Sir Billy Connolly Issues Health Update After ‘Serious Falls’ Amid Parkinson’s Battle

Sir Billy Connolly has issued a health update amid his battle with Parkinson's disease.
Credit: Alamy

Sir Billy Connolly has issued a health update amid his battle with Parkinson’s. 

Connolly, 80, is a legendary comedian and actor who has starred in films such as Brave, The Boondock Saints and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

The Scottish star announced his retirement from comedy back in 2018 and in recent years, has established himself as an artist.

Since stepping back from the limelight, little has been heard from Connolly – however, he and his wife, Pamela Stephenson, have now issued an update on his health.

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In an interview with The Guardian, the couple revealed that the star has had ‘deterioration’ in his balance due to having Parkinson’s.

Parkinson’s is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking and stiffness.

Currently, there’s no cure for the disease – although treatments are available to help with the main symptoms and maintain quality of life.

Connolly told the publication that the problems with his balance began last year and he thought ‘they would go away’, as previous symptoms have done so.

His wife added that the ‘balance issue’ has been the ‘most significant’ hurdle to overcome since his diagnosis back in 2013.

Sir Billy Connolly and Pamela Stephenson.
Sir Billy Connolly and his wife Pamela Stephenson have opened up about the comedian’s health. Credit: Alamy

“Especially since, unfortunately, it resulted in you having a couple of serious falls,” she commented.

To which the comedian responded: “It’s funny, that fall I had when I landed on my jaw reminded me of a thing I used to do on stage. I used to say, ‘I fell out of bed, but luckily my face broke my fall…'”

Connolly revealed that he now struggles to walk for more than 50 yards and that his balance issues are ‘adding to the list of things that hold him back’.

He remarked: “It’s creeping up behind me and stopping me doing things. It’s a cruel disease.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the comedian and his wife opened up about their relationship and how it has changed since the diagnosis.

New Zealand-born Pamela shared that she now dresses her husband and that he has to ‘get lifts everywhere’ as he can no longer drive.

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Last year when Connolly was named the recipient of the 2022 Bafta Fellowship, the star stated that he won’t let his Parkinson’s disease ‘dictate’ who he is.

In an interview with about the fellowship, which recognises ‘outstanding and exceptional contribution’ in films, TV or games, he said (via BBC): “It’s really important to work, to draw, to write, to walk silly for your grandchildren.

“Doing the same thing you’ve always done is good for you.

“I don’t let the Parkinson’s dictate who I am – I just get on with it. I’ve had a very successful career and I have no regrets at all.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.