Farrah Fawcett hospitalized in cancer battle

Farrah Fawcett, shown here in 2004, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
Farrah Fawcett has been hospitalized in the latest stage of her battle against cancer, a producer working with the actress said Monday.

Craig Nevius issued a statement to People magazine and confirmed the statement to CNN. “She recently checked into a Los Angeles hospital,” the statement says. It adds, “Farrah is allowing this statement out of appreciation for her fans, who have offered their constant support throughout her fight, as well as out of concern for the countless other cancer patients who have written her over the last two-and-a-half years in order to tell her that they are following her story in the hope that there is hope.” Nevius has been working with Fawcett, 62, on a documentary about her fight against cancer. The illness was first diagnosed in 2006. People magazine reported that Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer. Early the next year, Fawcett was told her cancer had gone into remission. Her official Web site has posts from February, 2007, celebrating the news. But the cancer returned later that year. Fawcett was a model best known for bit parts and commercials, and as “Six Million Dollar Man” actor Lee Majors’ wife, when she shot a bestselling pinup poster in 1976 at the behest of a Cleveland, Ohio, company called Pro Arts.

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Photographer Bruce McBroom placed Fawcett — then known as Farrah Fawcett-Majors — in the Indian blanket-draped front seat of his 1937 Chevy and snapped away. The poster, with Fawcett’s million-dollar smile front and center and right nipple obvious through the fabric of her red bathing suit, became a sensation. Soon after the photo shoot, Fawcett was asked to join the cast of a new Aaron Spelling TV show, “Charlie’s Angels,” about a trio of female detectives who work for a mysterious man named Charlie. Fawcett, who played Jill Munroe, was the last to be cast — co-star Kate Jackson was the known name at the time — but, thanks to her poster, she became the breakout star. Frequently showing its actresses in bikinis and scanty clothes, the show was controversial right out of the gate. “Denunciations of ‘massage parlor television’ and ‘voyeurism’ only brought more viewers to the screen, to see what the controversy was about,” wrote Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh in their exhaustive reference, “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.” But “Charlie’s Angels” was a huge hit, and shows ranging from the sitcom “Three’s Company” to the drama “Baywatch” owe the show a debt. Fawcett didn’t stay with “Angels” long. At the end of the first season, unhappy with her contract, she left the show, to be replaced by Cheryl Ladd. Fawcett’s career stagnated for a time after “Charlie’s Angels,” as she appeared in a handful of forgettable films and divorced Majors. But her career received a major boost with her starring role in “The Burning Bed,” a 1984 TV movie co-starring Paul LeMat. In the film, Fawcett played an abused wife who sets fire to her husband’s bed as he lies sleeping. Fawcett received an Emmy nomination for her performance. Fawcett also became romantically involved with actor Ryan O’Neal around that time. The pair had a son, Redmond, in 1985. Redmond O’Neal was arrested Sunday morning for narcotics possession. In recent years, Fawcett has appeared sporadically in the public eye. She posed nude for Playboy in 1995. In 1997, she appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” an interview that became notorious for Fawcett’s apparent incoherence. She later said she was just having fun with Letterman. She reunited with her “Charlie’s Angels” co-stars, Jackson and Jaclyn Smith, for an awards-show appearance in 2006. Fawcett has been making a documentary, “A Wing and a Prayer,” for NBC about her cancer battle.