Private funeral for Farrah Fawcett

LOS ANGELES A private funeral for /*Fawcett*/ began at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Only close friends and family were allowed to attend the memorial service.

Loved ones gathered to remember Fawcett's life and the joy she brought into their lives.

Fawcett died last Thursday morning at a Santa Monica hospital after a long battle with cancer. She was 62.

Fawcett's longtime companion /*Ryan O'Neal*/ was by her side when she passed away, along with close friend Alana Stewart.

"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," O'Neal said.

A judge is allowing Fawcett's son, Redmond O'Neal, who's currently in jail on drug charges, to attend the funeral with deputy escorts.

"There will be two deputies and a sergeant, and they'll be driving him over," said Steve Whitmore, L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. spokesman. "He'll be in civilian clothes. He will be secured and he will then be taken inside for the funeral."

Whitmore says immediately following the service Redmond will be taken to the Los Angeles County jail facility known as the Twin Towers. He will then be transported back to the /*Pitchess Detention Center*/ in Castaic, where he is enrolled in an inmate treatment program.

Family and friends say they will remember Fawcett for always being a great person to be around, and as a loving mother and a loyal friend.

A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Fawcett became a cultural icon when she starred as private investigator Jill Munroe in the 1970s TV hit "Charlie's Angels." Fawcett's full, layered hairstyle was emulated by girls and women across America.

Fawcett had been diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006. O'Neal, with whom she had a 17-year relationship, again became her constant companion, escorting her to the hospital for chemotherapy.

Friends say even in the midst of her battle with cancer Fawcett showed more concern for others as they tried to cope with news of her diagnosis.

"She looked at me on the other side of the room, and I had this like, there was no reaction on my face and she was like 'That's funny, what's wrong with Mike?' And that shows who she was. She cared about me in the middle of getting some really horrible news," said Mike Pingel, a friend of Fawcett's.

Fawcett's courageous battle with cancer was captured in the TV documentary "Farrah's Story," which showed her shaving off most of her hair before chemotherapy could claim it.

Her star rose fast, and friends and fans alike say she'll never be forgotten.

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