LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress Farrah Fawcett is shown shaving off her famous blond hair in a heart-wrenching personal video diary of her long battle with cancer that is reaching its end.
“Farrah’s Story” — effectively the self-written obituary of the “Charlie’s Angels” star — was given a semi-private premiere on Wednesday night ahead of a nationwide broadcast on NBC television on Friday.
The 90-minute film, much of it narrated by Fawcett herself, chronicles the highs and the lows of the actress’s numerous medical treatments since her 2006 diagnosis with anal cancer and the recent weeks when she has been bedridden, heavily medicated and barely able to recognize her son.
Her long-time companion, actor Ryan O’Neal, called Fawcett a fighter and said the 62-year-old actress wanted to share her cancer journey with the public — on her own terms.
Fawcett found international fame in the 1970s for her role as the tanned, blond private eye in the hit television show “Charlie’s Angels”. The film includes footage of a delighted young Prince Charles of Britain getting to meet her.
Unflinching in its detail, the film shows Fawcett sometimes vomiting from the side effects of her cancer treatments and on other occasions dancing with friends during times when her tumors had shrunk.
“I do not want to die of this disease. I want to stay alive,” she said when the cancer spread to her liver in 2007.
“So I say to God ... it is seriously time for a miracle.”
About six months ago her hair began to fall out.
Doctors had initially avoided treatment that would have led to hair loss for Fawcett, whose flowing blond locks were copied by millions of women around the world in the 1970s.
But when other treatments in the United States and Germany had run out, Fawcett films her hair falling out on a comb and then shaves off the remainder, saving only her bangs.
“In the last two years I loved her more than I’ve ever loved her, ever,” an emotional O’Neal, 68, said in an NBC TV interview broadcast earlier on Wednesday. “She’s the rock. She taught us all how to cope. She is extraordinary. I don’t know what I will do without her.”
In moving moments, Fawcett and O’Neal are filmed lying together on a hospital bed. Earlier, after encouraging news from her doctors, they joke about being in “another ‘Love Story’ movie” — a nod to the tragic film romance that made O’Neal a star in 1970.
Film of Fawcett taken last month shows a tiny figure curled up in a vast bed at her Los Angeles-area home.
Fawcett appears barely to recognize her son Redmond O’Neal, 24, when he is released briefly from drugs-related jail time to visit his mother. Nor does she notice that he is wearing jail inmate garb and is shackled at the hands and feet.
Ryan O’Neal said Fawcett had not seen the finished film and was unaware of the publicity surrounding it. “On Friday, we will watch it together,” he told reporters.
Editing by Mohammad Zargham