Farrah Fawcett’s Former Assistant: “She Fought Hard”

Farrah Fawcett's former assistant Mike Pingel tells Usmagazine.com the 62-year-old actress – who died of cancer Thursday – was a fighter until the end. Pingel was alone with Fawcett in 2006 when she was first diagnosed with anal cancer. "I just gave her a huge hug," he tells Us. "I told her she'll be fine and wiped away some tears. Farrah just said, 'OK, let's do it. Let's get this out of me.' She fought really hard." Take a look back at the life of Farrah Fawcett Pingel last spoke to the actress at her 62nd birthday party on February 2. "We went over to her house," he tells Us. "I made her her favorite German chocolate cake, which her mother had always made. When I was with her, I made it many, many times for her, and she loved it. She actually said that my cake was a little bit better than her mother's!" Despite battling cancer, Fawcett was "radiant and wonderful" on her birthday, Pingel says. "She was having such a good time. We all had cake."

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All of Fawcett's close friends were present, including longtime love Ryan O'Neal. "We just sat around, and we talked about Germany [where the actress underwent alternative medical treatments] and life – everything," Pingel tells Us. "Farrah and I just gossiped about stuff. We were just having such a wonderful evening. The thing about Farrah is, when you saw her, she was gorgeous. She was absolutely gorgeous every time I saw her." "She made me breathless every time," he continues. "Regardless of what war was raging inside of her, she was beautiful every time I saw her. She had a heart and a fight that kept her going." See more of today's top celeb news photos She was optimistic on her birthday, not thinking it was her last, Pingel says. "Farrah was a fighter and she had things she wanted to do still," adds Pingel, who runs the website charliesangels.com. "She wanted to work. She wanted to get back to work and do more projects."

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Looking back, Pingel says his happiest times with the actress was making her chocolate chip cookies. "She loved the way I made them, but she always wanted them burnt," he recalls. "And I was like, 'Farrah, my burnt cookies aren't great!' But she always wanted me to burn them. She always wanted them crisp. That's how she loved them and that's how I made them for her." "Even after our working relationship left and it turned into a strong friendship, I still would make her cookies," he tells Us. "She loved that. Her smile, her laugh, and her voice — I will always miss. That sweet little angel voice, 'Miiike, Miiike.'"

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