Scottish comedy icon Billy Connolly has received both terrific and unfortunate news. “The Big Yin” recently came to the United States for surgery after being diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. “The operation was a total success, and Billy is fully recovered [from the cancer],” a spokeswoman for the comedian said. “In addition, Billy has been assessed as having the initial symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, for which he is receiving the appropriate treatment.”
Connolly has been assured that he will be able to continue work, as he prepares to film a television series in the near future and perform on a theatrical tour in New Zealand. One of the early signs of the disease is memory loss, which he admitted to earlier this year when he was forgetting lines during his stand-up performances. “This is fucking terrifying,” he recalls. “I feel like I’m going out of my mind.” With proper medication and therapies, the symptoms can be managed.
Connolly will appear in the two upcoming Hobbit films as a dwarf warrior, the next of which is due for release on Dec. 13.