Iconic Farrah Fawcett Poster

Thursday, August 18, 2011

For all the baby boomers and Generation Xers like me, you remember the most coveted poster from 1976!  The red swimsuit that helped make "Charlie's Angels" actress Farrah Fawcett a 1970s icon is now displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Fawcett's longtime companion Ryan O'Neal donated the swimsuit and other items to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in January of this year. A 1976 poster of Fawcett in the dampened one-piece swimsuit sold 12 million copies--the highest selling poster in history.

Did you know that Farrah Fawcett never wore a bikini? Why? Watch the video to learn the answer.

The poster was produced first and sales skyrocketed once Farrah appeared on the debut of Charlie's Angels in September 1976.  According to Wikipedia,  she received more in royalties from the sale of her poster than she earned from her salary at Charlie's Angels.

In a 1977 interview with TV Guide, Fawcett said: "When the show was number three, I thought it was our acting. When we got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra".[ [wikipedia]

Ok men, did you have the poster in your locker or bedroom? What was the appeal? I thought it was her golden lockes and smile.

Farrah was more than beautiful. She was intelligent and a talented actress proven by serious roles she later took on. In 1983, Fawcett won critical acclaim for her role in the Off-Broadway stage production of the controversial play Extremities.  Replacing Susan Sarandon, she was a would-be rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker.

The following year, her role as a battered wife in the fact-based television movie The Burning Bed earned her the first of her four Emmy Award nominations. The project is noted as being the first television movie to provide a nationwide 800 number that offered help for victims in life threatening situations, in this case victims of domestic abuse. It was the highest-rated television movie of the season.

Farrah was also courageous when opening up about her battle with cancer to the public through a documentary. She died in 2009 of anal cancer at the age of 62.

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