June 22, 2009 / 5:33 PM / 10 years ago

O'Neal says dying Farrah Fawcett has agreed to marry

Actress Farrah Fawcett releases a live Monarch butterfly in commemoration of comedian Rodney Dangerfield's one year anniversary death at the comedian's home in West Hollywood, California on October 5, 2005. REUTERS/Staff

NEW YORK (Reuters) - After years of asking longtime companion Farrah Fawcett to marry him, actor Ryan O’Neal says she has finally agreed, even as she nears the end of her life after a long battle with cancer.

“I’ve asked her to marry me, again, and she’s agreed,” O’Neal says in an interview with Barbara Walters for ABC television show “20/20” to air on Friday, according to publicists for the show.

O’Neal spoke to Walters as 62-year-old Fawcett, the former star of the 1970s TV show “Charlie’s Angels,” struggles for survival after being diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006, which has now spread to her liver.

O’Neal, 68, who has dated Fawcett on and off since the early 1980s, told Walters she is “fighting for her life” but will “absolutely” get married.

“We will, as soon as she can, say yes . . . maybe we can just nod her head,” he told Walters.

O’Neal has been in the public eye as Fawcett’s health condition has deteriorated, tearfully talking to U.S. TV shows and magazines about her cancer ahead of a heart-wrenching video diary, “Farrah’s Story,” that was broadcast in May.

He told Walters he once asked Fawcett to marry him “all the time,” and it became somewhat of a joke. But now the agreement was real — “I promise you, we will,” he said.

The pair have one son, Redmond O’Neal, who was shown in Fawcett’s video diary being released from drugs-related jail time to visit his bedridden mother.

Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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