Farrah Fawcett: Unfortunately, These Movies Will Also Be Remembered

Farrah Fawcett passed away today at the age of 62. Males of a certain generation (those born between 1900 and 1972) will always hold the former Jill Munroe in special esteem for the role she played in hastening their adolescence.

There was that poster, for starters, and her short-lived but memorable stint on Charlie's Angels. And even though my own heart will always belong to Jaclyn Smith, I'm still grateful to the one-time Mrs. Fawcett-Majors for teaching me that blondes could be fantasized about as well.

Farrah's most critically acclaimed work came in the mid to late-1980s, when she was lauded for her roles in revenge fantasies like Extremities and The Burning Bed, but we at Hair Balls think it tends to cheapen a person's existence by only focusing on the high points of their careers. To get a more complete picture of someone's life, you have to take the bitter with the sweet, the dark with the light, the Raspberry with the Golden Globe.

So here's to you Farrah, may your hair dryers forever be Supermax.

5. Myra Breckinridge (1970)

When describing Myra Breckinridge's awfulness, it's important to prioritize. Sure, the scene where Myra (Raquel Welch) sodomizes a guy with a rusty dildo might challenege our perceptions of filmic quality, while the gratuitious vulgarity and inept comedy led Time magazine to lead off its review with the line, "Myra Breckenridge is about as funny as a child molester." But as cinematic transgressions go, these pale in comparison to the unforgivable sin of shooting a "lesbian" scene between Welch and a 22-year old Farrah without any...lesbianing.

4. Logan's Run (1976)

Admittedly, Logan's Run isn't all that bad, but like most sci-fi of that era it's aged about as well as Skylab. Farrah was on the cusp of stardom here, in a film best commemorated as "The Second of Four Movies In Which Jenny Agutter Gets Naked."

3. Sunburn (1979)

Just about every car chase cliché ever parodied on The Simpsons is on display in this, Farrah's second movie after leaving the Charles Townsen Detective Agency. You've got multiple thrilling jumps (auto and motorcycle), a doomed fruit stand, and a side trip through a bull ring. It doesn't help that co-star Charles Grodin has all the sexual charisma of a young Woodrow Wilson.

2. Saturn 3 (1980)

How is it possible that Chevy Chase never made a movie with Farrah? Both left highly successful television shows after one season to make movies. And when that didn't work out so well, both made increasingly questionable role choices. Chase did the midget murder mystery Under the Rainbow, while Farrah "starred" in this Alien rip-off, which was groundbreaking in one aspect: by showing its male protagonist nailing a woman half his age, it would pave the way for the later careers of Sean Connery and Richard Gere.

1. Cannonball Run (1981)

Farrah just wasn't trying anymore: slipping easily into the airhead blonde role and allowing herself to be ogled by a Burt Reynolds already on the wrong side of Smokey and the Bandit II. It's hard to blame her, though: being married to Lee Majors for seven years would be enough to cause anyone to question their worth. While the mere existence of Majors is enough to cause everyone else to doubt the existence of a benign and loving God.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar