Scottish actor Billy Connolly is facing the reality of his immediate future amid a battle with Parkinson’s.
The actor and comedian, who has appeared in over 70 projects throughout his life, opens up about his life since being diagnosed with the disease in Made In Scotland, a new documentary airing on BBC Friday night.
“My life, it’s slipping away and I can feel it and I should,” he says in a clip obtained by the Daily Mirror. “I’m 75, I’m near the end. I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning. But it doesn’t frighten me, it’s an adventure and it is quite interesting to see myself slipping away.”
“There is no denying it, I am 75, I have got Parkinson’s and I am at the wrong end of the telescope of life. I am at the point where the yesteryears mean more than the yesterdays. Because it is back there in my childhood and youth when I go to all those things that made me that live keenest in my memory now.”
Connolly has starred in movies like The Last Samurai, The Boondock Saints and The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, as well as Disney’s Brave as Merida’s father. He’s also a successful stand-up comedian and is sometimes known in Scotland as The Big Yin (The Big One).
But the comedian reveals that he has stepped back from work as his mobility and memory have slowly started to falter. He says the disease has been different for him in realizing that he won’t be getting better.
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“The Parkinson’s is strange because it is not going to go away,” he explains. “All my life I have got sick and I have got the flu and pneumonia various things and they all went away. This isn’t going anywhere. It is going to get worse. It takes a certain calm to deal with, and I sometimes don’t have it. I sometimes get angry with it, but that doesn’t last long, I just collapse in laughter.”
He continues, “The good things are there, the love we have for people is still there, and with a bit of luck the love they have for you is still there. And I am very lucky in as much as I made a bit of a mark, and you think ‘well I must have done something right’. And that keeps you company when you are older, is the fact that when you were creative, you created well, it accompanies you, it is a great companion.”