Farrah Fawcett became a massive celebrity following her stint on Charlie’s Angels – her signature hairstyle and “pin-up” status only served to bring her even more fame.

At the same time, Fawcett endured tough times in her life. She was involved in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against her former employer her love life was notoriously complicated from time to time.

In the 1990s, she was involved in a relationship with actor Ryan O’Neal, which was nothing if not chaotic. The saddest part of all, though, was that she eventually decided to break up with him because of one very shocking discovery.

Here’s all you need to know about cult actress Farrah Fawcett!

Farrah Fawcett was born on February 2, 1947, in Corpus Christi, Texas. She was the second daughter of mother Pauline and father Jim – her mother worked as a homemaker, her father as an oil field contractor.

Farrah Fawcett – early life

Farrah was actually named Ferrah – an Arabic word for joy – at birth. However, she decided to change it at a later stage.

Fawcett would become one of her generation’s most good-looking “golden girls.”

As reported by the Texas Monthly, her mother, Pauline, recalled that when she carried Farrah into a store, women stopped their cart to say, “She looks like an a-n-g-e-l.” Pauline also claimed that children around their neighborhood came to their house just to see her.

However, it wasn’t all positive for Farrah. Though her mother loved that people adored her daughter, it became a problem for her later on.

Farrah knew she was pretty, but that in itself posed problems for her.

“I always felt so self-conscious,” Farrah’s mother Pauline recalled the actress saying. “I wanted people not to look at me because so many people kept looking at me.”

Of course, looks aren’t everything, but there’s no denying that Fawcett’s appearance became a considerable part of her life.

Moving to Los Angeles

She was voted “Most Beautiful” by her classmates for three years running in high school. Then, after she moved to Austin to study at the University of Texas in 1965, she was again voted “Most Beautiful” during her freshman year.

Fawcett studied microbiology and art at the University of Texas. Just a year after she enrolled, however, a new kind of career began to gain speed.

After Farrah was voted one of the “Ten Most Beautiful” women at the University of Texas, a picture of her reached Hollywood PR man, David Mirisch. He thought she looked great, and decided to call her to try and get her to move to Los Angeles, where he said he could help her begin a modeling career.

Now, Mirsch had several other known clients, including Perry Como and Patt Boone. While Farrah was still studying, he phoned her to convince her to quit and make the move to Hollywood.

Fawcett wanted him to speak to her father, but Mirisch was persistent.

Finally, upon finishing her junior year, Farrah was convinced. She got her photo taken in a Texas Park by a photographer for the Texas Student Publications. Her idea was to go to Los Angeles for a short time to see what it was like; she planned on returning to university for her senior year.

Farrah Fawcett – ‘Charlie’s Angels’ & legendary poster

As we now know, that never happened.

Fawcett moved to Los Angeles, and it wasn’t long before she had signed a contract with Screen Gems that reportedly paid her about $350-a-week. She began appearing in commercials such as Wela Balsam and Ultra-Brite toothpaste, whilst also doing work for Max Factor and Mercury Cougar Cars.

Farrah wasn’t only a great model, but also a promising actress. She was soon appearing in television commercials and, after several more gigs as a model – which entailed posing on dozens of magazine covers – she began getting jobs as an actress in the mid-1960s.

She initially appeared in television series such as I Dream of JeannieThe Partridge Family, and The Flying Nun.

At that time, Farrah was on a steady rise towards fame. Then, everything changed in 1976, as she became world-famous thanks to two jobs.

Famed television producer Aaron Spelling had cast Farrah in the 1975 television movie Murder on Flight 502. Through that, he had been left very impressed with her acting.

Afterwards, he decided to cast her in a brand new television show named Charlie’s Angels, a show which would center around three female detectives.

“We were looking for the California beach-girl type, and Farrah was perfect for that,” he wrote in his 1996 memoir A Prime-Time Life“She was drop-dead gorgeous and the living image of the beautiful L.A blonde in tennis shorts or a bathing suit.”

“Her hair helped make the show”

The show aired in September, 1976, and though critics were rather harsh, the fans loved it.

Farrah starred as agent Jill Munroe, appearing alongside Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith on the show. According to Spelling, she was the main reason Charlie’s Angels was received so well among viewers.

“We thought about changing it for a moment in the beginning, and had we been doing a traditional cop show, we would have,” he wrote. “But her hair helped make the show. It became one of our signatures.”

Fawcett’s hair became a huge thing worldwide, and the actress from Texas quickly turned into a huge celebrity. In 1996, the New York Times even declared that Farrah might have had the most famous hair of the seventies, perhaps even of all time.

“Her feathered, high-lighted, layered phenomenon was a work of art that looked as if it had just come out of the sea and had been tossed by the wind into a state of careless perfection. Farrah’s hair was emblematic of women in the first stage of liberation – strong, confident, and joyous – before the reality of mortgage payments and single parenthood set in,” the Times wrote, as quoted by Texas Monthly.

Yet after just one season of Charlie’s Angels, Farrah had enough.