One of the sweetest, if most unimaginable, things about Farrah Fawcett is that she honestly didn't realize she was so pretty. Bruce McBroom, the photographer who shot her iconic red swimsuit poster, told TIME:
She was just beautiful in a really innocent way. She had no idea that she was that good-looking.
The gorgeous photograph was taken at her home, by her pool, with one of the photographer's old Mexican blankets as a backdrop. No stylists, no assistants, no art directors. Mr. McBroom said:
Farrah didn't like the way she looked in a bikini and didn't have one on her. So she would go in the house and come out in a swimsuit and say, "What do you think of this?" ... I shot rolls of film, and it just wasn't happening. She's a beautiful woman, but there wasn't anything that I would put on a poster. ... I said, "Farrah, are you sure you don't have a bikini? Something different?"
She went in to look around and came out of the back door and stood in the doorway in this red suit, and she said in her Southern accent, "Well, is this anything?"
And I literally said to myself, "Oh my God."
That was 1976. The poster has sold 12 million copies, according to a CNN report. Other reports place the sales number at aorund 6 million or more. Any way you figure it, the poster is a record-setter that still graces many dorm walls after more than three decades. That's what you call an icon.
Farrah Fawcett died in a Santa Monica hospital Thursday morning after a battle with anal cancer that stretched almost four years. She will be sorely missed.
Rest easy, angel.
June 25, 5:12 PM