Fawcett exploded into superstardom in 1976 with the debut of the television series Charlie’s Angels, where she starred as one of three sexy female crimefighters. But Fawcett had been a working actress for some years, making her film debut in a small role in the 1969 French film Un Homme Qui Me Plait. Although most of her career would be in television, she did make an appearance in the notorious 1970 sex-change comedy Myra Breckinridge. Just a few month’s before the premier of Charlie’s Angels, she appeared in a major supprting role in the science-fiction action film Logan’s Run.
Although Charlie’s Angels launched Fawcett’s career into the stratosphere, she stunned fans by quitting the show after just one year with the intention of moving away from her sex symbol status and move towards being a more serious actress. Unfortunately, she did not have much luck with that endevor at first. She would star opposite Charles Grodin in the disappointing 1979 comedy Sunburn. She did not fare much better next year with the science-fiction thriller Saturn 3. By 1981, she found herself as one of the all-star ensemble cast of the rally race comedy The Cannonball Run.
Fawcett finally earned the respect for her acting that she wanted with the television movie, The Burning Bed. She would be nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of a battered housewife who finally strikes back at her abusive husband. She would also receive positive critical notices for her work in the television movies Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfield Story and Small Sacrifices. She would make two major film appearances in 1997’s The Apostle and 2000’s Dr. T And The Women.