Farrah Fawcett remembered at funeral

9:13 PM PST 06/30/2009 by Associated Press, AP

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The life of "Charlie's Angels" star Farrah Fawcett was celebrated Tuesday at a private, music-filled funeral that one participant called "stirring."

Her longtime companion, Ryan O'Neal, was among pallbearers who accompanied the casket, covered in yellow and orange flowers, into the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

After the ceremony, mourners said they overheard O'Neal as he tapped on the hearse's back door and said, "So long, babe."

Fawcett's friend Alana Stewart and "Charlie's Angels" co-star Kate Jackson were among early arrivals before the hearse pulled up, accompanied by 10 motorcycle officers.

Two mourners carried copies of Fawcett's iconic poster, showing the actress wearing a red swimsuit, tousled blond curls and a broad smile.

The service, which was closed to the public, lasted more than an hour as fans and the news media watched from across a street.

About 500 people were invited to the service, said entertainment journalist Eliot Tiegel, who attended as a guest with his wife, Bonnie, a producer of TV's "Entertainment Tonight."

"It was one of the most musical funerals I've ever been to, and that's what happens when you go to a show-business funeral," he said after the ceremony. "Overall, it was very stirring."

Singer-songwriters Carol Bayer Sager and Richard Marx were among the guests, Tiegel said.

Fawcett's and O'Neal's 24-year-old son, Redmond, gave the service's first reading. He has been jailed in a drug case but received a judge's permission to attend the funeral.

Accompanied by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, Redmond O'Neal wore a suit and "was somber," agency spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

The funeral program, which featured a photograph of a smiling Fawcett, also said Ryan O'Neal read the 23rd Psalm and eulogies were to be given by Stewart and Dr. Lawrence Piro, Fawcett's cancer specialist.

A bagpiper was the first to emerge from the cathedral after the service, followed by several priests and the pallbearers carrying Fawcett's casket. Her father was helped into a limousine as dozens of other mourners waited nearby to board several white shuttle buses.

Fawcett died Thursday at age 62 after a public battle with cancer. O'Neal and Stewart were at her side.

"After a long and brave battle with cancer, our beloved Farrah has passed away," O'Neal said in a statement last week. "Although this is an extremely difficult time for her family and friends, we take comfort in the beautiful times that we shared with Farrah over the years and the knowledge that her life brought joy to so many people around the world."

Diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, Fawcett's battle with the disease was documented in "Farrah's Story," which aired last month on NBC.

Stewart, a producer of the documentary, said Fawcett was "much more than a friend; she was my sister."

"Although I will miss her terribly, I know in my heart that she will always be there as that angel on the shoulder of everyone who loved her," Stewart said in a statement.

Ryan O'Neal waved to reporters and fans as he got into a limousine after the service.
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