The Washington Post has an obit; much more at ABC, which Farrah’s blonde tresses helped make into a ratings king in the mid-1970s. (With a fair amount of help from Aaron Spelling, who mastered the formula for creating “shows about nothing” long before Jerry Seinfeld.)
Between Farrah and Ed McMahon passing away in the same week, it’s yet another chapter closing in the heyday of mass entertainment; whatever their talents, everybody knew their names — and because of the nature of the small screen, felt like they knew them personally. As mass media continues to fracture, expect a lot less household names known to all. Or as Wired put a decade ago, in the future, everyone will be famous to 15 people.
Update: In contrast to ABC’s sky-high ratings in the mid-1970s, the ABC ObamaCare infomercial was a ratings bust last night. I’d like to think that somewhere, Fred Silverman is savoring the irony.