Farrah Reveals Her Inspiration
The man who’s taught Farrah Fawcett the most about life isn’t her father or her husband Lee Majors. It’s 40-year-old actor Jim Stacy, who is putting his life back together after a 1973 motorcycle accident in which he lost his left arm and leg.
Farrah met Stacy years ago at a Hollywood party, but only recently renewed her friendship with him during a visit to Banff, Alberta, Canada. It was there that Lee and Stacy were making a film, A MATTER OF INCONVENIENCE, to be seen on TV in the fall. It concerns two men, one of them a Vietnam veteran who’s been partially dismembered.
“I’ve never been so impressed by any one person in my life,” Farrah reveals. “Jim taught me more about the real meaning of life and our purpose here than any other person I’ve ever met. You know, all people get burdened by their own problems. In my case, the stardom that’s come to me over the past year has been an incredible pressure, and at times, it got to me so much I lost sight of the things I had to be thankful for.
“I watched Jim, who’s handsome and was one of Hollywood’s most promising leading men. He had his whole career ahead of him. He could have found big stardom at any moment. When he lost his leg and arm (Stacy’s girl friend was killed in the accident) he could have just packed it in. He could have decided to give up. And I could have understood it too. But he seemed to have found himself somewhere in all that tragedy. And now when I watch him, move along without anyone’s help, on crutches, I realize how lucky I am. I’m healthy, I have just about everything I could wish for in life. I have a good husband and a family in Texas which has always been behind me in whatever I did.
“The tendency to feel sorry for yourself disappears. It did for me, when I spent some time with Jim. Like everyone else, I’ve always taken a lot for granted. The fact that I can walk and play tennis – two things Jim can’t do. I never fully appreciated them until now.
“I don’t feel sorry for Jim in any way, and I don’t think he wants any sympathy. He’s gone through years of physical rehabilitation without ever complaining. He faced an uncertain future – with a child to support (daughter Heather, 7, by Kim Darby), but he faced it bravely.
"How much work is there for a man like Jim? But he found a renewed spirit and love of God and my Lord, is he at peace with himself! The best lesson I learned from Jim was that no matter what material things you have – money, a big house, cars – they are meaningless if you don’t have faith.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be the same girl again. Every time I walk out on the tennis court, a little voice inside reminds me how lucky I am to just walk out there in the first place! When I’m tired and cranky and suddenly I realize I’ve been complaining about this and that, I think back to Jim and stop the complaining. What have I got to complain about? I’m the luckiest girl in the world!”
Lee and Farrah have remained good friends with Stacy, even though the filming of the movie was over this summer. Stacy is a frequent visitor to their home, and Farrah says that one stops noticing Jim’s incapacity after awhile. He walks with the aid of a crutch, and is being fitted with an artificial arm, which he’ll be using hopefully by next year.
“He’s a joy to be around,” Farrah remarks. “He’s the most optimistic man I’ve ever met. Of course he wasn’t always like that. I know the first two years after the accident were filled with grief, remorse, self-doubt. But not a day goes by that he doesn't really savor life. Life is a great big adventure for him. He can find the bright side of things that others can’t.”
Farrah notes that Stacy hates testimonials. He doesn’t want “credit” or “accolades” for getting his life on track again. He simply wants to retake his place in society as best he can.
“Jim writes poetry. Someone whose been through his ordeal might be angry at the world. I marvel at him. His poems are conciliatory and full of love for life and God and the forces that be,” Farrah explains.
“I thanked him once just for knowing him. It probably embarrassed him. But he’s a truly remarkable man. I just wonder what I would have done if I’d been in that accident, if I’d come out minus two limbs. Would I have picked up the pieces like he did? I’d really like to think so.”