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Farrah Fawcett in Small Sacrifices

Farrah’s heyday was a bit before my time, I did remember watching this tv movie as a child, but it didn’t make any impressions on me back then. As a fan of true crime podcasts and YT channels, I happened upon the full movie made in 1989. I must say, Farrah was great in this, I didn’t know she could act, let alone portray a sociopathic mom who killed her kids. The sociopathic mom, Diane Downs, was subsequently diagnosed with 3 separate, personality disorders during her trial; she was also pregnant during the trial. Watching this movie has completely made me revised my views of Farrah. I’d just always thought of her as an airhead who had fucked up son and relationship with Ryan O’Neal.

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by Anonymousreply 65October 13, 2021 2:40 AM

What makes Farrah's life so tragic was that she genuinely could act quite well, even though she was a great beauty and most people saw her as a bimbo. She started to get her career on a serious track--first with "Extremities" off Broadway, and then with "Small Sacrifices" and "Poor Little Rich Girl" on TV, but she then got distracted by her trashy relationship with Ryan O'Neal and by her drug addiction.

She could have had a career like Michelle Pfeiffer's (as a great beauty who really had acting chops) had she made better choices. But it was a second-rate career because of Ryan, who brought the drugs along with him. He is just a human disaster--a Typhoid Mary. The world will be better off when he finally goes.

by Anonymousreply 1August 18, 2021 5:23 PM

[quote]but she then got distracted by her trashy relationship with Ryan O'Neal and by her drug addiction.

Mission. Accomplished.

by Anonymousreply 2August 18, 2021 5:31 PM

Don't forget The Burning Bed. She was wonderful in that, though it's hard to watch.

by Anonymousreply 3August 18, 2021 6:39 PM

Lou! Lou!

by Anonymousreply 4August 18, 2021 10:01 PM

she's fantastic in this

by Anonymousreply 5August 18, 2021 11:08 PM

[quote]R1 But it was a second-rate career because of Ryan…

Mmmmm, she was in her 30s when they became an item. But sure, blame HIM.

by Anonymousreply 6August 18, 2021 11:14 PM

Post Charlie’s Angels, Farrah was first recognized for her performance in Murder in Texas (1981). She played a wife who is murdered by her husband and received excellent notices by critics.

The Burning Bed came 3 years later in 1984. Fawcett received 3 nominations for her lead actress role: the Emmys, Golden Globes and the Television Critics Association. She didn’t win, however.

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by Anonymousreply 7August 19, 2021 2:50 AM

I may be alone here, but I think Farrah was great on Charlie's Angels. She did exactly what the role called for. Lightness, fun, believably athletic and charming. I don't doubt her Jill could solve mysteries and beat up dumpy bad guys. There is a reason it is still on TV today. It's fun! And they are all great. So there.

by Anonymousreply 8August 19, 2021 3:33 AM

Why does she play Diane Downs with a southern accent? She was from Arizona.

She doesn’t capture any of that woman’s persona at all.

by Anonymousreply 9August 19, 2021 3:39 AM

She really was great in this. Farrah's eccentricities were used to great effect in this mini-series.

I remember seeing this when it aired. The scene in the courtroom when they're playing the rock song -- and her character is bopping to the music was both shocking and unsettling.

by Anonymousreply 10August 19, 2021 3:40 AM

She is nothing like Diane Downs in that shitty TV movie.

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by Anonymousreply 11August 19, 2021 3:44 AM

My problem with Farrah had been she always seemed to have a vacancy, a vacuousness. Flat, monotone line readings. She was good in some things, but I could always immediately think of another actress who would have been better.

But in Small Sacrifices, it worked perfectly.

by Anonymousreply 12August 19, 2021 3:48 AM

Farrah was a legendary beautiful woman who became a decent actress. I was always impressed with her!

by Anonymousreply 13August 19, 2021 3:51 AM

I think she's tremendous!

by Anonymousreply 14August 19, 2021 3:55 AM

She was no Cheryl Ladd - Albums, Broadway, Movies, Television..

by Anonymousreply 15August 19, 2021 3:58 AM

She never worked with Scorsese, that I can recall.

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by Anonymousreply 16August 19, 2021 4:20 AM

Her best roles were in "Charlies Angels" & "The Cannonball Run". Her career should have gone in a lighter direction - Fawcett was in line for the role of Gloria in "Foul Play" The studio opted for Goldie Hawn when Spelling-Goldberg Productions, the producers of Charlie's Angels, warned all the studios that "they would be sued for damages if they employed me," Fawcett told The Associated Press in 1979.

by Anonymousreply 17August 19, 2021 4:35 AM

r17. You're 100% right - Light comedy would have been perfect for Farrah - The success of the Foul Play enabled Hawn to get Private Benjamin. Another role that would have been great for Farrah - oh, if she only made better choices!

by Anonymousreply 18August 19, 2021 4:43 AM

[quote] Farrah’s heyday was a bit before my time

Sure, OP. Betty Grable's heyday more likely.

by Anonymousreply 19August 19, 2021 4:55 AM

She was OK but in serious roles the performances were rootless. Not awful. She had a PR that fed the line that America's pin-up girl with the dazzling smile could be a "brilliant serious actress" and it caught on. People repeat it to this day. It's boilerplate. She was not brilliant. She was dazzling when she was young and might have done some great movies if she recognized her talents and had an agent get her suitable material. Story as old as Hollywood. Later, she seemed to be addicted to many substances and became a sad sight.

by Anonymousreply 20August 19, 2021 5:18 AM

The real Diane Downs had a more frightening quality about her. The dead eyes, singular narcissism, and unflinching ability to lie (especially when interviewed on camera) was potently disturbing. Farrah did well, but was frankly a bit too pretty for the part. Diane was reportedly thrilled that Farrah was cast. Of course. *shivers*

by Anonymousreply 21August 19, 2021 5:29 AM

OP and R1, Farrah had made her serious successful TV movies and got nominated multiple times during the 1980s when she was with Ryan O'Neal. Farrah's biggest problem was that she ​couldn't cope with getting old and not being the beautiful sexy darling anymore.

by Anonymousreply 22September 7, 2021 7:35 PM

I was growing up in Springfield, OR when this happened. My mom immediately said that she did it. It was just awful. She (Diane) escaped from jail a few years later. I think that was after the movie though.

by Anonymousreply 23September 7, 2021 8:11 PM

I saw her in a low-key 2001 TV movie, Jewel, where she played a 1940s-era mother of a girl with Down Syndrome. I thought she was really good in it.

by Anonymousreply 24September 7, 2021 8:32 PM

[quote] Farrah's biggest problem was that she ​couldn't cope with getting old

Well, not her BIGGEST problem…

by Anonymousreply 25September 7, 2021 8:38 PM

I agree that the real Diane was much more upsetting. The very sound of her voice, her diction. Farrah had that goofy accent.

"Lew Lewiston!"

I have it on an old VHS tape with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. They are both horror movies.

by Anonymousreply 26September 7, 2021 8:44 PM

Who was the father of the child she conceived just prior to her arrest? The boyfriend who accused her of stalking him?

by Anonymousreply 27September 7, 2021 8:50 PM

R27, the only person (besides Diane) who knew was Ann Rule. She promised the man she'd never reveal his identity, and she took the secret to her grave with her. That man passed away before Ann. The grown daughter has been the subject of at least two 20/20 specials on the ABC network. All she has to do is take one of those ancestry tests, and she'll be linked with half siblings and cousins, clearing up the mystery of who her father is.

by Anonymousreply 28September 7, 2021 8:55 PM

The father was that guy she met in the park while she was delivering the mail.

God, even that scene is so wonderfully trashy. "I just loooove music!"

My favorite scene is when the dad has enough of her shit and throws her deadly ass out into the rainy night, all the while the mother is wailing "how much more can I taaaake?"

by Anonymousreply 29September 7, 2021 8:55 PM

I'm 99% sure that guy was, in real life, conditional faculty at either Lane Community College or UO there in Eugene. Maybe I'm only remembering Ann's compositing work, though.

I just reread Dead by Sunset. I wish they'd do that as a limited series, giving it more time than the 1995 miniseries did.

by Anonymousreply 30September 7, 2021 8:57 PM

Wasn't the story that when she was delivering mail to him, she went into his house where he was drinking, and she took advantage of him? Or maybe it was more mutual.

But...was he married at the time this happened?

by Anonymousreply 31September 7, 2021 9:01 PM

I'd need to read the book again. Even the 1989 miniseries changed and composited stuff that was left much clearer in the book.

by Anonymousreply 32September 7, 2021 9:04 PM

Ann Rule was a sweetheart ❤. She was surprisingly naive though. She watched how kind Ryan was to Farrah on the set and therefore didn't believe those rumors about him being a violent asshole. I met Ann several times and we exchanged a few letters.

by Anonymousreply 33September 7, 2021 9:05 PM

In 1988, Ann Rule and Diane appeared on Oprah to discuss Ann's book, Small Sacrifices. Diane was unhappy with Ann's book, of course, and argues with Ann throughout the show. Ann calmly and quietly holds her own. Diane is exhausting; Oprah regularly has to cut her off every time, or else she'd never shut up. The audience alternately gasps, murmurs, and incredulously laughs at Dianne.

Biggest laughs / WTF-moments starting:

18:30 - 18:53 Who asked whom for the transcripts? "Somebody's lying here."

24:00 - 24:17 Is Diane obsessed with becoming pregnant? Is Ann in "permanent heat"?

26:00 - 26:37 Why did Diane get pregnant again? Well, the trial was "a real bad time in my life", so "I just went and got pregnant".

27:35 - 25:55 A verbal slap at her ex-husband followed by "I'm not gonna sit here and lie about it."

32:18 - 32:36 The audience moans in response to Diane's histrionics ("I had tears, Oprah, I had tears."). Diane blames the noise on Ann.

35:46 - 36:42. Oprah to Diane: "It doesn't sound like ... that you're a very nice person". Ann explains why, when she escaped prison, it was OK to hide out at the home of another inmate's husband and sleep with him.

37:35 - 37:51 Ann calls Diane histrionic, the audience applauds, Diane's behavior confirms the diagnosis.

It appears that Diane had some good hair and make-up (and lighting?) people help her prepare for this interview.

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by Anonymousreply 34September 7, 2021 10:31 PM

Why did she play me with a Southern accent? Can I sue her estate?

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by Anonymousreply 35September 7, 2021 10:54 PM

If Kate Jackson had gotten Kramer vs. Kramer, she would have tooken home the oscar, and her career would have been different. Let's make that perfectly clear.

Kate Jackson was a phenomenal actress, and the only one of the group to receive consecutive Emmy nominations for her work. Who knows what would have happened had she been allowed to do that movie. She could be in with the greats.

by Anonymousreply 36September 7, 2021 10:59 PM

Tooken. Jesus.

by Anonymousreply 37September 7, 2021 11:01 PM

I've seen Kate in several things and though a likable actress, I don't think she displayed much range.

by Anonymousreply 38September 7, 2021 11:06 PM

Here’s the full movie if you want to watch.

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by Anonymousreply 39September 7, 2021 11:32 PM

I remember renting EXTREMETIES when it came out on VHS and was shocked when James Russo, the attacker, put Farrah’s nipple in his mouth.

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by Anonymousreply 40September 8, 2021 12:13 AM

R40 We aren’t talking about Extremities.

by Anonymousreply 41September 8, 2021 12:25 AM

She was great in Extremeties on stage. That's what led to The Burning Bed.

It was such a shocking play. The movie drags out the attempted rape (running around the house, locking herself in the bathroom.)

In the play it all happened so fast. He attacks her. She manages to grab the bug spray and spray his eyes. Black out. She has him ties up and both are screaming. Blackout. He's locked in the fireplace and she contemplates what to do next.

Susan Sarandon, Karen Allen and then Farrah played the role in NY. (I remember asking at the box office how long Sarandon would be in it and getting the answer like 2 more weeks then Allen takes over for a while then Farrah Fawcett. The ticket guy and I sort of stared at each other, like really? She wasn't expected to be good.)

Helen Mirren did the London production and Lauren Hutton the LA cast.

Surprised it has never been revived in NYC. Would make a good vehicle for a movie actress wanting to try theater.

by Anonymousreply 42September 8, 2021 5:50 AM

R36 Go troll your pitiful Kate Jackson thread

Your kind aren't wanted here.

by Anonymousreply 43September 10, 2021 5:44 AM

Farrah had a good heart . Narcissists like Ryan attract nurturing empaths, and then slowly destroy them.

by Anonymousreply 44September 10, 2021 6:11 AM

Absolutely true R36! Jackson had a lot of talent that went wasted. She was one of the best actresses out there!

by Anonymousreply 45September 10, 2021 7:28 AM

Is OP the Ann-Margret troll who has recently been busy here?

I ask only because I tend to associate Farrah and Ann-Marget in my mind (Jessica Lange too) all began their as unserious bimbos before there seemed to be a push to inform us that they were in actually amazing actresses.

They weren’t.

The PR push never rang true and always seemed like what it was. Farrah’s TV movies are serious but she’s not particularly good in them. Competent maybe, but nothing special. Just more blondie can act syndrome.

by Anonymousreply 46September 10, 2021 7:42 AM

Back when TV movies were great.

by Anonymousreply 47September 10, 2021 8:46 AM

There was a good tv movie where she plays the daughter in law of Colleen Dewhurst and gets stuck having to take care of this old bitch. I mostly remember a scene where Farrah had to pluck Colleen’s chin whiskers.

by Anonymousreply 48September 10, 2021 11:11 AM

She really had a good run on TV movies in the 80s.

Looking at her imdb she then did a sitcom with Ryan and then the career seemed to stall.

by Anonymousreply 49September 11, 2021 4:39 AM

Her son sure is screwed up but with those parents I guess he didn’t stand a chance.

by Anonymousreply 50September 11, 2021 5:36 AM

R50, it’s heartbreaking. Farrah’s only child . She wants him to recover 🙏

by Anonymousreply 51September 11, 2021 6:06 AM

Is she speaking to you from the other side, R51? Does she ever talk to you about Kate Jackson on Fridays?

by Anonymousreply 52September 11, 2021 5:40 PM

Small Sacrifices has haunted the shit out of me ever since I saw it as a little kid in 1989.

To this day, whenever I hear Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran, I immediately think of Cheryl Downs, the daughter who died in the shooting.

The two kids who survived are reportedly doing okay, are very private and refuse to do media interviews. The kid who was put up for adoption has struggled over the years, especially after finding out her bio mother is a psycho who shot her other children. That's a lot for anyone to deal with.

When I think of Farrah's legacy, Small Sacrifices, Extremities and The Burning Bed are the first things that come to mind. Maybe a better actor could have tackled those roles, but Farrah sure made those stories memorable.

by Anonymousreply 53September 11, 2021 6:06 PM

“she speaking to you from the other side, [R51]? Does she ever talk to you about Kate Jackson on Fridays?“. Yes, in a matter of speaking

by Anonymousreply 54September 11, 2021 9:32 PM

I liked the movie and Farrah in it, but she really didn't portray the real Diane, and she was a bit old for the part (Diane was 27 when she shot her kids, Farrah was already in her 40s when the movie was made). Certainly it was not at the same level as Meredith Baxter Birney as Betty Broderick or Judith Light as Audrey Marie Hilley or Gary Cole as Jeffrey MacDonald.

R31 - the father of Diane's youngest child was single, which was a change of pace for her as she preferred married men (and men that she worked with, so she evidently never heard of or ignored the mantra of "don't shit where you eat").

by Anonymousreply 55September 11, 2021 9:41 PM

Diane was molested by her father and Regardless, she is a wicked human .

by Anonymousreply 56September 11, 2021 10:27 PM

Farrah could be a stunning actress at times… Her performance in this sequence alone was Oscar worthy and I don’t give a fuck that it was a made-for-TV movie.

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by Anonymousreply 57September 12, 2021 3:48 AM

I wonder why her film career didn't take off after the TV stuff.

What roles could she have played in the late 80s and beyond?

The Fabulous Baker Boys maybe.

by Anonymousreply 58September 12, 2021 3:59 AM

R58 I wonder the same, and I've made a thread about it.

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by Anonymousreply 59September 12, 2021 4:20 AM

R46 no I am not this Ann Margaret troll that you seem obsessed about. Never posted anything on AM threads either. Do a quick search on my posts before you accuse me of it, moron.

by Anonymousreply 60September 12, 2021 5:32 AM

Farrah should have gone forward and done a "Charlies Angels" reunion movie. She was one of the hold out who would not sign on when they wanted to do it. Kate even was good to go with the original 3, because Kate could not stand Cheryl Ladd. I don't think Farrah really marketed herself to her fans. Nothing she did was commercial except the fucking "Cannonball Run" movie with Burt Reynolds

by Anonymousreply 61October 13, 2021 12:02 AM

Oh, come on. Ryan O'Neal can't be blamed for Fawcett choosing more misses than hits.

by Anonymousreply 62October 13, 2021 12:07 AM

A lot of famous movie stars and Academy Award winners were not the world's greatest actresses. Farrah was smart and deep feeling and had access to her intelligence and senses. Was she technically brilliant? Probably not. But a dazzling creature who was natural and relatable at the same time. She had depth of character and lots of secrets of sense memory. Farrah was not a bimbo, but kind of insulated in the world of beauty queen, Texas collegiate, Hollywood girl with all the right and wrong connections. She suffered quite a bit from bad advice - especially from the "men" who "loved" her most. She started quite late, on purpose and made the most of it. I believe that THOSE Charlie's Angels fought over hairstyles and costumes - it was a stupid show. Every episode was stupid. I wasn't even born in that decade. The fans of that show are also stupid. Farrah was smart to leave.

She made a lot of herself, professionally. Even in that Barbara Hutton miniseries, she is glorious to behold and never less than interesting to watch. It's stodgy, but she proves her worth. Because Farrah was not classically beautiful. She was healthy gorgeous American charisma. Athletic and confident. With all its neurosis. She shone with a type of acceptable narcissism, because she was so sweet. The expression of her smile and her beautiful green eyes were often at odds. She wasn't exactly a victim, but she probably would have a much more successful life if she had stayed away Hollywood. She was kind of born for it though. She was pursued for her beauty and kindness. Like another famous blonde....

Later, she was beaten terribly and had unfixable and BAD plastic surgery to cover the physical beatings. Farrah really was a visual artist. I think she could deal with aging. But her looks were taken from her. Had she lived, she might be quite happy being an ex drunk ex glamor girl who once shit on the lawn. Farrah was born on third base. She didn't take it for granted, but it made her doubt herself. She suffered from good manners - southern, beautiful white girl syndrome. She learned how to open doors with just a smile. But then what? She met a lot of lying eyes. And hungry wolves.

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by Anonymousreply 63October 13, 2021 1:08 AM

Oh, and watch the interview that I posted above. Farrah's speaking voice was so beautiful. Her intelligence and self awareness will surprise you. And disappoint a bit too. Brian Linehan stayed with Joan Rivers when his lover killed himself. He's also half of Jiminy Glick's inspiration. (Martin Short more cruelly skewered him as "Brock Linehan" on SCTV.) Still, it's an adult conversation that he has with Farrah. Obsequious was his hallmark. He was great friends with Joan and Shirley MacLaine. He was obsessed with the famous and hiding his sexuality. He became, essentially a sad, bitchy old man. Who died at 61?

Don't grow old seems to be the message of most DL content.

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by Anonymousreply 64October 13, 2021 1:42 AM

r63, was it Ryan who beat Farrah?

by Anonymousreply 65October 13, 2021 2:40 AM
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