Farrah Fawcett 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.
Fawcett quit the series that brought her initial fame in 1977 after a single season, saying producers were preventing her from growing as an actress. Fawcett had played a private investigator whose main talent seemed to be the ability to wield a gun while going braless and shouting, "Freeze, turkey!"
By giving millions of American females an alternative to the very severe Dorothy Hamill bob, she single-handedly established the blow-dryer and curling-iron industries and created the whole career-path-through-hairstyle phenomenon.
But, more important, she made the whole guns and gams template not only acceptable on TV, but de rigueur. In just a single season as the "pretty one" on "Charlie's Angels," Fawcett helped turn the show into an iconic hit and paved the way for all the delicate lovelies now doing the Kevlar crouch on shows such as "CSI" and "Fringe."
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.