Even as a kid growing up in Corpus Christi, Tx., Farrah Fawcett turned heads. People noticed the girl with the big smile and cascading blonde hair. When mom Pauline Fawcett took her daughter to the market, shoppers would say, “She looks like an angel,” her mother recalled. “I always felt so self-conscious,” Fawcett told Texas Monthly in 1997. “I wanted people not to look at me, because so many people kept looking at me.”
Eventually, Fawcett got used to people look at her enough to use their interest to her advantage: A best-selling poster of Fawcett in a red-piece one piece Norma Kamali swimsuit—followed soon after by her role as Jill Munroe in Charlie’s Angels—made her a pop culture phenomenon in the ‘70s. The show about three women working for an (unseen) private investigator launched the careers of Fawcett and co-stars Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson, who remained life-long friends with Fawcett, despite her staying on for only one season. “She had a wicked sense of humor and a sparkle in her eye,” recalled Kate Jackson. “Everybody wanted to know her and be a part of her life.”
Today, 10 years after Fawcett’s death at age 62, PEOPLE celebrates the star in a special edition, Remembering Farrah: Her Beautiful Life. The 96-page photo-filled issue looks at her early years (including a marriage to actor Lee Majors), the 1970s peak of her fame, her post-Charlie’s Angels film career, and her turbulent, but passionate relationship with Ryan O’Neal, with whom she had a son, Redmond, now 34.
This updated special edition includes new information about the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, which she launched in 2007 to fight HPV-related cancers, including the anal cancer that killed her. “She was the golden girl—so strong, so fearless, so full of life,” Alana Stewart, president of the Foundation, tells PEOPLE.
“Farrah didn’t intend to lose this battle. She intended to win over cancer and start this fund and run it herself,” Stewart says. “That was her intention. She was going to beat cancer, and she was going to go out and really crusade for more research and prevention and awareness. Life took a different turn. Unfortunately she never got the chance.” In Fawcett’s stead, Stewart carries on the battle, always keeping in mind how Fawcett would do things. “Whenever I have to make a major decision about the foundation, I kind of get quiet, and it’s almost like her voice is there. I get chills when I’ve made the right decision, and I know it’s what she would want. I want it to be something that she would be proud of.”
PEOPLE’s special issue Remembering Farrah: Her Beautiful Life is available now on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold