The iconic poster of a sun-drenched Farrah Fawcett in a bathing suit will become a more valuable collectible if the actress loses her fight with cancer - at least for a period of time.

Demand for copies of the image, taken poolside in 1976, has steadily built in the weeks since Fawcett's health crisis has stirred the entertainment media into a frenzy. On eBay, completed auctions have the keepsake fetching around $100; signed copies are $650 to $850. That compares to the $75 the image has typically won.

Nostalgia hunters can buy the poster directly from Fawcett, the copyright holder - with a portion of the proceeds going to cancer charities. Reproductions are $100 at

While the Fawcett poster is easily found online, it's harder to come by at Long Island's brick-and-mortar collectible emporiums.

Ken Farrell, founder of Just Kids Nostalgia in Huntington, hasn't had a copy in a few months - but he does have a 1977 TV Guide with the actress on the cover: "The Farrah Phenomenon." Price: $15. Customers in recent days have suggested he raise the price.

Farrah Fawcett at the MTV Video Music Awards in Miami. Photo Credit: AP File Photo

"In times of crisis, sellers tend to ask too much, and buyers tend to pay too much," he said.

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If Fawcett dies, there will be a peak in the poster price in the weeks or months afterward, and then "real" market prices will take hold, others say.

Robert Croes, owner of The Land of Oohs & Oz in Farmingdale, said he saw the pattern after the untimely deaths of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin and NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt.

"In five years, you'll be able to get one at a reasonable price, because she's famous - but she's not a superstar," he said.