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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jean-Baptiste-Gabriel-Joachim Dausset was 93

Jean-Baptiste-Gabriel-Joachim Dausset (October 19, 1916 - June 6, 2009) was a French immunologist.

He was born in Toulouse, France. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1980 along with Baruj Benacerraf and George Davis Snell for their discovery and characterisation of the genes making the major histocompatibility complex. With his Nobel Prize and a grant from the French Television, Dausset was able in 1984 to create the Human Polymorphism Study Center (CEPH), which soon after became Foundation Jean Dausset-CEPH.

Dr. Jean Dausset, a French immunologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1980 for discoveries about the human immune system that vastly improved the odds of success in organ transplants, died in Mallorca, Spain, on June 6. He was 92.

His death was announced by the Foundation Jean Dausset-CEPH, a research institute he founded in Paris.

Dr. Dausset, who specialized in blood diseases, shared the Nobel for Physiology or Medicine with two researchers working in the United States, Dr. Baruj Benacerraf and Dr. George D. Snell, for work done over several decades. The Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which awards the prize, said their research showed why some people were better able to defend themselves against infection than others, and why certain people were at risk for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Dr. Dausset’s findings transformed the understanding of the human immune system, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a telephone interview on Monday. His main achievement was demonstrating that molecules on the surface of cells, now called HLA antigens, determine an individual’s immune response. These antigens, which are genetically coded by a particular location on one chromosome, determine the body’s response to foreign tissue, for example. They set off the production of disease-fighting antibodies and help the immune system distinguish between the body’s own cells and invaders.

The research made it possible for transplant surgeons to “type” cells to determine whether a body would accept or reject tissue from a donor. Since then, such tissue typing has been used widely for heart, liver and other transplants.

In addition to demonstrating the existence of these antigens in people, Dr. Dausset “elucidated the genetic factors regulating their formation,” the Karolinska Institute said.

Working with Dr. Felix T. Rapaport, Dr. Dausset carried out a series of experimental skin grafts that provided evidence that incompatibility of antigens worked against the graft’s survival.

Subsequently, to find out if the genetic factors were valid for all humans and not just particular groups, Dr. Dausset and his colleagues went to far-flung places to obtain blood samples from people of 54 racial and ethnic groups. They found that the genetic laws controlling the antigens were valid for all groups.

Jean Baptiste Gabriel Joachim Dausset was born in Toulouse, France, on Oct. 19, 1916, the son of a prominent physician. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the Lycée Michelet in Paris and enrolled in medical school at the University of Paris in the late 1930s. With World War II looming, he was drafted into the military before he could complete his studies. After France fell to the German invasion in 1940, he made his way to North Africa and joined the Free French forces.

Before leaving, he gave his identity papers to a Jewish colleague at the Pasteur Institute, to help the man avoid persecution by the Nazis.

In North Africa, he performed blood transfusions and developed an interest in transfusion reactions that helped lead to his later work. He participated in the liberation of France in 1944 and left the military in 1945 as a second lieutenant.

He earned his medical degree and completed his internship and residency at hospitals in Paris before being appointed director of laboratories at the National Blood Transfusion Center in 1946, a post he held until 1963.

He married Rosita López in 1963 and the couple had two children, Henri and Irene.

Dr. Dausset held a number of teaching and research posts, including chief biologist for the Paris General Hospital System; chairman of the immunology department at the University of Paris, where he taught for many years; professor at the Collège de France; and director of research at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research.

He was author or co-author of books including “Histocompatibility” (1976) and “Immunology” (1980). He was elected to the Academy of Science and the Academy of Medicine in France.

In 1984, Dr. Dausset started a laboratory, later a genome research center, the Center for the Study of Human Polymorphism, which coordinated the first international collaboration to map the human genome. In 1993 it became the Foundation Jean Dausset-CEPH, a nonprofit institute. He retired as president of the foundation in 2003.

Frank mason died he was 88

Frank Herbert Mason died he was 87. Mason was an American painter.

Mason attended the Music and Arts High School in New York until he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Art Students League of New York with Frank DuMond. Mason studied with Dumond until DuMond's death in 1951, when he himself began teaching at the Art Students League.
(born February 20, 1921 June 16, 2009)
Mason's painting, the Resurrection of Christ, can be seen in Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. In 1962 Mason received a commission to paint eight large paintings of the Life of St. Anthony of Padua, which were permanently installed in the 11th Century Church of San Giovanni de Malta, in Venice, where his paintings hang alongside a painting by Giovanni Bellini. Consequently, the Order of Malta conferred upon him the Cross of Merit, Prima Classe. He became the first painter to receive the honor since Caravaggio.

In response to the overcleaning of the Sistine Chapel, Mason, along with James Beck, helped form the organization, ArtWatch International.

The many and talented young emerging painters Frank Mason had been teaching ever since 1951 recently celebrated their teacher-mentor's 85th birthday in New York, organizing a gathering in honour and thankfulness for over 50 years of generous dedication to his students.

Mason will be the subject of an upcoming, full length documentary film produced by Maestro films.

Frank Herbert Mason died yesterday. He was a renowned professor at the Art Students League and a portraitist in the tradition of Rembrandt, but I remember him as my neighbor on East 82nd Street during the 1950s.

His son Arden, who has since grown up to be a trompe l'oeil painter in Vermont, was my brother Will's best friend, and every morning found the three of us, about to walk to school, arguing some point of culture outside Mr. Cooper's cigar store on Lexington Avenue. Yorkville was quite exotic in those days: the butcher, baker and candlestick maker still had their emporiums below street level. Indeed, when Daitch opened its first supermarket in 1960, soon after the city tore down the Third Avenue El, my mother walked her boys over to see it, marveling that, "Now, we will be able to buy everything in the same place!"

To my mind, Arden Mason was a lucky guy, as fortunate as my best friend Michael Chambers, whose father played French horn for the New York Philharmonic. Whereas my Dad, in the stereotype of Sloan Wilson's 1950s bestseller The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, had to report to a downtown office every day, Frank Mason disappeared into an undisclosed location called "a studio" to grasp at magic from a mysterious array of invisible muses. There was no distinction between the avant-garde and the traditional: just to be an artist in 1950s New York was to be an invisible sorcerer fathoming a world where all else feared to tread.

Proud of his father, Arden Mason wore black rimmed glasses and, at age six, manufactured his own performance art. My family lived on the top floor of a ten story building and it was Arden's privilege to stride, like a tightrope walker, along the risky edges of our rooftop, driving my brother and me crazy with fear. Happily, Arden survived, becoming a realist artist like his father. The two of them gave something to me which drives me to this day, that the magic of art is a bottomless well and a limitless sky, to be travelled always with daring and care.

Mason is survived by his wife, Anne, and by his two sons.

Frank Mason, artist and teacher, he died on June 16, 2009, aged 88

Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Mays Died he was 51

William Darrell "Billy" Mays, Jr.died he was 51. Mays was a television direct-response advertisement salesperson most notable for promoting OxiClean, Orange Glo, and other cleaning, home-based, and maintenance products. His distinctive beard and loud sales pitches made him a recognized television presence.[4]

Mays was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, and began his career as salesman on the Atlantic City boardwalk. He travelled across the United States for 12 years, selling various items before he was hired to sell OxiClean and other products on the Home Shopping Network. His success as a TV pitchman lead him to found Mays Promotions, Inc. On April 15, 2009, the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen, a documentary series that featured Mays. On the morning of June 28, 2009, Mays was found dead in his home by his wife.

(July 20, 1958 – June 28, 2009)[3]

Mays was born on July 20, 1958 and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He later dropped out of West Virginia University and worked for his father's hazardous waste company before moving to Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was taught how to sell by the older salesmen in Atlantic City, saying "I was taught to pitch by a lot of old pitchmen. That's the kind of style I have."[1] In Atlantic City boardwalk he sold the Washmatik portable washing device to passersby,[5] and other "As Seen on TV" products.[1]

Mays later traveled to home shows, auto shows, and state fairs across the United States for a period of twelve years, selling various maintenance products and tools, including cleaning products and food choppers.[5]

At a Pittsburgh home show in 1993, Mays struck up a friendship with rival salesman Max Appel, founder of Orange Glo International, a Denver-based manufacturer of cleaning products. He was then hired by the company to promote their line of cleaners, OxiClean, Orange Clean, Orange Glo, and Kaboom on the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg, Florida.[6]

Customer response to Mays' sales pitches were enthusiastic, with a sharp increase in sales after his first day on the network, although some reviews were poor. He was very well known for shouting in an abrasive manner during infomercials. For example, Washington Post staff writer Frank Ahrens called him "a full-volume pitchman, amped up like a candidate for a tranquilizer-gun takedown."[7]

Mays was the CEO and founder of Mays Promotions, Inc., based at his home in Odessa, Florida.[4] His services as a pitchman became highly sought-after, and he appeared in commercials for many diverse "as seen on TV" products such as Mighty Putty. Mays claimed to be an avid user of the products he promoted.[8]

In December 2008, Mays began appearing in ads for ESPN's online service, ESPN360.[9] These ads were a slight departure for Mays as they were designed to be parodies of his and other infomercial cliches with Mays appearing to be doing a parody of himself. He also made a live appearance during the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl promoting ESPN's and ABC's January 1, 2009 bowl games.

Mays resided in Florida in a $1.8 million home which was built in 2005.[10]

In February 2009, Mays publicly challenged Vince Offer to a "pitch-off" between their respective products, the Zorbeez and the Shamwow. Popular Mechanics compared the absorbancy of two towel products and declared Shamwow the clear winner.[11]

On April 15, 2009, the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen, a documentary series that features Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their jobs in direct response marketing.[12] Mays and Sullivan appeared together on the June 23, 2009 episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.[13]

The commercials for his products became a popular internet meme, and have spawned countless video remixes.[14]

YouTube Poop: Billy Mays Peddles More Crap You Can't Afford

Mays was found unresponsive by his wife in his Odessa, Florida, home on the morning of June 28, 2009. He was then pronounced dead at 7:45 am, appearing to have died sometime overnight.[2][3][15] The Associated Press reported that there were no indications that the house had been broken into, and that police did not suspect foul play.[15]

On June 27, Mays had been aboard US Airways Flight 1241,[16] which landed roughly when one of its front tires was blown out. The heavy impact of the landing caused objects from the overhead storage compartments to fall and strike some passengers. Mays told WTVT-TV, a local Tampa FOX news station, that some of the objects "hit me on the head, but I got a hard head." His wife noted that he felt unwell when he went to bed that night early at 10 pm. The next morning, he was pronounced dead at 7:45 am by a local fire rescue crew.[15] According to his official Twitter feed, Mays was scheduled for hip-replacement surgery on Monday, June 29.[17]

Gale Storm died she was 87

Josephine Owaissa Cottle,[1] better known as Gale Storm, was an American actress and singer, who starred in two popular television programs of the 1950s, My Little Margie and The Gale Storm Show.

(April 5, 1922 - June 27, 2009)

Storm was born in Bloomington, Texas, the youngest of five children. She had two brothers and two sisters. Her father, William Walter Cottle, died after a year-long illness when she was just 13 months old, and her mother, Minnie Corina Cottle, struggled to raise the children alone. One of her sisters gave Josephine the middle name, "Owaissa", an American Indian word meaning "bluebird". Storm's mother Minnie took in sewing, then opened a millinery shop in McDade, Texas which failed, and finally moved the family to Houston. Storm learned to be an accomplished dancer and became an excellent ice skater at Houston's Polar Palace. At Albert Sydney Johnston Junior High School and San Jacinto High School, she performed in the drama club.

When she was a 17-year-old senior, two of her teachers urged her to enter the contest on Gateway to Hollywood, broadcast from the CBS Radio studios in Hollywood, California. The first prize was a one-year contract with a movie studio. She won and was immediately given the stage name Gale Storm, while her performing partner (and future husband), Lee Bonnell from South Bend, Indiana, became Terry Belmont.

After winning the contest in 1940, Storm made several films for the studio, RKO Radio Pictures; the first was Tom Brown's School Days. She worked steadily in a number of low-budget films released during this period. In 1941 she sang in several Soundies, three-minute musicals produced for "movie jukeboxes."

She acted and sang in Monogram Pictures' popular Frankie Darro series, and played ingénue roles in other Monogram features with the East Side Kids, Edgar Kennedy, and The Three Stooges. Monogram had always relied on established actors with reputations, but in Gale Storm the studio finally had a star of its own. She starred in the studio's most elaborate productions, both musical and dramatic. She shared top billing in Monogram's Cosmo Jones in The Crime Smasher (1943), opposite Edgar Kennedy, Richard Cromwell, and Frank Graham in the role of Jones, a character derived from network radio.

American audiences warmed to Storm and her fan mail increased. Altogether, she performed in more than three dozen motion pictures for Monogram. The early exposure from these film appearances paved the way for her success in other media.Storm became an American icon of the 1950s, starring in two highly successful television series, and it was in this decade that her singing career took off.

Storm's television career skyrocketed from 1952 to 1955, with her starring role in My Little Margie.

The show, which co-starred former silent film actor Charles Farrell as her father, was originally a summer replacement for I Love Lucy on CBS. After becoming a hit, the show ran for 126 episodes on NBC and CBS. In an unusual move, the series was broadcast on CBS Radio from December 1952 to August 1955 with the same lead actors. Only 23 episodes of the radio show are known to survive.

featuring Storm's popularity was capitalized upon in The Gale Storm Show (aka Oh! Susanna),

another silent movie star, ZaSu Pitts. This show ran for 143 episodes between 1956 and 1960. Storm appeared regularly on other television programs in the 1950s and 1960s as well. She was a panelist and as a "mystery guest" on What's My Line?

In Gallatin, Tennessee in 1954, a 10-year-old girl, Linda Wood, was watching Storm on a Sunday night television comedy show hosted by Gordon MacRae, singing one of the popular songs of the day. Linda's father asked her who was singing and was told it was Gale Storm from My Little Margie. Linda's father, Randy Wood, was president of Dot Records, and he liked Storm so much that he called to sign her before the end of the television show. Her first record, "I Hear You Knockin'",

a cover version of a rhythm and blues hit by Smiley Lewis, in turn based on the old Buddy Bolden standard "The Bucket's Got a Hole In It", sold over a million copies. It was followed in 1957 by the haunting ballad, "Dark Moon"

that went to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Storm had several top ten songs and headlined in Las Vegas and appeared in numerous stage plays.

Storm was married and widowed twice. Her first marriage was to actor Lee Bonnell,

with whom she had four children. Bonnell died in 1987. In 1988, Storm married Paul Masterson. Masterson died in 1996.

In 1981, Storm published her autobiography, I Ain't Down Yet, which described her battle with alcoholism. She was also interviewed by author David C. Tucker for The Women Who Made Television Funny: Ten Stars of 1950s Sitcoms, published in 2007 by McFarland and Company.

Storm continued to make personal appearances and sign autographed photos with her and Charles Farrell from the My Little Margie program at conventions. She had attended events such as the Memphis Film Festival, the Friends of Old-Time Radio and the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention.

Storm lived alone in Monarch Beach, California, near her two sons and their families, until failing health forced her into a convalescent home in Danville, California. She died there on June 27, 2009[1] at the age of 87.

Gale Storm has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to recording, radio, and television.[2]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett died she was 62

Farrah Fawcett died she was 62. Fawcett was an American actress. A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she first appeared as private investigator Jill Munroe in the TV series Charlie's Angels in 1976. Fawcett later appeared off-Broadway to the approval of critics and in highly rated television movies in roles often challenging (The Burning Bed, Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story, Margaret Bourke-White) and sometimes unsympathetic (Small Sacrifices). Fawcett was also a pop culture figure whose hairstyle was emulated by millions of young women and whose poster sales broke records, making her an international sex symbol in the 1970s and 1980s.
(February 2, 1947[1] – June 25, 2009[2])

Farrah Fawcett was born Ferrah Leni Fawcett in Corpus Christi, Texas, the younger of two daughters. Her mother, Pauline Alice (née Evans), was a homemaker, and her father, James William Fawcett, was an oil field contractor.[3] She was of French, English, and Choctaw Native American ancestry.[4][5][6] Fawcett said that the name "Ferrah" was "made up" by her mother because it went well with her last name. The "e" was later changed to "a", as "Farrah".[4][7]

A Roman Catholic,[8] Fawcett's early education was at the parish school of the church her family attended, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Corpus Christi.[4] She graduated from W.B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi in 1965. From 1966–1969, Fawcett attended the University of Texas at Austin, living one semester in Jester Center, and became a sister of Delta Delta Delta Sorority.[7] She appeared in a photo of the "Ten Most Beautiful Coeds" from the university, which ran in Cashbox magazine. A Hollywood publicist saw the photo, called Farrah and urged her to move to Los Angeles, which she did in 1969,[9] leaving after her junior year with her parents' permission to "try her luck" in Hollywood.[4]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fawcett appeared in TV commercials for consumer products, including Noxema shaving cream, Ultra Brite toothpaste,[10] Wella Balsam shampoo, and the 1975 Mercury Cougar.[11] Later in 1978, after achieving TV stardom, she appeared in a series of commercials for her own brand of shampoo, marketed by Fabergé.[11]

Fawcett's first TV series appearance was a guest spot on I Dream of Jeannie in the 1968–1969 season, followed by guest appearances in Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law.[4] She later appeared in The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors, which first aired in 1974,[4] The Dating Game, and several episodes of Harry O alongside David Janssen. In 1976, Pro Arts Inc., pitched the idea of a poster of Fawcett to her agent, and a photo shoot was arranged. The resulting poster, of Farrah in a one-piece red bathing suit, was a best-seller; sales estimates ranged from over 5 million[12] to 8 million[4] to as high as 12 million copies.[7]

Charlie's Angels

Fawcett as Jill Munroe in a 1977 episode of Charlie's Angels

On March 21, 1976, the first appearance of Fawcett playing the character Jill Munroe in Charlie's Angels was aired as a movie of the week. The movie starred Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and Fawcett (then billed as Farrah Fawcett-Majors) as private investigators for Townsend Associates, a detective agency run by a reclusive multi-millionaire whom the women had never met. Voiced by John Forsythe, the Charles Townsend character presented cases and dispensed advice via a speakerphone to his core team of three female employees, whom he referred to as "Angels." They were aided in the office and occasionally in the field by two male associates, played by character actors David Doyle and David Ogden Stiers. The program earned a huge Nielsen rating, causing the network to air it a second time and approve production for a series, with the pilot's principal cast except David Ogden Stiers.

The series formally debuted on September 22, 1976. Fawcett emerged as a fan favorite in the show, and the actress won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Performer in a New TV Program.[13][14] In a 1977 interview with TV Guide, she said: "When the show was number three, I thought it was our acting. When we got to be number one, I decided it could only be because none of us wears a bra".[15]

Her appearance in the TV show boosted sales of her poster, and she earned far more in royalties from poster sales than from her salary for appearing in Charlie's Angels.[12] Her hairstyle went on to become an international trend, with women sporting a "Farrah Do" or "Farrah Hair" and the hairstyle was even spoofed in various media, including Redd Foxx's variety show on ABC and Dynamite magazine.[citation needed]

Fawcett left the show after only one season and Cheryl Ladd replaced her on the show, portraying Jill's younger sister Kris Munroe.

The show was a major success throughout the world, maintaining its appeal in syndication, spawning a cottage industry of peripheral products, particularly in the show's first three seasons, including several series of bubble gum cards, two sets of fashion dolls, numerous posters, puzzles, and school supplies, novelizations of episodes, toy vans, and a board game, all featuring Fawcett's likeness. The "Angels" also appeared on the covers of magazines around the world, from countless fan magazines to TV Guide (four times) to Time Magazine.

The series ultimately ran for five seasons. As part of a settlement to a lawsuit over her early departure, Fawcett returned for six guest appearances over seasons three and four of the series.

In 2004, the TV movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Charlie's Angels dramatized the events from the show with supermodel and actress Tricia Helfer portraying Fawcett and Ben Browder portraying Lee Majors, Fawcett's then-husband.[16]

Following a series of commercial and critical flops, Fawcett won critical acclaim for her 1983 role in the off-Broadway stage production of the controversial play Extremities, written by William Mastrosimone. Replacing Susan Sarandon in the role, she was a would-be rape victim who turns the tables on her attacker.[13][17] She described the role as "the most grueling, the most intense, the most physically demanding and emotionally exhausting" of her career.[17] During one performance, a stalker in the audience disrupted the show by asking Fawcett if she had received the photos and letters he had mailed her. Police removed the man and were only able to issue a summons for disorderly conduct.[18]

The following year, her role as a battered wife in the fact-based TV movie The Burning Bed earned her her first of three Emmy Award nominations.[17] The project is noted as being the first TV movie to provide a nationwide 800 number that offered help for others in the situation, in this case victims of domestic abuse.[19] It was also the highest-rated TV movie of the season.[17]

In 1986 Fawcett appeared in the movie version of Extremities, which was also well-received by critics, and for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama.[13]

She appeared in Jon Avnet's Between Two Women with Colleen Dewhurst, and took several more dramatic roles as infamous or renowned women. She was nominated for Golden Globe awards for roles as Beate Klarsfeld in Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story and troubled Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton in Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story, and won a CableACE Award for her 1989 portrayal of groundbreaking Life Magazine photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White.[13] Her 1989 portrayal of convicted murderer Diane Downs in the miniseries Small Sacrifices earned her a second Emmy nomination and her sixth Golden Globe Award nomination.[20]

AFawcett, who had steadfastly resisted appearing nude in films or magazines throughout the 1970s and 1980s, caused a major stir by posing nude in the December 1995 issue of Playboy magazine, which became the best-selling issue of the 1990s, with over four million copies sold worldwide. At the age of 50, she returned to the pages of Playboy with a pictorial for the July 1997 issue, which also became a top seller. That same year, Fawcett was chosen by Robert Duvall to play his wife in an independent feature film he was producing, The Apostle. Fawcett received an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Actress for the film.

In 2000, she worked with director Robert Altman and an all-star cast in the feature film Dr. T and the Women, playing opposite Richard Gere. Also that year, Fawcett's collaboration with sculptor Keith Edmier was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, later traveling to the Andy Warhol Museum. The sculpture was also presented in a series of photographs and a book by Rizzoli.[19]

In November 2003, Fawcett was appearing on Broadway in previews of Bobbi Boland, the tragicomic tale of a former Miss Florida. However, the show never officially opened, closing after a week of previews. Fawcett was described as "vibrating with frustration" at the producer's decision to stop the process before it had a chance to succeed or fail. Only days earlier the same producer closed an off-Broadway show she had been backing.[21][22]

Fawcett continued to work in television during the period, with well-regarded appearances on popular television series including Ally McBeal and four episodes each of Spin City and The Guardian, her work on the latter show earning her a third Emmy nomination in 2004.

Fawcett was married to Lee Majors, star of TV's The Six Million Dollar Man, from 1973–1982, though the couple separated in 1979. During her marriage, she was known and credited in her roles as Farrah Fawcett-Majors.

From 1982[23] until her death, Fawcett was involved romantically with actor Ryan O'Neal. The relationship produced a son, Redmond O'Neal, born in 1985. Redmond has struggled with addiction. In April 2009, on probation for driving under the influence, he was arrested for possession of narcotics[24] while Fawcett was in the hospital.[25] On June 22, 2009, The Los Angeles Times and Reuters reported that Ryan O'Neal had said that Fawcett had agreed to marry him as soon as she felt strong enough.[26]

On June 5, 1997, Fawcett received some negative commentary after giving a rambling and distracted interview on Late Show with David Letterman. Months later, she told the host of The Howard Stern Show that her behavior was in fact just her way of joking around with the television host, explaining that what appeared to be random looks across the theater was just her looking and reacting to fans in the audience. Though the Letterman appearance spawned speculation and several jokes at her expense, after Joaquin Phoenix's mumbling act[27] on a February 2009 appearance on The Late Show, Letterman wrapped up the interview by saying, "Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight" and recalled Fawcett's earlier appearance by noting "[w]e owe an apology to Farrah Fawcett."[28]

Fawcett's elder sister, Diane Fawcett Walls, died from lung cancer just before her 63rd birthday, on October 16, 2001.[29] The fifth episode of her 2005 Chasing Farrah series followed the actress home to Texas to visit with her father, James, and mother, Pauline.[30] Pauline Fawcett died soon after, on March 4, 2005, at the age of 91.[31]

Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006,[32] and began treatment, including chemotherapy and surgery.[33] Four months later, on her 60th birthday, the Associated Press wire service reported that Fawcett was, at that point, cancer free.[34]

Less than four months later, in May 2007, Fawcett brought a small digital video camera to document a doctor's office visit. There, she was told a malignant polyp was found in the area where she had been treated for the initial cancer. Doctors contemplated whether to implant a radiation seeder (which differs from conventional radiation and is used to treat other types of cancer).[35] Fawcett's U.S. doctors told her that she would require a colostomy.[36] Instead, Fawcett traveled to Germany for treatments described variously in the press as "holistic",[37] "aggressive",[38] and "alternative".[39] There, Dr. Ursula Jacob prescribed a treatment including surgery to remove the anal tumor, and a course of perfusion and embolization for her liver cancer by Doctors Claus Kiehling and Thomas Vogl in Germany, and chemotherapy back in Fawcett's home town of Los Angeles. Although initially the tumors were regressing, their reappearance a few months later necessitated a new course, this time including laser ablation therapy and chemoembolization.[8] Aided by friend Alana Stewart, Fawcett documented the highs and lows of her battle with the disease.[36]

In early April 2009, Fawcett, back in the U.S., was rushed to a hospital, reportedly unconscious and in critical condition.[40][41] Subsequent reports, however, indicated that the severity of her condition was not as dire as first reported.[42] On April 6, the Associated Press reported that her cancer had metastasized to her liver. Fawcett had learned of this development in May 2007 and her subsequent treatments in Germany had targeted this as well. The report denied that she was unconscious, and explained that the reason for Fawcett's hospitalization was not her cancer but a painful abdominal hematoma that had been the result of a minor procedure, according to the Los Angeles cancer specialist treating Fawcett, Dr. Lawrence Piro. Her spokesperson emphasized she was not "at death's door", adding "She remains in good spirits with her usual sense of humor ... She's been in great shape her whole life and has an incredible resolve and an incredible resilience."[42] Three days later, on April 9, Fawcett was released from the hospital, picked up by longtime companion O'Neal, and, according to her doctor, was "walking and in great spirits and looking forward to celebrating Easter at home."[43]

A month later, on May 7, Fawcett was reported as being critically ill, with Ryan O'Neal quoted as saying that she now spends her days at home, on an IV, often asleep.[44] The Los Angeles Times reported that Fawcett was in the last stages of her cancer and had the chance to see her son Redmond in April 2009, although shackled and under supervision, as he was then incarcerated, Fawcett seemed not to notice. Her 91-year-old father, James Fawcett, flew out to Los Angeles to visit with Farrah, his only living child (her sole sibling, sister Diane, had succumbed to lung cancer in 2001).[45]

Her doctor, Lawrence Piro, and Fawcett's friend and Angels co-star Kate Jackson — a breast cancer survivor — appeared together on The Today Show dispelling tabloid-fueled rumors, including the suggestions that Fawcett had ever been in a coma, had ever reached 86 pounds, and had ever given up her fight against the disease or lost the will to live. Jackson decried such demoralizing fabrications, saying they "really do hurt a human being and a person like Farrah". Piro recalled when it became necessary for Fawcett to undergo treatments that would cause her to lose her hair, acknowledging that "Farrah probably has the most famous hair in the world", but acknowledged that it is not a trivial matter for any cancer patient, whose hair "affects [one's] whole sense of who [they] are". Of the documentary, Jackson averred that Fawcett "didn't do this to show that 'she' is unique, she did it to show that we are all unique ... (T)his was ... meant to be a gift to others to help and inspire them."[46]

The two-hour documentary Farrah's Story, which was filmed by Fawcett and friend Alana Stewart, aired on NBC on May 15, 2009.[44] The documentary was watched by nearly 9 million people in its premiere airing[47] and it was re-aired on the broadcast network's cable stations MSNBC, Bravo and Oxygen.

In June, O'Neal asked Fawcett to marry him. She accepted his proposal and O'Neal said the wedding would happen "as soon as she can say yes."[2] The two never married.[48]

Fawcett died at 9:28 a.m. PST[49][50] on June 25, 2009, in the intensive care unit of Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, with O'Neal and Stewart by her side.[51][52]

An hour-long special episode of 20/20 will air on ABC TV at 10 P.M. Thursday,

June 25, 2009. The show will feature clips from several of Barbara Walters' past interviews with Fawcett as well as new interviews with Ryan O'Neal, Jaclyn Smith, Alana Stewart, and Dr. Lawrence Piro.[53]

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