Popular icons have it tough, sometimes. That is certainly true of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett who both died yesterday – one suddenly and the other after a long, public battle with cancer. Many of us, who never met either, share their loss. If we marveled at “Thriller” and Jackson’s moonwalk or became addicted to “Charlie’s Angels” Michael and Farrah are part of our life experiences.
The Washington Post ("Michael Jackson, 'King of Pop,' Dies of Apparent Heart Attack in L.A.," June 26, 2009) perhaps summed up Jackson’s complex legacy best as “. . . two sides to the record: The tabloid caricature and the provocative, genre-changing musical genius that his fans will always treasure.” Even the book titles on Jackson in our library such as Michael Jackson: the Magic and the Madness or Michael Jackson: Unauthorized reflect the ups and downs of his life.
Farrah Fawcett is remembered for the one season on “Charlie’s Angels” that transformed her into a celebrity that could sell 10 million famous posters. She also shared more serious acting roles, such as the abused wife in the 1984 T.V. movie “The Burning Bed” with her audience. In recent years it has been her struggle with cancer and the devotion of long-time companion Ryan O’Neal that has made her story familiar to us.
Both Michael and Farrah will be remembered by many of us who they never knew. They will be missed.