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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Farrah Fawcett was hoping for a miracle in the early days of her battle with anal cancer, but longtime companion Ryan O'Neal is now looking tearfully to a life without her.
"I do not want to die of this disease. I want to stay alive. So I say to God ... it is seriously time for a miracle," Fawcett said two years ago in a video diary chronicling her two and a half year battle with cancer.
The video diary, "Farrah's Story," will be broadcast on NBC television on Friday as the "Charlie's Angels" star appears to be nearing the end of her life. NBC released excerpts on Wednesday.
In an emotional interview with NBC's "Today" program that was shown on Wednesday, O'Neal described Fawcett as "powerful, courageous, fearless" throughout the highs and lows since she was first diagnosed in 2006.
"I know this -- that in the last two years I loved her more than I've ever loved her, ever," he said of their tumultuous relationship. "She's the rock. She taught us all how to cope. She is extraordinary, I don't know what I will do without her."
O'Neal, 68, who is the father of Fawcett's son, Redmond O'Neal, said she believed there would be better times ahead when she decided to film her struggle.
"I think she may have believed that she would survive and have a document, a film document -- that is not how it is going," he said.
O'Neal told People magazine in an interview last week that Fawcett, 62, was now bed-ridden, had lost her famous blonde hair, and that her treatment "has pretty much ended."
Fawcett found international fame in the 1970s for her role as the tanned, blonde private eye in the hit television show "Charlie's Angels". Her good looks and flowing hair came to epitomize the glamour of the California life-style.
Fawcett used a home video camera to film and narrate her visits to doctors in Germany and the United States, and time with friends.
O'Neal talked with "Today" about Redmond hiding his shackles when he was briefly released from drug-related jail time last month to visit his mother's bedside.
"He just wanted to see her, wanted to hold her, wanted to apologize," O'Neal said. "He is so full of shame for his mistakes. She forgives him."
Additional reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Sandra Maler