For her generation, Farah Fawcett served as an icon. One of the most well-known posters ever is of her wearing a red bathing suit. People from all around the world expressed their sorrow at the actress’s loss when she was diagnosed with cancer and later passed away.
Her former aide is now speaking out about the last moments she spent on earth. Read on to discover more. In 2006, Farrah Fawcett received a diagnosis of anal cancer. The actress was motivated to battle the sickness after receiving the diagnosis for one very crucial reason: her adored son Redmond.
At the age of 62, the actress lost her fight with cancer in 2009. But, prior to her passing, she took part in the production of the “Farrah’s Tale” documentary, which detailed her sickness. To spread more knowledge about her illness, the actress took part in the documentary.
Mike Pingel, her former aide, is now talking openly about his old employer’s final days. He claims that she maintained her faith during the difficult portion of the journey.
“Farrah fought as hard as she could,” said the author of “Channel Surfing: Charlie’s Angels.” “All of it was to be here for Redmond, her child. Redmond was her moon, her stars, her sky, her heart.
Her father was also, but Redmond was her life. She fought tooth and nail to continue to live, to be with him.
And she documented her journey through cancer… because she wanted to help others. Farrah was not only an icon, but she wanted to help everybody with… her life.”
“She did everything she could,” Pingel added. “Whether it was experimental treatments in Germany or just bringing to light different things about the cancer world, she felt that’s what she needed to do with her journey, to help others.”
Pingel has been thinking about Fawcett lately because it’s the anniversary of the release of the Charlie’s Angels movie. The movie had its debut on March 21st, 1976. The most watched TV programs of the 1970s were a result of its success.
Together with co-stars Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson, Fawcett played Jill Monroe.
Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg developed and produced “Charlie’s Angeles” for ABC. The program ranked as the fifth-best network program for the 1976–1977 season. As a result, it was at the time, according to The New York Times, the highest-rated TV debut ever.
When Pingel first saw Fawcett, he immediately recognized the astute businesswoman. They also developed a close friendship.
“As a boss, she was an amazing person,” Pingel explained. “She was exactly who you thought she was. A down to Earth Texan – just a good, wonderful woman.
And the smartest woman I knew. She knew what her image was worth. She knew what she was worth… She was just the smartest person in the room and the person everybody wanted to meet.
Jay Bernstein, who was her old manager, once told me, ‘Everybody wanted to meet Farrah from the busboy to the Prince of Wales. Whoever was in the room wanted to meet Farrah wherever she was.’ And it was absolutely true.”
The actress received a cancer diagnosis a year after he started working as her assistant. Before receiving her illness, she was still in high demand, with filmmakers sending her scripts in the hopes that she would collaborate with them.
“She was choosy in everything she did,” said Pingel. “She wanted to do good projects… She wanted to do projects that spoke on things, but she also liked doing fun things.”
The actress appeared in one season of Charlie’s Angels and intermittently thereafter. The actress, according to Pingel, had no second thoughts about her choice.
She believed that the lengthy production schedule and the screenplay both needed improvement. She therefore deemed her contract void and fled.
A $7 million contract breach case was then filed against her. Fawcett later consented to return for six more episodes as part of a settlement. She only made an appearance in 29 of the 115 episodes, yet she was still the big star.
“I left Charlie’s Angels because I felt creatively stifled,” Farrah said.
“Now, when I go back to Charlie’s Angels, it is much better. I have a chance to work with the writers on the script and the director. I can treat it like a business, I could not do that before, I was hurt at first because I was sued.”
“Farrah had a huge career,” Pingel said. “’Charlie’s Angels’ was just one year out of her career. She knew that it catapulted her… She [and the other girls] couldn’t go anywhere with paparazzi and fans following them everywhere… She always loved ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ And a lot of it was the camaraderie with Jaclyn and Kate. They were sisters. As a threesome, they shot into stardom together… They were always going to be connected to this embodiment of the ‘70s, the golden years of television. She really embraced it. She enjoyed it. [And] she was happy when she left. She thought she did what she could with the character, and she went on to do… great work as an actress.”
“I don’t think she regretted any of it,” Pingel added.
Upon the release of her poster in a red bathing suit, Farah Fawcett’s popularity skyrocketed.
The poster sold more than twice as many copies as posters of Betty Grables and Marilyn Monroe combined! It was filmed in her Bel Air residence, which she shared with her then-husband, actor Lee Majors. She covered a scar she’d had on her tummy since childhood by donning a one-piece bathing suit.
She pursued various projects after leaving Charlie’s Angels, one of which was the 1984 movie “The Burning Bed,” for which she received an Emmy nomination.
After over ten years together, her marriage to Majors came to an end in 1982. In 1985, she fell in love once more with actor Ryan O’Neal, and the two had a son.
When Pingel came into Fawcett’s life, her son was already grown. But Pingel saw the love between them. He said, “I think Farrah felt Redmond was the best thing she ever did,” said Pingel. “…
She did everything that she could for Redmond. She would light up whenever Redmond would come over. And it was all about Redmond. It didn’t matter what was going on.
If Redmond came over, it all just fell to the wayside. She just adored her son. You can just tell her in her eyes, you could just tell the mother’s love for her son. It was endless and ongoing. I’m sure she’s still watching him from above.”
Fawcett’s final thoughts before passing away were disclosed in 2019 by the late actress’ friend Mela Murphy, who was by her side during her final days at the St. John’s Health Center in Los Angeles.
“She was saying his name, ‘Redmond’. That was the last thing she said. I told her I’d take care of him, that I’ll always be there for him. I said, ‘You can go now.’ It was just a few hours before she died,” Murphy shared.
Pingel shared how down-to-earth the icon was. He shared a conversation the two of them had had, “One day we’re in the condo, and she looked at me and goes, ‘Mike, what’s an icon?’” he recalled. “And I go, ‘I’m looking at one.’ And she goes, ‘No, what is it?’ I told her she was like the Marilyn Monroe of the ’70s. I think she understood what I was trying to say, but she didn’t feel like she was an icon.
She just felt that she was an actress, a mom, a person that had to do the windows – I wouldn’t do windows… I never had to make the doorway bigger to get her through because her ego was huge.”