BREAKING NEWS: Farrah Fawcett Dies At 62

Jun. 25 2009, Published 10:45 a.m. ET

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Farrah Fawcett, the blond Charlie's Angels bombshell whose red swimsuit poster became a sexy icon of the 70s, has died at 62, at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, CA 9:28 am PST Thursday, has learned.

Farrah Fawcett: Through the Years

Her long-time love Ryan O'Neal, best friend Alana Stewart, friend and hairdresser Mela Murphy and her doctor Lawrence Piro were at her bedside. "She's now with her mother and sister and her God," O'Neal said. "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." The Love Story actor told Barbara Walters on June 22 that he had proposed marriage to his longtime paramour, who accepted. He said that for the ceremony, maybe Fawcett -- who was so gravely ill that she was unable to speak at times -- would have nodded her head instead of the traditional "I do."

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The actress had been battling anal cancer since 2006, and as was first to report, her condition had greatly deteriorated in the past few months.

In mid-April, Fawcett's oncologist revealed that Fawcett's cancer had spread to her liver and metastasized. He stated that the actress weighed 101 pounds, but during a court hearing this past spring, Fawcett's troubled son Redmond said his mother weighed only 86 pounds.

Fawcett's health had been in such decline recently, that on April 25, Redmond was granted a 3-hour leave from jail where he's being held on drug charges. In an emotional reunion, Redmond was allowed to visit his ailing mother at his family's expense. Such leaves are extremely rare, and usually only allowed for inmates to attend funerals or to visit gravely-ill relatives.

In a May 14 interview with the Today Show, an emotional Ryan O' Neal spoke candidly about how he was dealing with her impending death.

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"It makes me mad," he said. "Why'd they have to take my girl?" he asked.

O'Neal said that one of the worst aspects of dealing with Fawcett's illness was the roller coaster recovery. He said that, even after emotionally letting go of his longtime love, she would make small comebacks, spurring false optimism within him. He said he wanted to take her to Italy one last time, but as her condition weakened, it was evident she would not be able to travel anywhere.

He said that sometimes when Fawcett -- who had abandoned all treatment by that point -- drifted to sleep, he hoped her misery would come to a merciful conclusion.

"It's not my right," he said, "but I just don't see how she could be happy."

O'Neal said that the tribulations of cancer strengthened his bond with Fawcett, his longtime companion.

Said the 69-year-old actor: "In the last two years, I loved her more than I’ve ever loved her -- ever."

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Fawcett shot to fame in 1976 as the star of Charlie's Angels, the Aaron Spelling show that ushered in a new genre of television: "jiggle TV."

The show was panned by critics and Fawcett -- fearing being typecast -- left the show after one season, hoping to launch a movie career. It didn't happen, but then in 1984, Fawcett gained new respect in Hollywood with her shocking portrayal of an abused woman who murders her husband in the groundbreaking drama The Burning Bed. Fawcett received both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the role.

After The Burning Bed re-ignited her career, Fawcett once again garnered positive reviews for her work in the film The Apostle, starring Robert Duvall, and for her work both in both the stage and film versions of Extremities.

Fawcett made headlines again in the 90s after posing nude in the December 1995 issue of Playboy, and for a bizarre appearance on David Letterman in 1997 in which she was often incoherent.

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In the last two years of her life, Fawcett served as an executive producer in the documentary A Wing & A Prayer: Farrah's Fight for Life, which detailed her battle against cancer as she traveled between Los Angeles and Germany, where she underwent experimental treatment for the disease.

Fawcett was first diagnosed with cancer in 2006. The next year, doctors declared her cancer-free. Fawcett said a statement posted on her Web site in Feb. 2007 that she never lost hope and it never occurred to her to stop fighting.

"This experience has also humbled me by giving me a true understanding of what millions of others face each day in their own fight against cancer," Fawcett wrote. "I hope that my news might offer some level of inspiration to others who unfortunately must continued to fight the disease. So to those who are still struggling toward their own victory, stay determined, "fight the fight" and I will keep you and your families in my thoughts and prayers."

The actress was married once, to actor Lee Majors (The Six Million Dollar Man) from 1973 until 1982. She had been romantically involved with actor Ryan O'Neal since then, and the couple have a 24-year-old son, Redmond.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.


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