Kelly Rowan is engaged to Canadian billionaire David Thomson. ((Rene Macura/Associated Press))

Kelly Rowan, the Canadian actress best known for her turn as a wealthy California matriarch on TV soap The O.C., is set to marry into Canada's richest family.

The Ottawa-born actress, 41,is engaged to Thomson Corp. chair and billionaire David Thomson, Rowan's publicist Jennifer Plante announced on Wednesday.

The couple, who met in Toronto in 2006, willmarrylater this year.

A past Gemini Award winner, Rowan is a former model who has starred in and produced a number of film and TV projects over the years.

However, she gained wide fame in 2002 as real estate executive-turned-party planner Kirsten Cohen on the Fox prime-time soap The O.C. Her portrayal of the character's struggle with alcoholism netted her a Prism Award for accurate depiction of abuse and addiction on film and in television.

Despite being watched by a huge audience during its first two seasons, viewership of The O.C. dwindled in recent years and Fox ended its runin February.

Thomson, the son of late media mogul and famed art collector Ken Thomson, placed 10th on Forbes magazine's most recent list of the world's richest people. The magazineput the Thomson family's net worth at $22 billion US.

It will be the third marriage for Thomson, who has two teenaged girls from his first marriage and an infant son from his second union.

Maclean's magazine reported last year that Thomson served divorce papers tohis second wife, Laurie Ludwick, just hours after she had checked out of the hospital where she had given birth to his son.

With files from the Associated Press