The director Farrah Fawcett
hired to help her make acclaimed 1984 TV movie The Burning Bed
has paid tribute to his star, calling her a "fearless" risk taker.Robert Greenwald
worked closely with Fawcett on the harrowing movie, in which the actress played a domestic abuse victim who sets her husband on fire, and still thinks of the 25-year-old film as one of his best pieces.
He puts that down to Fawcett's willingness to turn her back on her pin-up status and work hard to become a desperate housewife.
He says, "She knew that her beauty and her skills had got her an opportunity through Charlie's Angels
and, rather than do Charlie's Angels
: The Sequel and The Prequel and the after life, she used that opportunity and went out and fought like a demon to get The Burning Bed
"I remember sitting in a meeting with her and she said, 'We need this to look almost like a documentary...' It was a really terrific partnership and collaboration and I loved working with her.
"I took her to meet abused women, we went to women's shelters, we read all kinds of books and she stripped away everything... there was not a minute of pseudo-vanity.
"We created this intimate relationship, where she was able to give a devastating performance - because she was fearless."
Greenwald and Fawcett, who died on Thursday morning, remained close, and the director was one of the first people the actress' longtime partner Ryan O'Neal
called to tell him she had passed away.