HOLLYWOOD -- Life imitating art has become almost a cliche -- even in television. But for actors Lorenzo Lamas and Robin Greer of "Falcon Crest," a story line dreamed up by the nighttime soap's script writers sparked an off-screen plot they hope will last 'til death do them part.

Greer and Lamas recently returned from California's Napa Valley wine country after a month of location shooting. It was there that they decided to announce their engagement.

No date has been set, but Greer was hefting an engagement ring large enough to choke Angela Channing (Jane Wyman), and the couple has set up house close to the Pacific surf in Malibu.

"It would be an understatement to say Lorenzo's reputation didn't inspire confidence," laughed Greer. "He seemed like a nice guy, but he's had two failed marriages, I've had one, and another try didn't seem like a good idea for either of us.

"Then there's always the concern that the scenes you play as actors can fool you into thinking that's the way you really feel. The joke on the set last season was that Lorenzo and I had only two costume changes -- from silk sheets to satin sheets and back again -- and I began to wonder if we would ever get to play a scene standing up!"

When Lamas persuaded Greer to agree to a commitment away from "Falcon Crest," her one condition was that he abandon his bachelor apartment in a swank building at Marina del Rey.

"There were pictures of his conquests all over the place, and all day long he'd get phone calls from women with breathless voices and names like Bambi, Bubbles and Sable," she says.

"His answer to that was to go right out and buy a house in Malibu. He did the whole deal in an afternoon."

That things have developed so nicely has not surprised Lamas. He announced his intention to draw Greer into an off-camera relationship on the very day they began shooting last season's torrid love scenes between Angela's wayward grandson, Lance Cumson, and her character, Dina Wells.

"It's weird leading your so-called private life in public, and some of the stories I've read about myself have made even me blush," says Lamas. "But after taking one look at Robin the day she walked on the set, I knew immediately we were going to be terrific together ... and I wasn't thinking about 'Falcon Crest'!" Lorenzo Lamas: He's Lance.