Farrah Fawcett to air video diary of cancer battle

LOS ANGELES Tue May 5, 2009 8:01pm BST

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LOS ANGELES May 5 (Reuters) - Actress Farrah Fawcett is going public with her two-and-a-half year battle with anal cancer, telling the story her way through a video diary to be broadcast on U.S. television next week,

The former "Charlie's Angels" star chronicles her private struggles and her treatments in the United States and Germany in "Farrah's Story", which will be shown on NBC on May 15, the network said on Tuesday.

"I've never understood why people are interested in anything that I do. Until now." Fawcett, 62, said in a statement

"As much as I would have liked to have kept my cancer private, I now realize that I have a certain responsibility to those who are fighting their own fights and may be able to benefit from learning about mine."

Shot with her own home video recorder and narrated by Fawcett, the two-hour special includes appearances by Fawcett's long-time partner, Ryan O'Neal, and her "Charlie's Angels" co-stars, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson.

Although born in Texas, Fawcett came to epitomize Hollywood and California glamor in the 1970s as the tanned, tousled blond undercover detective in the popular TV show.

She was diagnosed with anal cancer in September 2006. Four months later she declared herself cancer-free only to have the disease return in May 2007.

Fawcett has sought alternative treatment in Germany and was briefly hospitalized last month in Los Angeles after returning for a medical procedure in Germany. One report in April said the cancer had spread to her liver but Fawcett's doctors declined to comment.

Doug Vaughan, senior vice president of specials and alternative development at NBC, said that "Farrah's Story" was an "incredibly intimate and moving story."

"Farrah wanted us to see the face of cancer and she wanted to set the record straight regarding her diagnosis, her treatment and her outlook on the future," Vaughan said.

The actress described the footage, some of which has already been shared with U.S. entertainment television shows, as "very personal."

"At the time, I didn't know if anybody would ever see it. But at some point, the footage took on a life of its own and dictated that it be seen," she said.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte, Editing by Sandra Maler)

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