Fawcett bathing suit poster could be valued collectible

Actress Farrah Fawcett

Actress Farrah Fawcett (Credit: AP Photo)

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 FarrahFawcett.us.

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.

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

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.

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