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O'Neal says Fawcett has had "terrible time"

 Farrah Fawcett releases a live Monarch butterfly in commemoration of comedian Rodney Dangerfield
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
— image credit: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Farrah Fawcett has had a "terrible time" battling cancer, but her long-time companion Ryan O'Neal says it has made him love her more than ever.

"She has had a terrible time in the last year, terrible time," O'Neal told NBC's "Today" show in an interview that aired on Wednesday.

The actress, 62, is to tell her own version of events in a two-hour video diary called "Farrah's Story" that is scheduled to air on Friday on NBC.

O'Neal, who has been Fawcett's on-again off-again companion for many years, at times spoke with tears in his eyes and his voice breaking in describing her as "powerful, courageous, fearless" throughout the highs and lows since she was first diagnosed with anal cancer 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.

"There were times when she got terribly ill and began to vomit. She didn't care. She didn't care, she was possessed," he said. "She has been on film all her life since she was 19 or 20, so no big deal."

Fawcett shot to international stardom in the 1970s for her role as the tanned blonde private eye in the hit television show "Charlie's Angels".

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant)

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