February 2, 2011 / 5:52 PM / 7 years ago

Farrah Fawcett's red bathing suit donated to Smithsonian

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Items from actress Farrah Fawcett’s career, including that famous red bathing suit, were enshrined in national history on Wednesday via donation to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History,

The 1976 iconic image of Fawcett curled up in the one-piece suit and a wide smile sold over 12 million posters and became a recognizable sign of the decade. The suit forms the centerpiece of the donation, according to the Smithsonian’s website.

Sales of the poster and her role as a crime-fighter on the television show “Charlie’s Angeles” made Fawcett one of the most recognized women in the United States of that era.

“I don’t think Farrah realized the effect that poster would have on the world,” Ryan O‘Neal, actor and Fawcett’s long-time companion said emotionally at a donation ceremony at the museum. The donation coincides with Fawcett’s birthday.

An original copy of the poster, a leather-bound book of Fawcett’s personal copies of scripts for the first season of “Charlie’s Angels,” magazines with Fawcett on the cover and other Fawcett paraphernalia was also donated.

Among those on hand for the ceremony in addition to O‘Neal were his child with Fawcett, Redmond O‘Neal, and her friend Nels Van Patten who observed the 1976 poster photo shoot.

The items will be a part of the popular culture history collections.

Fawcett died in 2009 at the age of 62 from cancer.

“She was one of a kind,” O‘Neal said. “She had energy and an aura I have never seen before or since. She was magnificent.”

Reporting by Wendell Marsh; Editing by Jerry Norton

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