Shortly before taking his own life, Robin Williams called his longtime friend Billy Connolly to say goodbye.
Like Connolly, Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, but only told his close friends and family members. Williams leaned on Connolly for advice after finding out his diagnosis, and Connolly tried to give him tips to live with the disease.
“He was diagnosed after me and he was on the phone a lot asking me about it,” Connolly told The Mirror. Connolly explained that most of the time he didn’t have any advice to give, but he had tried to help him learn to live with the lack of facial expressions that come with the disease. Shortly before Robin died, Billy said he had called to thank him for his help.
“He phoned me a week later, just days before it happened, and he said ‘it’s brilliant it’s working,'” Billy said. “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’.”
Billy Connolly Opens up About Parkinson's and Losing Friend Robin Williams http://t.co/tnjhClzpBJ
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 24, 2014
Robin and Billy first met on a Canadian talk show 30 years ago. Since then, they had remained very close friends, and Billy said he was heartbroken to find out about his friend’s death.
“It broke my heart when he died. I was in Malta with my family and my children were all crying. They all loved him,” Connolly said. “He is a stunning guy… You notice I don’t speak about him in the past tense? t’s still not sunk in, I keep expecting him to walk in.”