In a recent interview with the U.K.'s Mirror
, Scottish actor and comedian Billy Connolly reveals a poignant conversation he shared with Robin Williams just days before Williams committed suicide.
Connolly and Williams had been friends for over 30 years, and Williams had recently begun to ask Connolly for advice on how to handle the effects of Parkinson's, a disease Connolly had been diagnosed with last year. Connolly had given tips to his fellow comic actor on how to handle the facial paralysis that often accompanies the illness.
In the final phone call, Williams had called to thank him for the advice, but also repeatedly told Connolly how much he loved him, a detail Billy found odd.
“During the call he kept telling me he loved me. I said ‘I know’. But he kept repeating it saying ‘do you really know I love you’. I was thinking what the f*** is he on about.? After his death I thought ‘Oh my God, he was saying goodbye’.”
Connolly also recounts a mysterious phone call he received on vacation the day Williams died, a phone call he ignored.
“I thought he phoned me in the middle of the night... but he couldn’t have. The phone was on the other side of the bedroom and I thought f*** that, it’s four in the morning. When I got up it was a Californian number. But he didn’t have my Maltese number... so it couldn’t have been him. It couldn’t have.”
Connolly says he can't explain Robin's death, but emphasizes that the focus should be on celebrating Williams' life and the joy and laughter he left behind.
“I know nothing about it but it seems to me that everything got on top of him, his show coming off the TV, his age, Parkinson’s and blah blah blah. And he just did the thing. But his legacy is immense, his record is there for everybody to see. He was such a joy, he never had a bad word to say about anybody.”
The 71-year-old Connolly has endured a myriad of health problems in the last few years. In addition to Parkinson's, he has recently been treated for prostate cancer, hearing loss, gallstones, and a blood clot.
None of that is stopping the quick-witted, fiery, and thoroughly hilarious raconteur. Connolly's latest movie, What We Did On Our Holiday
, is in U.K. theaters now, and the veteran stand-up will embark on a comedy tour of Scotland next month.
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