Farrah Fawcett's red swimsuit donated to Smithsonian

Feb 2 2011 - 3:48pm

LOS ANGELES -- The swimsuit worn by the late Farrah Fawcett in the iconic pinup poster that sold more than 12 million copies in 1976 was donated Wednesday to the Smithsonian Institution's popular culture history collections, along with other items related to her career.

Longtime love Ryan O'Neal and friend Nels Van Patten, who was at the 1976 poster shoot, were scheduled to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C. O'Neal is the father of Fawcett's son, Redmond O'Neal.

"If you were to list 10 images that are evocative of American pop culture, Farrah Fawcett would be one of them," Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, once told the Los Angeles Times. "That poster became one of the defining images of the 1970s."

Also included in the estate's donation to the Smithsonian: an original copy of the poster, a leather-bound book of the actress' personal copies of scripts for the first season of "Charlie's Angels," magazines with her on the cover, a Farrah doll, a Farrah jigsaw puzzle and a Farrah's Glamour Center hairstyling toy.

Fawcett died of cancer at age 62 on June 25, 2009 -- shortly before news broke the same day about Michael Jackson's death. She won a People's Choice Award for favorite female in a new TV show for "Angels," then went on to be nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe awards for work in multiple projects including "Extremities," "Small Sacrifices" and "The Burning Bed."

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