LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Ryan O'Neal has told People magazine that his companion Farrah Fawcett, who has battled cancer for nearly three years, is now bed-ridden, bereft of her famous blonde hair and near the end of medical treatment.
"She stays in bed now. The doctors see that she is comfortable. Farrah is on IVs, but some of that is for nourishment. The treatment has pretty much ended," O'Neal told People in an interview on the magazine's website on Thursday.
Fawcett, 62, became an international sex symbol in the 1970s for her famous swimsuit poster and her role as one of a trio of female private detectives on the hit television show "Charlie's Angels."
She has stayed in the Hollywood spotlight ever since, and in September 2006 was diagnosed with anal cancer. Four months later, she declared herself cancer free, but the disease returned in May 2007.
O'Neal, himself a 1970s sex symbol and the father of Fawcett's son, Redmond O'Neal, has been Fawcett's on-again, off-again companion for many years.
He said the Texas-born Fawcett has now lost all the tousled blonde hair that drew the attention of her legions of fans. O'Neal keeps her locks at his home.
"I rub her head. It's kind of fun, actually, this great, tiny little head. How she carried all that hair I'll never know. She doesn't have a vanity about it," O'Neal said.
The interview comes one week ahead of a May 15 television special called "Farrah's Story," on U.S. network NBC, in which the star documents her battle against the disease, taking video of her visits to doctors in the United States and Germany and providing poignant moments of her and her family's lives.
Redmond, who is currently in a Los Angeles jail for violating probation on drug charges, was briefly released late last month so he could visit his mother, and he is seen in the documentary climbing into his mother's bed to curl up beside her while she is sleeping.
In a separate story set to run in the magazine's print edition that hits newsstands on Friday, Fawcett is described as looking "hauntingly gaunt" in the documentary.
But O'Neal said Fawcett "hasn't had last rites yet. We're not there." In fact, he said she still hopes for a "miracle" cure. "A last gasp," O'Neal said.