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tv   Nightline  ABC  May 24, 2019 12:37am-1:06am PDT

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this is "nightline." tonight, this is farrah fawcett. videos revealing her brave battle with cancer. >> i will not go gentle into that goodnight. >> the day she shaved off her signature locks. why her friends say she kept the camera rolling. >> we just started filming everything, and it was just the two of us. >> remembering an all-american icon. her rise to fame from '70s it girl to angel. and the secrets behind that iconic poster. >> it's sexy because that's my
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figure. >> this special edition of "nightline," this is farrah fawcett will be right back. (wholding you back? excessive underarm sweating qbrexza is the first and only once-daily prescription cloth towelette approved to treat excessive underarm sweating. also known as axillary hyperhidrosis. open one today and see what unfolds. (man vo) do not use qbrexza if qbrexza may cause new or worsening urinary retention,
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problems with control of your body temperature and blurred vision. the most common side effect reported was dry mouth. call your healthcare provider if you experience side effects. (woman vo) imagine how life can unfold. ask a dermatologist how you may reduce excessive underarm sweating with qbrexza. "nightline," this is farrah fawcett continues. here now dan harris. >> good evening. and tonight, a deeply-personal look at a beloved 1970s icon. farrah fawcett. as we approach the ten-year anniversary of her death we are
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seeing intimate video ts. >> she was the it girl of the '70s and for a generation of americans, farrah fawcett personified the notion of sex appeal. >> do you think of yourself as sexy? >> oh, yes. >> do you think of yourself as beautiful? >> no. no. i don't. i think you have to have all of me in order to think that i'm beautiful. it's not just my looks. i think i have to speak and move and relate. for to you feel beauty from me. >> and of course, a big part of f her was that hair. >> it was like a wave, it was enormous and went all kinds of corrections. >> reporter: and every girl tried to get some facsimile of thah hai
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>> it was that wing tip deal. >> it was like the haircut that coued america. >> reporter: it's bn yehe lenda actress died after a nc. she document her camerarid stewart. >> we started filming everything. >> reporter: including the emotional moment when she had to shave off her famous golden hair. >> it was widely understood, even at the time farrah was going through this, chemotherapy made you sick. >> she had done everything to keep from losing it. and the last round of chemo she had, she lost her hair. and that was, that was hard for her. >> i went over as soon as possible, because she was noticing something. i could tell that her hair was starting to fall out. >> your hair would fall out think said. >> she was starting to lose her hair. i mean this hair is like falling out and falling sticking it in
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pockets and hiding it. >> it was very important for farrah to shave her own head. so that hairnd cancer treatment wasn't removing her hair. it's kind of like that fine line between being a victim and a victor. >> she wasn't sure she wanted the camera rolling, and i convinced her to let me keep it rolling, because i thought it was going to be an important moment. >> i've always believed that positivity is a necessity. so through the pain and suffering of intense radiation and chemotherapy, i looked ahead to the future. to the day when i would be able to return to my life. >> farrah was the last person who thought about getting sick. i mean, farrah was the golden girl to everyone. so it was such a shock to the whole world when she got cancer. >> reporter: farrah fawcett arrived in hollywood in 1968 and quickly landed an acting contract. >> for me to become an actress
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is like for me to become president. something i never prepared for. >> hollywood, beauty needs no resume. if you look like farrah fawcett, you're going to find work in hollywood. >> reporter:he met and tv and movie star lee majors. her big break came in the mid-1970s, thanks to a now-famous photo shoot. >> she came out in a one-piece red suit. and she said something like so what do you think of this, bruce. and i said yeah, i think we've got something to work with. >> it's sexy, because that's my figure. and my nipples were showing, but that's me. i mean, it's -- i don't know. >> reporter: that photo would become the poster plastered across america. and her a-list superstar status was cemented with her
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career-making role in "charlie's angels." >> when we came uwi in75 we knew wead t perfect vehicle rdy. e at o seasoumping nominated for four emmies, including one for the tv movie "the burning bed." >> leave me alone! >> talk about trying to change your image. it was about a true story of a woman who had been a terrible victim of domestic abuse. >> i hoped when i took the role, i knew it was going to have a strong impact, one way or another. and i thought let it be good, let it be powerful, let it be
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important and that these women benefit from it. >> reporter: by the 1980s, she and lee majors divorced and she got involved with another actor, heob, ryanf her life, redmond. a on forhe res herife.neill sn 06 she wasosed with ccer. >>ha didou thinkhe heard farrah has cancer? >> i panicked. i didn't let her know, but i panicked. >> she decided to go through the traditional treatment at ucla. and three months later the cancer was gone. and we were celebrating. >> may 14th, 2007. it had been a little over three months since i was declared cancer free. and if i was still cancer free today, well, today would be the
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first day of the rest of my life. but my doctors asked me to come in and get my test results in person. and that is never a good sign. that was when i heard it. the fourth word. repter: deshe anaig against cancer. >> and it was just the two of us moist of the time. it was just me and a little camera and her. there were no barriers. you know how people put up walls of politeness or they don't talk about this, or they don't talk about that. just everything was out on the table. >> reporter: her quest for treatment would eventually take her to germany. >> farrah maid hde her decision go to germany and did some alternative treatments. she was relentless in trying to
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find a cure. she was extremely brave. >> i don't know what lies ahead in germany. but, as i reflect on past decisions i try to remind myself that i'm the girl who always believed in change. never picking the obvious path, but the path that was a little bit risky. definitely scary. but sure to be full of challenges, rewards and change. for better or worse. i hope and pray that these changes will help me to become better and stay alive. >> at the time, it was hope, a fantastic hope. we had a wonderful doctor, dr. ursula yacob, and she made us believe anything was possible. >> farrah just connected with her immediately. farrah and ryan both did. >> they found it had metastasized to her liver. and she had eight or nine tumors in her liver. >> she was aware of what she had and the chances she had.
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>> we have tumor cells, not only the blood. we have tumor krilcells in the organs and liver. the prognosis, you will find a very bad survival rate. >> are we here in time? >> it's very bad. yeah. it will be hard time for you. but you should know there is a chance for you and there is hope for you. >> i love her more than i ever deals with this horror story. >> reporter: she underwent several difficult and extremely painful treatments. >> there was a time when she was so sick, and she was just throwing her guts up. and i shut the camera off, and she said why are you not filming this? and i said because i don't want to invade your privacy. and she said no. she said this is what cancer is.
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"nightline," this is farrah fawcett continues. here again, dan harris. >> reporter: by 2008, actress farrah fawcett was deep into a tough battle with cancer, cancer which had spread. >> i don't know if there was ever a moment during all of those painful procedures and everything where farrah thought. but, you know, t you up, you fight. >> so there were always treatments and blood tests and scans and all that throughout the whole time.
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but we did get to a place, a very exciting place where her scans were all negative. >> can you just explain to us about the tumors now that you've removed the last one yesterday. there's no more active tumors. >> we have echoes. in case they show a react vaivan of course. >> he said at this point you a tumor-free. now tumor-free doesn't mean cancer free. you can still have the cancer in your blood. that's why you have to have the other treatments, but this was like a great cause for celebration. >> reporter: sadly, the celebrations did not last. >> on the days when we would have to do tests, it was a real rollercoaster of e
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emot ryan ner kw whatas going to happen next, because we didn't know what the tests were going to show. >> sitting, waiting for the pet scan. a t-scan. see what's not there. what's not there. >> so we're looking at your liver, and the good news is, is that the treated areas show no evidence of tumor. >> the bad news is that we are seeing a few other areas of activity. >> activity. >> yes. >> and certainly, in the ones that are a little bit larger in the ventral or front part of the liver. >> they weren't there the last time. >> yes, that's correct. >> when she heard that news, she
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was crushed. >> we'll win. we'll win. we will. >> the plan was for her to go back and have the same procedures done again to these new tumors. >> there is a reason for all this. it is a challenge to my very core. to my strength, my mind, my spirit and my soul. >> farrah never wavered once in the course of therapy about being full steam ahead with any and every therapy option that there was. >> the iv will continue to flow through a vein that has been damaged by chemo radiation and so fragile that it might blow at any time. like i said, my own every day i try to remind myself to ask of myself, did i try my
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best today? that's all i ask of myself. and i wouldn't be truthful if i said yes. i succeeded every single day. but the will, the spirit, the desire to live, i will never compromise. six, five, four, three, two, ah! >> champagne. let's go somewhere. >> germany. >> germany! what a great idea! >> and as i reflect on past decisions, i wonder what lies ahead. i will not go gentle into that goodnight.
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>> in february scans confirmed what we dreaded, that none of the experimental treatments in the states had worked. >> all in all, i would have to make six trips during the course of a year and a half. >> see you very, very soon. >> a year and a half that i was never supposed to live long enough to see, at least not according to most doctors. and that, in itself, is a victory. yes, a victory. >> reporter: in june of 2009, her health started to decline rapidly. >> she was in st. john's, i think about a week. you know, in a lot of pain, a lot of discomfort. then she came >> she's sedated. she's in pain. she's quiet. this is not a good situation.
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>> farrah fawcett passed away after a long and brave battle with cancer here at st. john's hospital nearly two hours ago. >> what's the legacy of farrah fawcett? >> love. a legacy of love. beautiful friend. she's wonderful mother, daughter. >> she was the farrah that she set out to be. she was the farrah that she was going to be. >> she wasn't afraid of anything. she really wasn't. >> at the end she told us she was iconic because she was fearless. >> so let's see. today i've got on the other hand, i'm alive. so i guess i'm great.
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yeah. right now i am great. my life goes on and sos m fi andh, by how? for? >> and when we come back, a final message from farrah fawcett. rry on a legacy? its show of strength... or its sign of intelligence? in crossing harsh terrain... or breaking new ground? this is the mercedes-benz suv family. greatness comes in many forms. visit your local mercedes-benz dealer for exceptional lease and financing offers. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. (vo) imagine a visibly healthin 28 days. purina one. natural ingredients, plus vitamins and minerals
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back now, farrah fawcett was a star who faced a tough battle and wanted answers to some tough questions. >> my future is pending too. but i have some questions. like why isn't there more research done on certain types of cancer? and why doesn't our health care system embrace alternative treatments that have proven to be successful in other countries? and last but not least, there's the hardest question for me of all to answer. how are you?
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>> just incredibly brave. farrah fawcett, asking the tough questions and in the process setting an example for millions of us. that's going to do it for "nightline" tonight. remember you can always catch our full episodes streaming on hulu. we want to thank you for watching, and goodnight.
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