Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett, a three-time Emmy-nominated actress, sex symbol, and star of perhaps the most famous poster of all time, has died. She was 62.

Fawcett died Thursday morning at St. John's Heath Center in Santa Monica, Calif, her longtime companion, Ryan O'Neal, said in a statement. The Charlie's Angels star announced in 2006 that she had anal cancer, the start of an agonizing battle that included the cancer going into remission, only to return and spread to her liver.

Look back on Fawcett's career highlights

In her final days, O'Neal said he and Fawcett had hoped to marry. In the statement, however, he is identified as her companion, not her husband.

In April, Fawcett's son, Redmond O'Neal, who is jailed on drug-related charges, was allowed to visit her. The emotional reunion was included in Farrah's Story, Fawcett's documentary about her fight with the disease, which aired on NBC on May 15.

See photos of Fawcett with her family

The documentary would be her last public appearance. It concluded with Fawcett saying, in a voiceover, that the hardest question for her to answer as she battled the disease was simply, "How are you?"

"Today, I've got cancer," she answered, continuing the voiceover. "But on the other hand, I'm alive. So I guess I'm great. Yeah. Right now, I am great. My life goes on and so does my fight." She concluded with a question for viewers: "And oh, by the way: How are you? What are you fighting for?"

Watch clips from Farrah's Story

A 20/20 special about Fawcett, which had been planned for Friday, was moved to Thursday at 10 pm. The network rescheduled shortly before Fawcett died.

Fawcett spent the late 1960s and early 1970s modeling and appearing in small film and television roles. In 1973, she married Lee Majors, and went on to appear repeatedly on his show The Six Million Dollar Man. She was known throughout their marriage as Farrah Fawcett-Majors. They divorced in 1982, the same year she became romantically involved with O'Neal.

Her celebrity was cemented by two events in 1976: She appeared on Charlie's Angels, and posed in a red swimsuit for a poster that would eventually cover millions of walls and inspire women worldwide to emulate her "Farrah 'do."   

The owners of the poster company reportedly sought out Fawcett because her ads for Wella Balsam shampoo were so popular with college men that they bought women's magazines just for her picture. The shot of her beaming, with one hand in her tousled hair — one urban legend holds that her curls spell out the word "sex" — is one of the iconic images of the 1970s.

Fawcett quit Charlie's Angels after a year, returning to the show six times to resolve a legal dispute over her departure. Though she left her hit series to appear in films — and had a significant role in the 1976 sci-fi classic Logan's Run — her movie career didn't take off until the 1980s, when she appeared in the hit Cannonball Run and won acclaim for dramatic performances in such films as Extremities. She also earned strong reviews for her turn in the 2000 film Dr. T and the Women. She received Emmy nominations for her performances in The Burning Bed, Small Sacrifices, and the series The Guardian.

Though she resisted appearing nude at the height of her popularity, she posed in 1995 for Playboy in an issue that became the best-seller of the decade. She posed again for the magazine two years later at the age of 50 — an appearance that expanded the standards of beauty she had helped set decades before.

Watch TV Guide Network all day for continuing coverage of Farrah Fawcett, including a one-hour special Farrah Fawcett: America's Angel Remembered at 8 pm/ET&PT, along with a special edition of Hollywood 411 at 9 pm/ET&PT and 11 pm/ET&PT.