Wednesday 13 December 2017

Comedian Billy Connolly on Parkinson’s Disease: ‘What is death anyway but a light going out?’

Comedian Billy Connolly
Comedian Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly and fellow comedian Robin Williams were close friends
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has revealed that he isn’t afraid of dying and that he tries not to get too down about his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

The 72-year-old comic was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2012, the same week it was discovered he had prostate cancer.

“I am doing as well as could be expected. Some people get grim but I do not,” he said speaking on radio ahead of his Canadian tour.

“I think it’s an attitude – you say screw it, let’s get on with it.”

“It never crossed my mind that I’m going to die. What is dying anyway? It is just a light going out,” he said.

Connolly revealed that the loss of his good friend Robin Williams last year had a deep impact on his mental health. The Mrs Doubtfire star had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease shortly before he died by suicide in 2014.

Billy Connolly and fellow comedian Robin Williams were close friends
Billy Connolly and fellow comedian Robin Williams were close friends
Comedian Billy Connolly

“It depressed me terribly,” said Connolly.

“You don’t find a way out of it. You find a place to put it where you can access it when you want like your mother or father’s death for instance.

“You never get over it you just find a place to put it,” he said.

Connolly, who is married to psychologist Pamela Stephenson, can no longer play the banjo which was one of his great passions. He revealed that it has taken time to cope with his anger and resentment.

“We [Connolly and Williams] were both angry about things.

“For instance the guy who gave me my diagnosis that I had Parkinsons’ Disease said it was incurable.

“Now I think that is terrible. I think he should have said we have yet to find a cure. Leave me a little light in the corner, for Christ’s sake,” he said.

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