Photog Recalls Shooting Farrah's Iconic Poster

06/27/2009 at 11:45 AM EDT

Photog Recalls Shooting Farrah's Iconic Poster
Farrah Fawcett's 1976 poster
Pie International
The frosted hair, the beaming smile and, yes, the skintight red swimsuit – all were essential ingredients to the bestselling 1976 poster of Farrah Fawcett that found its way into so many households across America.

Behind the lens, it was photographer Bruce McBroom. In front of it, the then-29-year-old Fawcett – who would go on to stardom and then, tragically, a lengthy battle with cancer that she sadly lost on Thursday this week.

"She had no idea of how beautiful and how attractive she was," McBroom recalled for Entertainment Weekly. "She was just like apple-pie, girl-next-door kind of girl, and in all the years I knew her she never changed."

Reflecting on getting the right shot during their session together (it took place at the golden girl's home in Los Angeles), McBroom said, "We'd been there all day … She comes to the door and she'’s standing in the doorway in that red suit. And she said, 'What do you think of this?'"

Describing the now-iconic suit as spray paint on her body, the photographer recalled, "When she did the series of sitting-up poses, I said, 'We've got it.' And I heaved a big sigh of relief."

He also got a lot of others breathing heavily. "I think she will be remembered as this wonderful, wholesome all-American girl that's on the poster," McBroom said, "and also now for her courageous battle against cancer, and the fact that she shared it with a lot of people who may be going through similar situations. I applaud her for that."

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