Billy Connolly announced he will no longer be performing stand-up comedy as a result of his deteriorating health.
The 77-year-old Scotsman, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, told the UK’s Sky News that he wouldn’t be performing on stage again.
“I’m finished with stand-up,” Connolly said. “It was lovely, and it was lovely being good at it… It was the first thing I was ever good at, and I’m delighted and grateful to it.”
Connolly says the disease has made his ‘brain work differently’
Sadly he continued by saying: “The Parkinson’s has made my brain work differently, and you need to have a good brain for comedy.”
He spoke openly about how the disease has affected him and how it makes him struggle to work and perform.
“Because certain things go wrong, your brain goes adrift and affects your body, and so you walk differently, you walk like a drunk man sometimes. And you’re frightened you’ll be judged on it. And you shake sometimes.”
However, Billy went on to say that he’s determined that the disease won’t define him.
He said he continuously gets invites “to go to Parkinson’s things and spend time with Parkinson’s people, having lunch or something like that.”
He doesn’t want to live his life that way, though.
“I don’t approve of it,” he said. “I don’t think you should let Parkinson’s define you and all your pals be Parkinson’s people. I don’t think it’s particularly good for you. So I don’t do it.”
The legendary comedian officially retired in 2018, but last year, he raised the hopes of millions of fans when he said he’d like to perform again.
Alas, all good things come to an end.
Billy Connolly’s glittering career
Billy began his working life as a welder in Glasgow’s shipyards in Scotland; however, thankfully for us all, he switched to showbiz.
He started as a folk singer before establishing a formidable reputation as an outstanding stand-up comedian in the ’70s and ’80s.
He achieved international recognition in the 1997 movie Mrs. Brown where he starred opposite Judi Dench. He has also starred in Indecent Proposal, The Last Samurai, a 2010 remake of Gulliver’s Travels, and a voice roll in 2012’s Brave.
In 2012 he was voted the UK’s most influential comedian of all time. His last world tour ended in 2017.
Ozzy Osbourne is also battling Parkinson’s disease
Billy Connolly isn’t the only legend battling Parkinson’s disease. Ozzy Osbourne recently opened up about his battle with the illness in an interview on Good Morning America.
Ozzy’s daughter Kelly recently had to publicly deny claims her father was on his deathbed after it was reported online that he “was begging to be put out of his misery.” Thankfully the reports weren’t accurate.
We truly hope both Billy and Ozzy have many years ahead of them.