If you were a teenage boy in the 1970s, chances are you had some very inappropriate thoughts involving Farrah Fawcett and a teeny weeny red onesie.
The red swimsuit the late Charlie’s Angel sex symbol wore as she beamed broadly with her head tipped back and her signature blonde “wings” cascading over her shoulders in her bestselling 1976 poster will is being immortalized by The Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
Fawcett’s longtime partner, actor Ryan O’Neil, will donate the suit to the National Museum of American History’s Pop Culture Exhibit next week.
“It’s an honor to see Farrah’s famous red bathing suit donated to the Smithsonian Institution, celebrating her place in pop culture,” O’Neal says. “The swimsuit is exactly where it belongs, and I know Farrah is looking down on us today flashing that big smile that we all loved.”
Farrah was 29 and known mostly for bit parts in commercials for Noxzema and Wella Balsam Shampoo when she posed for the iconic photo.
“I was running out of ideas and I was getting desperate,” photographer Bruce McBroom, who shot the famous photo, told Entertainment Weekly in 2009. “I said, ‘You know how you look best. Is there anything else that you’ve got that we haven’t shot? So she said, ‘Lemme go look around.’ She comes to the door and she’s standing in the doorway in that red suit. And she said, ‘What do you think of this?’ It was like it was spray painted on her; I don’t think it was a swimsuit. I said, ‘You know what? That’s it!’”
The poster sold a reported 12 million copies and brought the native Texan to the attention of Aaron Spelling, who cast her as Jill Munroe in his popular cop show a year later.