Fawcett first stepped into the spotlight playing Jill Munroe in the TV series "Charlie's Angels" in the 1970s. The series became a smash hit and Fawcett quickly became an iconic pin-up model for millions of men. She pioneered a feathered hairstyle dubbed the "Farrah Do" or "Farrah Hair" that remained in vogue throughout the decade.
She later went on to earn one of three career Emmy Award nominations for her role as a battered wife in the acclaimed television movie "The Burning Bed."
Fawcett stirred controversy when she posed nude in the December 1995 issue of Playboy, but buzz about the actress baring all only served to make the magazine fly off newsstands -- the issue was Playboy's most successful of the 1990s, with over 4 million copies sold worldwide.
Defying naysayers, in 1997, at age 50, Fawcett posed again for the July issue of Playboy, which also sold well.
Fawcett's last project was closely tied to her illness. "Farrah's Story," the 90-minute documentary chronicling her battle with cancer, featured footage shot by Fawcett and her friends on a home video camera. It aired on NBC in May, attracting 8.9 million viewers.
The film showed both the ugly and uplifting sides of her struggle, juxtaposing video of Fawcett vomiting and shaving her head with scenes of her dancing with friends during times when her health was up. "Farrah's Story" also featured moving footage of her lying on a hospital bed with O'Neal, and his solemn vow, spoken to the camera: "I will never love anyone like I love Farrah."