In 1976, Fawcett posed in a red bathing suit in front of a Mexican blanket for photographer Bruce McBroom, instantly turning the Texan into a California-girl icon. The poster sold more than 12 million copies.
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Fawcett only appeared on one season of Charlie's Angels as private eye Jill Munroe, but her subsequent fame eclipsed that of co-stars Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith.
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Fawcett co-starred with friend Burt Reynolds in the successful road-race flick Cannonball Run as Pamela Glover, a feisty con woman determined to win.
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Fawcett surprised critics and earned an Emmy nomination for her strong, shocking portrayal of a battered wife who gets fiery revenge in the TV movie The Burning Bed.
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Similarly, her work in the feature film Extremities, as a fed-up homeowner who turns the tables of violence on a burglar and would-be rapist (James Russo), nabbed her a Golden Globe nomination.
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Ryan O'Neal played a former football star to Fawcett's ex-Miss America in Good Sports, a short-lived sitcom for CBS in which the real-life pair played sparring co-anchors of a sports news show.
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At age 48, Fawcett posed nude for Playboy in December 1995. Two years later, she did it again for the July 1997 issue. The earlier shoot was the best-selling issue of the '90s; the latter spawned a pay-per-view special.
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A coy, flirtatious Fawcett appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote her Playboy pay-per-view special. The result was perplexing and entertaining.
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Fawcett was nominated for a guest-star Emmy in 2003 for her performance as Mary Gressler, a troubled single mom with eyes for Dabney Coleman's Burton Fallin, on CBS' The Guardian.
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A robust-looking Fawcett reunited with Jackson and Smith for a tribute to the late Charlie's Angels creator Aaron Spelling at the Emmys in 2006.
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In Robert Altman's sprawling Dr. T & the Women, Fawcett danced naked in a mall fountain to play a suburban Dallas wife (opposite Richard Gere) whose grasp on sanity suddenly unravels.
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In her last film role, Fawcett played hot-to-trot neighbor Mrs. Crowley in The Cookout, a film co-written by Queen Latifah and starring rapper Ja Rule and SNL vet Tim Meadows.