Playboy’s December 1995 issue, which became the highest-selling issue of the 1990s.
"Farrah is just very special, inside and outside she was beautiful, smart, funny and a fighter,” her best friend and film producer, Alana Stewart, said. “She was quite an amazing woman. She's been my friend for 30 years and I've been very proud to have been involved with her.”
In September 2006, Fawcett, who at 59 still maintained a strict regimen of tennis and paddleball, began to feel strangely 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 relationship, 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."
She struggled to maintain her privacy, but a UCLA Medical Center employee pleaded guilty in late 2008 to violating federal medical privacy law for commercial purposes for selling records of Fawcett and other celebrities to the National Enquirer.
It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope," she told the Los Angeles Times in an interview in which she also revealed that she helped set up a sting that led to the hospital worker's arrest.
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 weak, she continued to show flashes of grit and 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.
Fawcett is survived by her partner O’Neal, and 24-year-old son Redmond O’Neal, who is currently serving a sentence for possession of illegal drugs in Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, Calif.
Just last week, O'Neal told Barbara Walters that he intended to marry Fawcett "just as soon as she [could] say yes."
Of their son Redmond — who was unable to be by his mother's side when she passed — O'Neal said he asked Fawcett to "please forgive him, that he was so very, very sorry."
FOXNews.com's Hollie McKay, Allison McGevna and the Associated Press contributed to this report.