On June 25, 2009, the world one of its most iconic actresses, Farrah Fawcett. The Charlie’s Angels star passed away at the age of 62 from complications of anal cancer.
The actress was diagnosed with the fatal disease three years earlier. She filmed her subsequent doctor’s appointments and shared the footage in the candid documentary Farrah’s Story, released just six weeks before her death.
“She wanted people to see the raw truth of cancer, for better or worse,” said her friend and co-producer Alana Stewart. “Right until the end, she wanted to fight the fight. She wanted to make a difference.”
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Fawcett’s death and those closest to her have been opening up to media outlets about the star’s final days.
Stewart spoke to People about the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, which the actress established to raise funds for and bring awareness to HPV-related cancers.
“Farrah didn’t give up. She was relentless in her fight and in finding a cure. That is her greatest legacy, her foundation,” Stewart explained. “Farrah was a person of action. It was more about action than talking about it.”
Another one of Fawcett’s close friends, Mela Murphy, also spoke with the publication, revealing what it was like to be by the actress’s side through the ordeal.
“I always thought she was going to pull through,” admitted Murphy, who was also Fawcett’s hairdresser. “Even after the chemotherapy was causing her hair to come out in clumps and she shaved her head, Farrah wanted to do a photo shoot completely bald. ‘Go for it,’ I told her. She looked so gorgeous with those high cheekbones. She had no reservations. She was about going forward.”
Murphy also revealed details about her famous friend’s final moments, including her last words. Even in her final hours, Fawcett wanted to make sure that her loved ones would be taken care of when she’s gone.
“She was saying his name, ‘Redmond,’” Murphy, who was by Fawcett’s side at St. John’s Health Center in Los Angeles, told People. “That was the last thing she said.”
Redmond is the name of Fawcett’s son with actor Ryan O’Neal. At the time, the troubled 34-year-old was battling drug addiction and had been in prison on drug charges.
“I told her I’d take care of him, that I’ll always be there for him,” Murphy said. “I said, ‘You can go now.’ It was just a few hours before she died.”
Beside that poignant moment, Murphy recalled sneaking in a bottle of Kahlua into the hospital room. While Fawcett could no longer have fluids, Murphy “dipped a swab in it and gave it to her.”
“Kahlua and milk, that was our drink…she looked at me and laughed,” Murphy said.
Fawcett’s funeral was held five days after she died. According to Murphy, her only wish was that “she wanted he mother’s ashes in the coffin.”
“Her mother meant so much to her,” Murphy said. “So Ryan made sure they were brought over from Texas. That was Farrah. She always thought about the people she loved.”
Fawcett is buried at Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Regardless of how much time has gone by, the icon is still missed by many.