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Farrah Fawcett ‘Fought’ To Detach Herself From Glamorous Hollywood Persona

Actress turned to theater before landing gritty 'Burning Bed' role.

Farrah Fawcett was, for many years, the symbol of glamorous Hollywood, but even with her pristine reputation in the business, she knew she wanted more.

The star had a good run three-month run as an off-Broadway actress, but after breaking her wrist in a fight scene, she was forced to quit. The impact her theater experience had on her career, however, was everlasting.

“Her role in Extremities changed the perception of her,” Extremities director Robert Allan Ackerman says in REELZ’s new docuseries, Farrah Fawcett: Behind Closed Doors.

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At the time, most fans saw her as a gorgeous, untouchable Hollywood star, but few knew what the talented artist was truly capable of.

Ackerman says that after people saw her act in the off-Broadway play, “the project she most wanted to do, The Burning Bed — which she could never get anybody to take seriously, especially with her playing the lead role — happened.”

The 1984 film The Burning Bed is about an abused wife who reaches her breaking point and kills her husband.

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“The very fact that she wanted to do that movie, to me, spoke an enormous amount about her interests, and her commitment to break out of any kind of narrow definition of who she was and what she could do,” Extremities director Robert Greenwald says.

Fawcett embraced the gritty role and, for the first time, appeared on screen looking raw rather than glamorous.

“It was a role that no one would have ever read that script probably and said ‘Oh, Farrah Fawcett for that role.’ But she fought for that role, she wanted it,” Fawcett’s friend Alana Stewart recalls.

Farrah Fawcett: Behind Closed Doors airs Monday, June 24 at 9ET / 8PT on REELZ.

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