Farrah Fawcett Remembered by Ryan O'Neal, Alana Stewart
By PopEater Staff Posted Jun 24th 2010 05:15PM
The late actress's longtime partner Ryan O'Neal, with whom she has a 25-year-old son, Redmond, and her best friend, Alana Stewart, sat down with the 'Today Show' to remember the 'Charlie's Angels' star.
"I miss her. We all miss her," O'Neal said. The pair had a nearly 30-year relationship, which began in the early 1980s. They split in 1998, but reunited in 2001 when O'Neal found out he had leukemia. He was at her side when she passed away.
When asked about their son, Redmond, who was in jail on drug charges when his mother died, the 'Love Story' star said he was doing well. "He's doing extremely well. I say that with pride. I'm extremely relieved and gratified by his progress in the last year. He's living in a sober living situation in Pasadena. We see him all the time. He's beautiful. His mother would be proud of him."
"He was thunderstruck to lose her. It really scared him and he turned his life around immediately. I've never seen such focus and success. He's had great success. There was one little mistake, but he's past that and he's in love. He's going to go and see her gravesite soon. He hasn't seen it yet," he continued.
(The mistake Ryan speaks of was Redmond's use of drugs while on leave from an in-patient drug therapy center. Upon returning to the facility, he admitted to his counselor that he'd used and was put in a 30-day rehab for his transgression.)
Ryan hopes to visit Farrah's grave site with their son soon. "We haven't done it together yet. I know he grieves and I grieve, but we really haven't put our heads together."
"We thought maybe we should take a trip and do it that way, but that hasn't happened. He's not allowed to leave the state, and that will go on for another few months. But he has good reports, he sees a judge once a month, and keeps getting everything in order."
Alana -- who wrote 'My Journey With Farrah' about their time together and directed 'Farrah's Story,' which documented Fawcett's struggle with cancer -- spoke fondly of her late friend.
"I can't believe [it's been a year]," she said. "It's hard to believe she's gone. She was such a powerful presence in all of our lives," she said.
What does she miss the most about Farrah? "I miss talking to her on the phone and laughing. I miss her sense of humor. She had the most amazing sense of humor. [It] was what got her through that battle with cancer. In the darkest times, she would find something to laugh about."
Continuing her legacy, The Farrah Fawcett Foundation opens on the anniversary of her death, something Stewart has championed.
"I think she'd be very pleased with that because she started the foundation before she died. It meant a lot to her. We're hoping to carry out her wishes. She basically wanted to start something to fight this terrible disease. She wanted to fund research for alternative methods of treatment," she explained. "[Farrah] thought there was a cure out there."
Fawcett's career spanned several decades. She got her start in the early '70s, scoring a key role in 'Myra Breckinridge' in 1970. She tied the knot with actor Lee Majors in 1973, and in 1976 landed jobs in both 'Logan's Run' and 'Charlie's Angels.' Fawcett co-starred alongside Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson on the Aaron Spelling-produced show. 'Angels' was an instant smash, pulling in a whopping 23 million fans per week.
Though she lasted just one season as a regular character on 'Angels,' the success of the show made her a worldwide star. Her infamous red bathing suit pin-up poster still holds a record with 12 million copies sold.
She left 'Angels' for a career in movies, but the results were mixed. Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s, she starred in film flops like 'Somebody Killed Her Husband,' the comedy 'Sunburn' and the sci-fi whopper 'Saturn 3.'
Fawcett fared better with television movies like 'Poor Little Rich Girl' and the 1984 drama 'The Burning Bed.' She portrayed an abused wife in 'Bed,' and earned an Emmy nomination for her performance. (That the bulk of her most known work happened on television led to her omission from the 2010 Oscars in memoriam tribute, upsetting many, including O'Neal.)
In 1995, a 50-year-old Fawcett posed nude in Playboy magazine and later starred in a video for the lad mag called 'All of Me,' in which she sculpted and painted while wearing little clothing.
Two years later, she made a bizarre appearance on 'The Late Show,' where her rambling, disjointed answers led many observers to believe she was on drugs. She said she was simply following advice from her mother to be more playful with host David Letterman.
Born Feb. 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas, she was named Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett by her mother, who said she added the Farrah because it sounded good with Fawcett. She was less than a month old when she underwent surgery to remove a digestive tract tumor.
After attending Roman Catholic grade school and W.B. Ray High School, Fawcett enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. Fellow students voted her one of the 10 most beautiful people on campus and her photos were eventually spotted by movie publicist David Mirisch, who suggested she pursue a film career. After overcoming her parents' objections, she agreed.
Soon she was appearing in such TV shows as 'That Girl,' 'The Flying Nun,' 'I Dream of Jeannie' and 'The Partridge Family,' which, of course, was just the start of an incredibly successful career marked by international stardom, public adoration and much acclaim.
Farrah Fawcett's storied career and life took many twists and turns along the way. Click to See Photos of Farrah and Her Journey Through he Years
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
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