A Much Needed Dose of Optimism


(Authors Collection)

Now that the contentious Presidential Election is over, a word about optimism is timely.

The late Farrah Fawcett’s 1976 pin up poster that sold over 20 million copies (yes, I own one, as my photo attests) is a point of departure.

Popular folklore has it that 40 rolls of film were used to photograph Fawcett before she selected a single photo from 6 final frames, featuring the famous Speedo red, one-piece bathing suit.

As with every subsequent photo the actress was featured in over the years, there is an undeniable optimism and an infectious sense of humor and optimism that appears almost effortless. I submit that in the insanity associated with one of the most brutal and obnoxious presidential elections we have endured as a nation, the United States and the world needs as much optimism as possible.

Farrah Fawcett was far more than just a beautiful poster model. Her initial fame with the series “Charlie’s Angels” played to that image. However, many are still not aware that she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with her degree focus in Microbiology and Art.

A greater number of people will recall that Fawcett appeared on “Charlie’s Angels” for its initial season only, and left to pursue acclaimed performances that yielded her four Emmy’s and six Golden Globe nominations.

In 1983, critics took notice of her Off-Broadway role in “Extremities”, as a rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker. Through dramatic performances such as “The Apostle” opposite Robert Duvall, and a recurring role in the television sit-com “Spin City” Fawcett gave critics much to ponder, many revising their short sighted images of the sex symbol who was merely famous for her looks. Fawcett was a very capable and versatile actress.

Interestingly, author Ayn Rand saw through this veil after watching Fawcett in “Charlie’s Angels” and later contacted the actress to play the role of Dagny Tagart, depicted in her novel Atlas Shrugged. Fawcett was familiar with Rand’s books and the two communicated well about the project and its possibilities. Sadly, Atlas Shrugged languished as a television project, much to the regret of both Rand and Fawcett.

After a courageous battle with cancer that was featured in a television documentary, Farrah Fawcett died on June 25, 2009.

Her iconic image remains that of a beautiful and optimistic person who accomplished tremendous goals, achieved fame and was gracious to all. In times like these, it bodes well for us to remember such optimism and kindness.



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