quarta-feira, 28 de março de 2012

Farrah by Tom Ryan

One of my prized Farrah possessions

 Tom Ryan is known for being one of the biggest fan
of actress Farrah Fawcett
As a good fan
 Tom has a great collection of the series Charlie's Angels and posters and autograph of actress Farrah Fawcett
Tom works as an actor and director
He worked on movies and TV shows like All My Children and Mischief.
And he had the opportunity to work as a director in a production of Extremities

Farrah to Tom Ryan in 2006

My Farrah Story

I was in Jr. High School when I remember seeing commercials for a new show on ABC called Charlie’s Angels”.
  It looked interesting and I tuned in to watch it.

I have to admit that in that pilot episode I was really smitten by Jaclyn Smith who played Kelly Garret. I knew Kate Jackson from the “Rookies” but the blond girl who was in the ugly secretary wig really didn’t register.

 I went to visit my cousin Dan in Columbus who was a year younger than me. He had to show me the poster he got of the blond from Charlie’s Angels. I fell in love like millions of guys. That smile. That hair. Those nipples. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her! I started watching Charlie’s Angels with even more enthusiasm. When Farrah escaped the bad guys in the episode “Consenting Adults”, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a skateboard!

My dad and I would watch the Angels each week together and he would bring me home the latest magazines with Farrah on them. My sister was a couple years younger so she got a lot of the teen magazines and my grandma got all the women’s magazines. I had a steady supply of Farrah material.
I had a paper route and a lot of my money went to bubblegum cards, toys and posters. One whole wall in my bedroom was only Farrah. No one else was allowed to hang on it. The dolls were all displayed on a shelf next to the models of Farrah’s Foxy Vet and the Cobra 2. We didn’t think about collector’s value so everything was taken out of the boxes for display. I have spent hundreds of dollars on EBay recollecting these same toys in box.

 Of course when Farrah left the show I was devastated!

I was visiting friend in New York and they said they had a special birthday surprise for me. Turns out one of my friends was friends with the stage manager at West Side Arts Theater and they scored tickets to Extremities with Farrah! I didn’t know what the surprise was so I had taken nothing to get Farrah to sign at the stage door. But I didn’t need to because the stage manager arranged for me to meet Farrah! As I was taken back to her dressing room I had no idea what to say to her. I was mesmerized by the show and her performance. And that’s what I told her. She asked what I was studying in college. About my family and of course we talked about Charlie’s Angels. I told her I had taken the red bathing suit poster and the playboy poster (Blue) with me to college. Then I said “if I had only known I was going to meet you I would have brought something for you to sign”. She laughed and replied “well maybe I can help with that”. She opened the table drawer and pulled out a photo, signed it and gave it to me. She hugged me and wished me a happy birthday. She was going out to dinner with friends and she had to meet fans at the stage door so we said good bye. I told her that I was studying theater and someday I was going to stage my own production of Extremities and dedicate it to her. Years later I did exactly that. I also, thru the help of a good friend that worked for Farrah, was able to get posters autographed. And she signed it “Finally after all these years”! It is my prize possession next to my cast photo of a film I was in while in college and I have told friends that when my time comes – I want it packed away with me!

From N.Y. to Tom Ryan in 1983


  A tribute to Farrah
By Tom Ryan

by Tom Ryan on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 1:41pm
When a friend passes we sit back and grieve and we remember what they brought into our lives.
However, what do you do or say or help people to understand when that person was not a friend and yet someone that you admired or cared for as you do any of your friends.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been surrounded by the world of celebrity since I was old enough to open my first copy of Tiger Beat.
I come by it naturally. My mom was a huge fan of Elvis Presley. We had Elvis’ music playing on the stereo constantly. My mom would go with her friend Jeri to see his movies when the drive-in would have an Elvis Marathon. She would scream like a teenager and totally loose herself to the little girl who was in love with Elvis. On the day that Elvis died I am CERTAIN that my mom pushed St. Peter out of the way and escorted Elvis in personally!
I have never understood the people who gather when a celebrity dies. The tears and the emotions as though they have lost one of their own. I remember watching the reaction of people in NYC when John Lennon was killed. All this emotion for someone they have never even met?

I did cry when both Chris and Dana Reeve died. But I knew them. It really was loosing a friend who happened to be a celebrity.
I did feel certain sadness with the death of Princess Diana, but only because she had brought so much attention to world issues such as AIDS. Now that compassion would truly be missed. I mourned the loss of the goodness that she brought.
All that changed with the passing this week of someone that has actually been in my life – if not a part of it – since I was 13 years old.
I first knew her as Farrah Fawcett-Majors. The beautiful blond Angel on “Charlie’s Angels”. And from “that” poster. I have to admit that when Angels first came on I was taken with Jaclyn Smith. She was the brunette beauty and seemed so classy. Then my cousin bought Farrah’s poster and all thoughts of Jaclyn went out the window. I became an Angels fan in earnest and Farrah’s in particular. I collected everything I could get my hands on. My sister is a couple of years younger than me so she and her girlfriends had all of the “teeny bopper” magazines. They would give me anything with Farrah on it. My grandmother bought all the “old ladies” magazines – McCall’s, Ladies Home Journal, and Woman’s Day. Farrah was on the cover of all of them so she gave those to me.
I was teased and ridiculed for my Farrah fascination by people at school. Even in my sophomore year yearbook there is a photo of me in one on the plays. I am sitting on the couch and looks like I am pleading for something. The caption under it says “Really guys why can’t we watch Farrah Fawcett”? I’m sure the editor of the yearbook saw it, and me, as a huge joke. I LOVED IT!
Then Farrah did the unthinkable. She announced she was leaving Charlie’s Angels after only 1 year! How could she do this? To me?
Fortunately there was still so much media attention on her that magazines continued to feature her on the covers. Pro Arts posters continued to release posters of her. And there were her films. Not fantastic as films but still it was Farrah up there on screen.
She settled her lawsuit with Charlie’s Angels and it was announced that she would return to the show in guest appearances in seasons 3 and 4. YES!!
I started getting older and went away to college, but I always had at least 1 poster of Farrah on my wall.
Then graduation came and I packed away all of my memorabilia and put them into storage at my parents. But while I was at college, Farrah did some growing up herself and started to become an actress! She was no longer content to be the blond on the skateboard with the nipples poking through the shirt. She campaigned for, and won, the replacement role in the off-Broadway drama “Extremities”. Some friends arranged a birthday present for me to see the show AND to meet Farrah. I sat in the theater mesmerized by her performance. She was showing such range – such emotion that I totally forgot about Charlie’s Angels and the poster. After the show I was escorted to Farrah’s dressing room where she talked to me like an old friend. She gave me a signed photo for my birthday and a hug and a kiss. It was more than I had ever hoped for and a night I will always remember. Later I directed a production of “Extremities” and I dedicated the show to Farrah.

To Tom Ryan in 2009 
I started to admire Farrah for the actress she was! There was respect that she garnered as an actress and carried onto several roles in television and film. She came into another phase of her career and I began following her all over again.
A couple of years ago it was announced that Farrah had cancer. The announcement was a shock. Farrah was mortal. She could get cancer just like anyone else. And in fact there was a history of it in her family. She chose to meet the battle head on. On her birthday it was announced that she was cancer free! A prayer of thanks went up to Heaven. Farrah was going to be with us for YEARS to come!
But the good news was short lived. The cancer returned and it was more aggressive than before.
Farrah once again chose to fight it with treatment in Germany and it looked like she was once again winning the battle. But cancer is a deceptive shit and it spread. Farrah could no longer battle it and today (June 25, 2009) she lost the final battle.
And I sit here numb and sad and missing her. I will go to church and light a candle for her. I will cry with fans world wide at the loss of this beautiful woman. I understand now why people gathered at Graceland and in Central Park and mourned the loss of someone they never met. I will mourn the loss of this beautiful woman that I did have the privilege of meeting and who was a part of my life for 30 years.
God Bless you Farrah.

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