Belfast Telegraph

Big Yin: Robin was saying goodbye

Robin Williams regularly phoned Billy Connolly for advice on coping with Parkinson's disease days before taking his own life, the Scottish comedian has said.

The Mrs Doubtfire actor was found dead at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area last month in an apparent suicide and Connolly, 71, known as Big Yin, said his friend's death had "still not sunk in".

He told the Daily Mirror Williams had turned to him and in their final conversation, the 63 year old had thanked him for his advice on handling a lack of facial expression, a symptom of the degenerative disease.

"He was diagnosed after me and he was on the phone a lot asking me about it. But phoning me for advice is an absolute waste of f***ing time because I don't have it.

"He phoned me a week later, just days before it happened, and he said, 'It's brilliant, it's working'. 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'."

Shortly after the father of three Williams' death, his wife Susan Schneider revealed he had been struggling with the disease.

She said: "Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly."

It has previously been reported Connolly could have been living with the condition for around a decade before it was diagnosed - on the same day he was told he had prostate cancer, from which he has been given the all-clear.

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