February 24, 2020
Many were shocked when Farrah Fawcett announced in 1977 that she would be leaving the popular crime drama television series "Charlie's Angels." And here are the possible reasons behind her decision.
"Charlie's Angels" aired on ABC from September 1976 to June 1981, producing five seasons and 115 episodes. The series initially featured Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith.
There were a few casting changes after Fawcett, who catapulted to stardom when she posed for her iconic red swimsuit poster, left the show after one season. Cheryl Ladd would go on to replace her.
Undated photo of Farrah Fawcett smiling while sitting outdoors in blue jeans and a mauve blouse. | Photo: Getty Images
According to Biography, "there were financial, creative and personal considerations that compelled her to leave." Although Fawcett played a crucial role in attracting viewers to the show, she was only paid $5,000 per episode.
She also received just two percent of the merchandising income despite the fact that everything from lunchboxes to board games highlighted her face.
The actress was in line for a raise to $10,000 per episode after the success of the first season. In any case, it was rumored she wanted $75,000, as reported by Washington Post.
Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and Farrah Fawcett in 1976. | Photo: Getty Images
The actress reportedly requested 10 percent in terms of merchandising, yet the production company found out Fawcett wasn't keen on settling.
Early in 1977, Fawcett disclosed to Washington Post that she wanted to make movies. She and her then-husband Lee Majors created Fawcett-Majors Productions to produce their own films.
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006.
Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors in 1976. | Photo: Getty Images
Another factor in Fawcett's choice to leave "Charlie's Angels" was that she realized the series was never going to be a creatively satisfying endeavor.
She once said, "For me to have stayed, I would have been very unhappy and I don't think I would have done good work. We didn't have, in my opinion, the greatest writers on that show."
Marital concerns probably played a role in her decision, in addition to creative and business motivations. Making the show called for long days that could start at five in the morning.
Farrah Fawcett posing on top of a car in 1976. | Photo: Getty Images
As reported by PEOPLE, Fawcett reportedly had a condition in her contract that stated she needed to complete on set in time to return home and make supper for her then-husband Majors.
Majors then reportedly urged her to leave "Charlie's Angels" to make films. In addition to long hours, making the show could be risky, and Fawcett might have wanted a break from fame.
Regardless of the reasons behind her choice to leave, Fawcett wasn't able to easily leave the hit series. ABC sued her and eventually agreed to make six guest appearances, Parade reported.
Farrah Fawcett mastering the skateboard in 1976. | Photo: Getty Images
Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006. In February 2007, she was declared cancer-free after undergoing intense chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
However, in May 2007, the cancer recurred, dashing all her hopes of recovering from the disease. In June 2009, she passed away at the age of 62.