Farewell to an Angel
September 22, 1976.
A milestone not just in the world of pop culture, but in the world of beauty and specifically, hairstyling. I say without a shred of irony that the world changed the day Farrah Fawcett first graced our TV screens as Jill Munroe in “Charlie’s Angels.” The critics may have piled on early with the “jiggle TV” label but to my ten-year old eyes, these girls ROCKED. They were gorgeous and smart with disco-skinny bodies, they could shoot guns and beat up bad guys and their hair was perfect. I remember watching the series premiere in my friend Lisa Friedlander’s TV room (wall-to-wall white shag rug, a chalkboard wall you could scribble on, a TV mysteriously set INTO the wall) and thinking I wanted to be Just. Like. Them.
Especially Farrah. Even at 10, I was pickin’ up what the show’s creators were puttin’ down — at least with 2/3 of the Angels. Sabrina was the smart one, Kelly was the elegant one. I know now Jill was supposed to be the bubbly blonde sexpot but I didn’t see her that way back then — I thought she was sunny and sporty and fun and sweet — like the world’s most impossibly cool babysitter, or a Homecoming Queen.
And of course, that HAIR. The world had never seen hair like that, neither before nor since. (Jennifer Aniston fans, don’t even talk to me about the “Rachel.” The Rachel is to the Farrah as Hershey’s is to Fauchon. Please.) I was a goofy kid in a bad Dorothy Hamill wedge and all I wanted was that hair. The cut was genius to be sure, and it could be replicated (and was…badly…at every strip mall hair cuttery in the country throughout the 70s and 80s) but Farrah rocked it like it no other. Do a side-by-side comparison of her 70s headshots next to the scores of other actresses from the era sporting feathered ‘dos and you’ll see the difference. Farrah’s tresses weren’t “feathers” at all, really. They were cascades of long, loose waves that tumbled around her shoulders and framed that face with the heavenly smile just so.
After Farrah left “Charlie’s Angels” I lost interest. The blondes who stepped into Jill’s shoes were pale imitations — Cheryl Ladd, Tiffany Hack, Tanya Roberts…there was only one Farrah, and she left too soon.
RIP Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009)