Billy Connolly feels as though Robin Williams attempted to say goodbye to him in their final conversation, which was via telephone, before the latter actor passed away. Connolly revealed this thought in a recent interview that took place in mid-September.
In the interview, the 71-year-old described the final phone call he shared with Williams, in which the late actor was reportedly extremely keen to let the actor know how he felt about him. Williams reportedly told the Quartet star that he loved him like a brother, and was urgent to know whether or not the former actor understood that. When Connolly confirmed that he was aware of this fact, he claims that the Jumanji actor pressed him for further confirmation of the fact. Williams’ passed away due to asphyxiation by hanging a short time later and the two never got to speak again. In examining the proximity between the phone call and Williams’ death, the Scotland native has stated his belief that the aforementioned desperation to confirm the two’s friendship was directly related to Williams’ impending suicide. The two were extremely close friends for many years prior to Williams’ death but had recently found an extremely significant common ground in the wake of the latter actor’s Parkinson’s diagnosis.
Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in September of last year after initially undergoing minor surgery for early stage prostate cancer. He says that he and Williams used to discuss the complications of the disease on a regular basis during their frequent phone calls, comparing notes and seeing which stage and symptoms the other one was currently going through. Williams’ was reportedly in the early stages of the illness prior to his death, which was said to be a final stressor in his choice to end his life. Connolly has given his own statements regarding his dealing with the disease, stating that he refuses to allow it to define his character and how he lives his life. He admits that he feels the effect of it every day, and that it has even affected his ability to remember lines during his acting endeavors, but he is adamant that the disease will not control him and that he will live his life to the fullest regardless of the infliction.
The comedian has faced several struggles during his life, most significantly abandonment by his mother and abuse at the hands of his father. His mother, who he refers to as a heavily conflicted religious teen when she gave birth, left him and his older sister to be raised by their aunt when he was merely three years old. His father returned from his army service some years later in order to raise them, and the actor says the abuse began at age 10 and went on until he was 15 years old. He claims the abuse was of a sexual nature, the details of which are explained in his biography Billy, which was written by his wife Pamela Stephenson.
Whether or not Robin Williams was truly attempting to bid farewell to Billy Connolly before his death will quite possibly remain unknown. However, the actor remains convinced that the final telephone call the two shared was Williams’ final goodbye.
By Rebecca Grace