Remembering an Angel (1947-2009) and a King (1958-2009)

Posted: Friday, June 26, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Farrah Fawcett lost her battle with cancer yesterday. She was 62.

I had the poster on my wall as a kid. I think I still have it folded in all my stuff. So many of the girls I knew tried to wear the hair. I watched Charlie's Angels. I thought all three of those ladies were beautiful...Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith, and dear Farrah. Of course Farrah was drop dead gorgeous. And to all those guys like me who were just starting to think seriously about girls...well, who needed Playboy?

Even when she did finally pose nude for the magazine in the 1990's, I didn't buy a copy. I didn't need it. I had the fantasy and my dreams, and that was more than enough for me.

But she was more than a pretty face with a great body and the hairstyle of the 1970's. After only one season as an Angel, she tried to make it in film with limited success. Ultimately she earned critical acclaim in an off-Broadway production of the play Extremeties. She followed that up with an Emmy-nominated role in the TV movie The Burning Bed. She earned two more Emmy nominations along with 6 Golden Globe nominations for her work through the years.

She was sexy and she was sweet. She was strong and she was gutsy. She fought a public battle with a devastating disease to help inspire others. Now she leaves the pain of cancer behind, and can finally be at peace.

I hate cancer.

Farrah Leni Fawcett (2 February 1947 - 25 June 2009)

Michael Jackson died suddenly yesterday, reportedly of cardiac arrest. He was 50.

Wow. This was obviously quite the shock. I had barely begun to process Farrah's death, and then whammo...Jacko is gone.

I remember the Jackson 5. The 7th of 9 children, Michael joined his brothers when he was 11 years old and released such chart topping hits as I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save, and I'll Be There. While continuing to record and tour with the Jackson 5, Michael started his solo career with singles such as Got To Be There and Ben.

Michael starred in the movie The Wiz in 1978, with long time friend Diana Ross. His next solo album project was Off The Wall, released in 1979. The album had 4 top 10 hits and was the first to do that in the US. Michael sold more than 20 million copies of OTW world wide, won 3 American Music Awards for it, won the Top Black Artist and Top Black Album at the Billboard Music awards, and he won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance.

Michael Jackson was on his way to becoming the King of Pop.

With the release of Thriller, that title was locked down. Some stats for the album:
  • 80 consecutive weeks in the Billboard Top 10
  • 37 weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts
  • 7 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles, the first album ever to do so
  • Certified for 28 million shipments by the RIAA, which is Double Diamond status
  • World wide sales are quoted at as many as 109m copies
  • Michael won 8 Grammy awards for his work
Thriller is an iconic piece of music history. It resonates in the world of pop music. The video for the title song is a fully realized short film, and paved the way for artists to explore more creative use of the music video medium. With this album, Michael Jackson is credited with reinvigorating the music industry.

There has been so much written and said about Michael Jackson. He was an icon in the music industry, but he was also a troubled soul. He suffered physical and emotional abuse as a child at the hands of his father. He struggled with body image. And he endured such diseases as vitiligo and lupus. His oddities have been well documented, some true and some complete fabrications either by himself or by the media.

I choose to remember Michael Jackson the singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, actor, and entertainer. He changed the way music and dance go together, and that is to be celebrated.

Be at peace, Michael.

Michael Joseph Jackson (29 August 1958 - 25 June 2009)


  1. Thom says:

    Rest In Peace

  1. barb says:

    Well said, Trav. I watched Farrah's special last month. She fought bravely and resolutely. I hate cancer, too.

    I hope that Michael Jackson finally gets the skin he can live in.

  1. Anndi says:

    I'd been thinking about Farrah a lot lately, about her struggle with cancer, the same cancer my mother was first diagnosed with years ago. I wondered if I'd be able to write about her... I hate cancer, too. And then, the unfathomable was reported on television. Michael Jackson dead.

    For better or worse, these two people were a part of my life... Farrah with her smile and the stand she took in "The Burning Bed".
    Michael and the music that filled my bedroom when I was a teenager and his ease of movement, a force in dance.

    I do hope their respective pain is over and they can find peace.

  1. Sad day. I watched the documentary on Farrah earlier this month. I was struck by how precious her father is and how much loss he's endured in his life.

    I'm a big cancer hater... Took both my parents, three grand parents, and an aunt.

    I pray for the three Jackson children. They are going to have an ordeal ahead of them. I fear it's going to be quite a battle.

  1. Ivanhoe says:

    May they both rest in peace.

  1. I'm sorry about both of them, Travis! I'm glad she had Ryan O'Neill at the end. I was a real fan of Michael years ago. He was a musical genius! :)

  1. Your posts are always so informative and respectful. I appreciate that.

    I didn't know much about Farrah but you can see her sweetness in that great smile!

    And MJ... I was in love with him when I was young. And I agree with what you said, "He was an icon in the music industry, but he was also a troubled soul...

    ...I choose to remember Michael Jackson the singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, actor, and entertainer. He changed the way music and dance go together, and that is to be celebrated."

    I choose that too. I hold a prayer in my heart for him to find the peace he never found in this earth-body. Thanks for this great tribute.

  1. Jeni says:

    Although I was never really a big fan of either of these celebrities, there is no doubt they were both very talented. Both left legacies in the entertainment community although Jacko's was more than a bit tarnished by his actions. Farrah is now resting, out of the pain from cancer and Michael too, hopefully is finally at peace within himself as well.

  1. A sad day indeed Travis. Praying for peace for both these families.
    Farrah and Michael will be missed.

  1. And wasn't it the day before we lost Ed McMahon, and then a few weeks ago it was David Carradine. June was a bad month for celebrities. Farrah and David Carradine were certainly stars that I had seen on TV. Never watch the Tonight Show and wasn't a fan of Michael Jackson. Sad about them all though.

  1. What a wonderful tribute to both!

  1. Well said.
    I watched Charlie's Angels too. Those girls were the fashion statements of the 70's and did seem very sweet.
    What tragic news in the entertainment industry recently.

    "He changed the way music and dance go together." Perfect.
    I hope the press afford their families some privacy.

  1. Cheesy says:

    Was shocked to lose 2 peers this week. Although I was passed the "idol worship" stage when MJ hit it big my kids enjoyed his tunes. I hope their families find some peace in how we will miss the talents of both. They had a hand in shaping the 70's and 80's.

  1. good post, trav...

    i hate cancer, too... it took my sis at a young age :(

  1. Travis says:

    Thom: Free of care and pain.

    Barb: I missed the special, but presumably it will play again.

    Ann: I was always amazed at the natural talent Michael had for dance.

    Lois: I hadn't realized that her family had dealt with so much loss.

    Ivanhoe: Indeed.

    Mary: One was surrounded by love and peace, while the other seemed destined never to enjoy that.

    Clancy: I'm not one to pile on, especially when it comes to people who may have had an impact on me, however small.

    Jeni: The thing that always gets me when these folks are taken away is that what they have given us is all we'll ever get. No new music, no new movies, no new entertainment from them ever again.

    NNG: I almost had a "who next" feeling the other day. I still kind of do.

    Charles: It has been a tough month for the entertainment world.

    RLL: Thanks.

    Mimi: I'm afraid there will be a $h*tstorm from the media once the autopsy results for Michael are released.

    Cheesy: Yes. Why do we grieve for the loss of entertainers? Because we'll miss the talents. Well said.

    Laughingwolf: I'm sorry for your loss.

  1. jennifer says:

    My word. She was absolutely stunning wasn't she. Hubby had the poster too.

    Michael Jackson was an important part of my youth. I loved Thriller - it was shockingly good. I remember MTV playing the video repeatedly and I couldn't get enough! My daughters performed Thriller in the school talent show a few years ago - they were awesome! The negative publicity and attention to his 'quirks' was sad. I hope that he is finally at peace.

  1. jennifer says:

    And yeah, I hate cancer too.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Lovely tribute to them both Trav. :)

  1. Mags says:

    A great tribute to both Trav.

  1. I hate cancer, too. It robbed me of my mother.