Sunday 20 August 2017

Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales 'can't remember' her 53 year marriage due to Alzheimer's

Prunella Scales' husband Timothy West has described how the Fawlty Towers star has been suffering from 'a sort of mild Alzheimer's'
Prunella Scales' husband Timothy West has described how the Fawlty Towers star has been suffering from 'a sort of mild Alzheimer's'
Freya Drohan

Freya Drohan

In a real life version of The Notebook, Prunella Scales' husband Timothy West has revealed the daily heartbreak of dealing with her condition.

The actress, best known for her role as Basil Fawlty's wife in iconic comedy Fawlty Towers, cannot recall the last half a century.

Prunella Scales is best known for her role in Fawlty Towers
Prunella Scales is best known for her role in Fawlty Towers

The BAFTA nominated star married actor Timothy West in 1963 and the couple have three children together.

Character and stage actor Timothy West spoke openly about the illness to Piers Morgan for an episode of Life Stories.

Together again: Fawlty Towers cast, from left, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, John Cleese and Connie Booth
Together again: Fawlty Towers cast, from left, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, John Cleese and Connie Booth

The 80-year-old spoke candidly about Prunella's illness. Piers has revealed that the revered actor got very emotional after the interview when Prunella couldn't remember taking part, even though she had been sitting in the audience.

"‘She [Scales] was in the audience – he [West] wanted her there – and he wanted to talk about her illness in front of her," Piers said.

BBC handout photo of the cast of Fawlty Towers, (L-R ) Prunella Scales as Sybil, John Cleese as Basil, Connie Booth as Polly
BBC handout photo of the cast of Fawlty Towers, (L-R ) Prunella Scales as Sybil, John Cleese as Basil, Connie Booth as Polly

"He said, 'Don’t worry about it because she won’t remember.'"

"Afterwards I said, 'Did you enjoy the show?' And she had no memory of being in the show. It’s heartbreaking and he [West] got very emotional about it."

Prunella Scales and husband Timothy West
Prunella Scales and husband Timothy West

Prunella (83) also suffers with dementia.

"Timothy has been utterly selfless and fantastic in that respect but you could see the total sadness etched on his face that they can’t share all the stuff they have shared because she can only remember parts of it," Piers lamented.

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