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Farrah Fawcett, who soared to fame as a national sex symbol in the late 1970s on television's campy "Charlie's Angels" and in a swimsuit poster that showcased her feathery mane and made her a generation's favorite pinup, died today. She was 62.
Fawcett, whose celebrity overshadowed her ability as a serious actress, was diagnosed with a rare anal cancer in 2006, died about 9:30 a.m. at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, said Paul Bloch, her publicist.
Three months after she was declared cancer-free in 2007, doctors at UCLA Medical Center told her the cancer had returned, spreading to her liver, and she repeatedly sought experimental treatment in Germany.
As an actress, Fawcett was initially dismissed for her role as Jill Munroe in "Charlie's Angels," one of the "jiggle" series on ABC-TV in the late 1970s.
But she transformed her career and some popular perceptions in 1984 with "The Burning Bed," a television movie about a battered wife that brought her the first of three Emmy nominations. She further established herself as an actress in the play and later feature film "Extremities," about a rape victim who takes revenge on her attacker.
For many, the poster of her wearing a wet one-piece swimsuit and a blinding smile endured.