Celebritology Live: Remembering Farrah Fawcett, More
Thursday, June 25, 2009; 2:00 PM
Join Celebritology blogger Liz Kelly LIVE every Thursday at 2 p.m. ET to gab about the latest celebrity pairings (and splittings), rising stars (and falling ones), and get the scoop on the latest gossip making waves across the Web.
Liz Kelly: We lost Farrah Fawcett today after her long, brave battle with cancer. We'll hold our usual wide-ranging discussion, but I sure would appreciate hearing your rememberances of and questions about Farrah.
My first Farrah memory is, of course, "
" -- one of my very favorite childhood shows. I was a faithful watcher, had the dolls, the Charlie's Angels treehouse -- everything. It's hard to believe Fawcett was only on the show for its first season. She made a few random appearances in subsequent seasons, but boy did she leave an impression. On my brothers, too. They were in high school in the late '70s and my brother Frank's bedroom wall was adorned with
. (Cheryl Tiegs adorned my other brother's wall.)
Let's pause and watch a bit of TV history:
Fawcett had a less than idyllic life off-screen; lots of ups and downs. I'm interested in your take. Let's get started...
Griffith, Ind.: Why was her son not there when she passed? Is he in rehab or where is he?
Liz Kelly: Redmond was busted for drug possession and bringing drugs into a detention facility back in April. Previously, he was busted for having drugs in his father (Ryan O'Neal's) house back in September. And the rehab is part of the California state detention system.
I know he had visited her recently.
Alexandria, Va.: Sad news about Farrah. Any word about whether she and Ryan O'Neil actually got married at the end as he said he wanted?
(I'm keeping my fingers crossed, Patrick Swayze, that bad news doesn't come in threes this week.)
Liz Kelly: I know -- these things do tend to come in threes and after losing both Farrah and Ed McMahon, I'm on high alert. Though Swayze doesn't really fit in well with that trifecta and I so want to believe the news his reps continue to feed us about him responding well to treatment.
Summer Hiatus: I so wish "Saturday Night Live" wasn't on summer hiatus because the whole Mark Sanford bizarre tale would be ripe for a great "SNL," with several skits and references. Oh well.
And RIP Farrah! I loved "Charlie's Angels"!
Liz Kelly: Well, don't give up hope. There's always "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report."
Good for Ryan O'Neal: One has to give credit to O'Neal for standing by Fawcett during her illness. As volatile and crazy as he can apparently be, and as strained as their on-and-off relationship has been over the years, that shows some class.
Liz Kelly: Agreed. As I alluded to in the intro, Fawcett had a sometimes hard private life and herself had given the impression of being a bit loopy at times. She made headlines back in 1997 when she made a somewhat disjointed appearance on David Letterman's show and had many wondering if she was under the influence of... something. I can't seem to find that clip right now -- it's been removed from YouTube.
Arlington, Va.: Is it wrong that I'm openly rooting for Brad and Angelina to break up? Any chance he begs Jen to take him back and she does?
Liz Kelly: No, not any more wrong than me disliking Diane Keaton so much I can taste it.
But as for the whole taking Jen back thing, I think we're way past that point. And rumors are flying about Jen's seeing "The Hangover's" Bradley Cooper. They've been spotted dining a couple of times in New York in the past week. And I have to say, I approve.
Washington, D.C.: Farrah was an icon and a groundbreaking one at that. Her poster was unforgettable, leading the way for hundreds of others. She had charisma and seemed charming, even in that infamous David Letterman appearance in '97.
She was also extraordinarily brave and generous with her private life in making the documentary of her battle with cancer. It must have been an excruciating time for her especially, and not much less for her family and friends, but she did it anyway because (I believe) her battle might inspire others to keep fighting.
Rest in peace, Ms. Fawcett.
Liz Kelly: Thank you.
We should also remember her 1984 performance in "The Burning Bed" (remember when TV movies of the week could actually be good?) Her portrayal of a woman pushed to murder by years of physical and mental abuse got her recognition in the form of both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Washington, D.C.: OMG, longest opening credits EVER! Did we really sit through that each week??
Liz Kelly: According to the accompanying text on that clip, it's the extended version that appeared ahead of the very first show. It was later somewhat abridged.
Five to ten: Nominees for Best Picture for 2009. Does this mean "Up" and "Star Trek" will now get BP nominations, since they are more popular, mainstream films rather than message or heavy drama type cinema recently favored by the Academy dinosaurs?
Liz Kelly: I'm hoping that the expansion to 10 nominees makes room for movies that were otherwise pushed out of the running by serious dramas in the past. Of course it's just possible that we'll get a double dose of serious dramatic nominees. But according to what I've read, the Academy expanded the category in the hopes of recapturing public interest (and ratings) and I'm not sure more of the same will get them there.
Vienna, Va.: HUGE yacht at the Southwest waterfront the last two days. Any ideas who it is?
Liz Kelly: No clue. Did you ask the Sourcettes?
Richmond, Va.: Between Dorothy Hamill's perfect hair and Farrah's curly mane, my teen ager years were miserable --I had uncontrollable red hair. It's so sad to hear about her too-early death. How about Lee Majors. You never hear about him. Did they stay in touch?
Liz Kelly: God, that's right -- I forgot she was married to Lee Majors (aka the "Six Million Dollar Man") before she hooked up with O'Neal. Did they stay friendly? I don't know.
Philadelphia: Hi Liz,
Sad day even though it was inevitable. RIP Farrah. Do you know whether Ryan O'Neal and Farrah were able to marry?
Liz Kelly: As recently as last week Ryan O'Neal told Barbara Walters that he and Fawcett planned to marry, though whether or not they had a chance to do so before her death isn't known. I'm sure the family will release a statement before 24 hours pass and we'll get some of these answers.
Are the insane Twilight fans dangerous?: We've seen them try and trample the poor cast of "Twilight" and "New Moon." Now I'm a little worried our Celebritology fave Stephen Moyer from "True Blood" may be courting their nutty wrath with his recent comments about the lameness of the "Twilight" vampires. Can't the undead all just get along?
Liz Kelly: Seriously -- it is a bit much for a guy on a premium cable show to start a chest-pounding match with the star of one of the most successful movies in recent memory.
I'm a fan of both "True Blood" and "Twilight." The two are really very different animals. I say live and let live. Or un-live and let un-live. Whatevs.
You tell 'em Michelle!: M Pfieffer is right about the lameness of the word "cougar" - it's derogatory, and just plain played out - let's retire it!
washingtonpost.com: Moviefone: Michelle Pfeiffer Interview for 'Cheri'
Liz Kelly: Enh. I can't get my panties in a bunch about "cougar." At least it puts the woman in the position of power, unlike "MILF" -- which is just another way to objectify. (That said, I still think "MILF Island" would be a smash hit.)
Seriously, though, I was thinking about "cougar" earlier this week and rather than take offense I found it heartening -- in a strange way -- to find that enough of a critical mass of older attractive women dating younger men exist for our culture to need to come up with a name for them.
As Virginia Slims might say, we've come a long way, baby.
Maryland: I wonder if Farrah ever regretted leaving "Angels" after only one season?
Liz Kelly: Well, she did come back for special appearances and her departure from the show didn't dim her star one bit. She made several movies -- both for TV and the big screen, continued to model and even launched her own line of Faberge shampoo:
Any word about whether she and Ryan O'Neil actually got married at the end as he said he wanted? : Doesn't look like it. This article was posted this morning after a Barbara Walters interview with O'Neal.
washingtonpost.com: Farrah Fawcett too weak to marry Ryan O'Neal, Barbara Walters says
Liz Kelly: There you have it. Definitive word from Barbara.
Bradley Cooper : Before we get jazzed that he and Jennifer Aniston are an item, it's worth noting that he has also been seen in company with Mary Kate Olsen (yikes) and Lake Bell recently.
Liz Kelly: Yes, but Mary Kate Olsen is like a remora for eligible men visiting New York. I wouldn't take any MK sightings too seriously.
"Purple Rain" turns 25: Now THAT makes me feel old. Does that mean for today's 18-25 year olds, the album is about as relevant as the Allman Brothers or Creedence Clearwater Revival?
Liz Kelly: It is a pretty amazing album. A look back at the album even made All Things Considered this week.
If you're a fan of being made to feel old by once vital music now being considered "classic," please read
Poster post: Liz - What I love about the Farrah poster is that it really is her pictured there. No surgery, no photoshop -- just her. Maybe a soft focus lense was used, but otherwise that's all Farrah baby! And she looks healthy and strong. Beautiful!
Liz Kelly: That's actually a fabulous point. We know airbrushing existed at the time and we can't guarantee none was used here, but what a contrast with the pin-ups of 2009 -- who may as well be sims for all the image manipulation used to optimize the assets and minimize the quirks that make each of us human. (You know, quirks like cottage cheese and love handles)
but Mary Kate Olsen is like a remora for eligible men visiting New York. : That is the best and funniest description of her I've read.
Liz Kelly: Why thank you.
The original sources: Liz, have you read the source novels for "Twilight" (S. Meyers) and "True Blood" (C. Harris)? If so, any reviewer comments? I worry that the charm of the Sookie Stackhouse series is being diluted with the addition of the many other spirit world denizens (fairies, were creatures, shape shifters, etc.)
washingtonpost.com: I think those are in the source novels too though.
Liz Kelly: I haven't read the books -- but plan to. I'll have to get back to you, but maybe there's someone else out there who can answer this?
Use of term "Cougar"...: I just don't like it that a term is needed for "older woman-younger man" when "older man-younger woman" doesn't have a special name because it is considered normal!
Liz Kelly: I dunno. I think "Dirty Old Man" had its genesis in just that kind of arrangement.
Though we do need a more innocuous catch all term. I'll take suggestions.
Remembering Farrah: Farrah always seemed to be on the cutting edge of things. There would have been no Pamela Anderson without Farrah. There would have been no Lifetime Television Network without "The Burning Bed," "Extremities," and "Small Sacrifices."
She posed in Playboy in her 40s (best seller of the decade) and when she turned 50. (Let's see Pammy top that!)
She was one of the first celebrities to star in her own reality TV series, "Chasing Farrah" on TV Land, in 2005.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for adding these footnotes.
Cougars: I accept the term "cougar" as long as I can call younger men "puppies."
Liz Kelly: Knock yerself out.
ATL via NoVA: I'm pretty sure I saw this somewhere, but I can't remember where. Have you guys seen or know where to find a list of bars etc that have already said they weren't going to let the "Real World" crowd in? I was discussing this with friends earlier and it would be nice to know the places that will be safe for those of us who just don't care about "The Real World"...
Liz Kelly: Ask and ye shall receive. Here's a list of "Real World" friendly and unfriendly spots compiled by night life guru Fritz Hahn.
That Fritz thinks of everything.
McLean, Va.: Jeez, Liz. Woody has other connotations that we don't need to, um, raise.
Liz Kelly: That's what makes it so perfect.
Herndon, Va.: Trying to put this in non-offensive language, and remembering her from "Charlie's Angels" and various photo spreads, when I was a not-too-aged male, BOY WAS SHE HOT!!!!!!
Liz Kelly: Somehow I think Farrah actually would've been flattered by this comment.
Potomac: A moment of silence for Farrah Fawcett. I'm a 47-year-old man, and I don't mind saying that I've had a lifelong crush on Farrah Fawcett. And I'm devastated by her death. She was beautiful, sexy, smart, funny, talented, glamorous, stylish, down-to-earth, grounded and fun. What on earth more could anyone want in a woman? She was all those things, and more. She was certainly an icon for a generation, or two, and for those of us guys who were lucky enough to grow up with her around in all of her glory in the 1970s, we all had instant crushes on her the moment that we first saw her. She was just strikingly beautiful. We all fell in love with Farrah Fawcett. And we'll all miss her. And we'll all certainly never, ever, forget her.
Liz Kelly: Thanks for sharing.
Quatch Cave: Purple Rain turns 25. Sonic Youth turns 30. Welcome to Geezerland, folks. Time runs only one way in this universe. Perhaps the words of the great Groucho Marx will comfort your inner children:
"You're only as young as whom you feel."
Liz Kelly: I think I officially felt old several years back when I realized I could no longer shop at "Abercrombie & Fitch."
And for those of you out there who haven't yet reached near-cougar age, you may not know that Abercrombie used to be a somewhat staid purveyor of classic clothing before morphing into the more economically viable blaster of loud music and seller of short shorts.
Ture Blood Books: The books are chock full of fairies, weres (wolves and other types), shape-shifters, witches, etc.
Liz Kelly: There we go.
Hohokus, NJ: Weren't you supposed to be on a reality show with the first ladies hair dresser or dog groomer or something ? Are they saving that one for the next sweeps ?
Liz Kelly: I was involved in the pilot filming -- and I'm not sure that will ever see the light of day. Which is actually rather comforting.
Wistfully yours: Liz, maybe this is too personal, but are you as sad as the rest of us that Gene is downsizing his chat to a once-a-month gig? No matter how many bells and whistles it has, it's not same as tuning in to his ineffable stylings every Tuesday.
Liz Kelly: I am sad. It's the end of an era. We weren't sure how it would work out when we started the chat... and we kicked things off only a few weeks before the 9/11 tragedy. But thanks to Gene's hard work and absolutely original take on live chatting, it grew into one of our most successful shows and I do think that some of Gene's best writing has been done in the confines of these chat rooms. Which is all the more remarkable considering that he's writing those answers off the top of his head without benefit of revision or editing.
But I think we're both trying to look at this as the beginning of a new stage in his online evolution. And if there's anyone who will find a way to make something work, it's Weingarten.
Plus, the man has other things he wants to do, dreams to chase -- and I'm all for giving him the time to do so.
"Dirty Old Man": While I agree with you that "Dirty Old Man" could be a good name for the male term for a "cougar", no one would ever call a 15-year age gap (i.e. 40 year old man, 25 year old woman) a "Dirty Old Man" scenario. Take Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin (I JUST found out they are living together) -- about a 15-year age difference, and no one is calling him a Dirty Old Man. But, if it were reversed, the woman would be considered a cougar. So I think the jury is still out on this one...
Liz Kelly: Vampire?
Source Novels: I'd recommend the first 3 or 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse novels for light beach reading. After that, they begin to suffer from a common pitfall of popular series - the author is creatively done with the characters and the world, but the publisher keeps insisting on more, because they're minting money. The Twilight series (totally different, but also good beach reading) fell into the same trap after the second novel.
Liz Kelly: Good advice. Thanks.
Enjoy Stpehn Moyer's comments before they media-train him into broedom: Clearly the guy is making the new-to-big-fame mistake of being off the cuff and improvisational with an interviewer. The quotes are way more intersting, but they live forever in infamy. (See: his recent one about missing the crew when he and Ms. Paquin are home alone in bed.)
Give the guy a couple of months (and a good scolding by Paquin) and he'll be as boring as everyone else in interviews in no time.
washingtonpost.com: For Stephen Moyer, Sex Not the Same Without a Gaffer Present
Liz Kelly: Could be. Though some manage to retain their original outrageous way with words. Meghan Fox and Shia LaBeouf come to mind.
Jon and Kate: We can't chat unless we mention them. Any thoughts on the latest buzz? (he pushed for divorce, they lived apart for the last 2 years, etc.)
Liz Kelly: My thoughts: I am just sick of them. I hope the hiatus turns into a permanent end for the show.
Falls Church, Va.: I'd never heard of this Sookie Stackhouse person until recently. How can anyone take a ridiculous name like that seriously enough to watch/read it?
washingtonpost.com: Yes, because there are no silly names in literature...
Liz Kelly: Or real life.
Alexandria VA: RIP Farrah. Any public words comments from the other Angels yet? No idea if they were close or kept in touch.
Liz Kelly: I haven't seen anything yet but this literally just happened. I believe Fawcett did keep in touch somewhat with the other Angels. Fellow Angel Kate Jackson spoke to People in 2007 about Farrah's battle with cancer:
"I've watched her this past year fight with such courage and so valiantly, but with such humor."
Meghan Fox and Shia LaBeouf come to mind. : explain please
Liz Kelly: Meghan Fox: "If you eat Chinese food, your farts come out like Chinese food. If you eat Mexican food, your farts come out like Mexican food. And milk, it's like-you can smell the warmth in the fart. My wardrobe on 'Transformers' always smells like farts, and I have no idea why." (More Megan quotes)
Shia LaBeouf: "Probably the sexiest woman I know is my mother. She's an ethereal angel. Nobody looks like that woman. If I could meet my mother and marry her, I would. I would be with my mother now, if she weren't my mother, as sick as that sounds."
Rockville: Liz Kelly:
You are not "old." And you're very cute. So please don't worry.
Liz Kelly: Awww... thanks. You made my day.
Though I would argue that
Falls Church: Liz, your tenure at washingtonpost.com goes back about 10 years or so, yes? The late, great Vic Sussman brought you over to post.com from AOL, correct? I recall the end of Vic's wonderful stream-of-consciousness online discussions (Couldn't call them "chats" without endangering yourself from a visit by Amoeba Barf Man) about 9 years ago, and thought that no one would be able to replace them. You and Gene did. So where do we go from here?
Liz Kelly: Actually -- and this is probably of no interest to anyone but you and me, Sussman was no longer here when I arrived at post.com. And I was hired by his magnificent successor, Lisa Todorovich, who did indeed hire me after I left AOL.
And I wouldn't give up on the live chats. The site may just surprise us with some pretty cool changes in the coming months.
Vampires: Never got to into the whole vampire thing myself. And I say this as someone who has read "Dracula" twice. What's the appeal?
Liz Kelly: It's escapist reading. No different, I suppose, than reading the latest Nora Roberts, I guess. Just sub in a handsome vampire for the handsome stranger.
Falls Church, Va.: washingtonpost.com: Yes, because there are no silly names in literature...
Examples in actual literature please, beyond Willy Wonka.
washingtonpost.com: Hold on, let me check with Charles Dickens.
Liz Kelly: Or Mark Twain.
Alexandria, Va.: Old, maybe a few issues back, but did you catch Zachary Quinto in In Style magazine declaring pleated pants the worst of the worst? Sorry, I rarely get to read the chats these days, but I thought of you all the same, lol
r.i.p. Farrah and Ed
washingtonpost.com: Man of Style: Zachary Quinto
"Quinto Pleated Pants" not even in the top 15 of weirdest Google searches I've done for this chat.
Liz Kelly: I did not see that. Good for Zachary. Almost makes me feel bad about posting that video of him falling on his face earlier this week.
Rockville, Md.: I love all the pics of your animals/kids but the ones of Andy always crack me up...he has that quirky cool manner.
Liz Kelly: I know. He's one of a kind, that Andy. He's sleeping on his throne as I type this.
Mens Wear Dept, Tysons Corner: Abercrombie & Fitch, eh?
Liz, you may be too young to remember the store "Britches for Women."
We nicknamed it "B-itches."
Liz Kelly: Oh I remember Britches and those hideous rugby jersey-ish turtlenecks.
In fact, I see your Britches and raise you one Contempo Casuals.
Elderly Lizard: "Abercrombie used to be a somewhat staid purveyor of classic clothing"
Actually, a century or so ago (before even my time) A&F were purveyors of gear for rich men going on safaris and other extreme expeditions. One of their renowned customers was Teddy Roosevelt.
Liz Kelly: I just had a really bad mental image of Teddy in a typical Abercrombie ad campaign.
Wait - What?: I have been away for a week and hadn't heard this. Gene is going monthly?
washingtonpost.com: Chatological Humor: The Big Announcement
Liz Kelly: Ayup.
Though we do need a more innocuous catch-all term. I'll take suggestions. : Cradle robber.
washingtonpost.com: Is "the grinning gray-haired man" too wordy?
Liz Kelly: Yes, and too self-congratulatory.
Okay -- keep them coming, we may return to this topic next week.
Thanks for all the thoughts re: Farrah Fawcett. She will be missed.
I'm headed over to chat about some "Lost." Join me!
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