The ‘Large Yin’ is beloved the world over for his comedy, his many movies and his charity work over the previous a number of a long time. He has acted in films, taken on the music business, and made tens of millions of individuals snicker together with his infectious persona and notorious one-liners.
Learn on under to search out out extra about Billy Connolly, and the life he has led as Glasgow’s most well-known comic.
Again to the start
Sir Billy Connolly was born on November 24, 1942 within the Anderston space of Glasgow. He was born to Catholic mother and father, William Connolly and Mary McLean, who had been each of partly Irish descent.
He really acquired his Large Yin nickname because of him sharing a reputation together with his father. Large Yin was used to distinguish between the pair.
He left faculty to work within the shipyards, changing into a welder, and joined the Territorial Military (within the parachute regiment) at across the similar time. He developed an curiosity in folks music, finally being an completed banjo participant and a member of the band Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty – later of Baker Road fame.
When he was 4, his mom left his father as he was serving as an engineer for the Royal Air Power in Burma. He was cared for by his two Aunties, Margaret and Mona – his father’s sisters – in a tenement flat in Partick.
Talking about his upbringing, Billy stated: “My aunts continually advised me I used to be silly, which nonetheless impacts me at the moment fairly badly. It’s only a perception that I’m not fairly nearly as good as anybody else. It will get worse as you grow old.
“I’m a cheerful man now however I nonetheless have the scars of that.”
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Shifting from music to comedy
Throughout his time with the Humblebums, Billy’s little jokes that he would inform in between songs gained extra traction with the viewers than the unique efficiency – so he determined to check out comedy.
Working as a full time comic was the transfer ahead for Billy, and introduced him many successes in life. Already an enormous star in Scotland, he turned a family title within the UK after showing on Parkinson within the early seventies.
He went on to have a daily slot on the present, and determined to strive his hand at one other facet of the humanities and leisure business.
Sir Billy took on appearing as a job alongside releasing many recordings and movies of his live performance performances through the years. Within the 90s, he made two documentary sequence for the BBC, about Scotland and Australia respectively, and in 1997 he starred within the award successful movie Mrs. Brown.
Since then, Billy has featured in films like The Boondock Saints, Courageous, The Final Samurai, The Hobbit and Quartet. He additionally starred within the US sitcom Head of the Class, and had his personal spinoff Billy, in addition to showing in episodes of Home, Columbo, third Rock from the Solar and Minder.
Discovering love Down Underneath
Billy has been married to his second spouse, Dr Pamela Stephenson, since 1989. She can be a comic and a psychologist, and was born in New Zealand – however her nationality is Austrialian.
She rose to fame after starring in Nineteen Eighties sketch present Not the 9 O’Clock Information. She additionally wrote a biography about her husband, titled Billy.
Talking about his marriage to Pamela, Billy stated: “Marriage to Pam did not change me; it saved me. I used to be going to die. I used to be on a downwards spiral and having fun with each second of it.
“Not solely was I dying, however I used to be wanting ahead to it.”
Earlier than this, in 1968 aged 26, Connolly married inside designer Iris Pressagh. In 1985, they divorced after 16 years, having separated 4 years earlier, and he was awarded custody of their kids.
Hanging up the dwell efficiency sneakers
In September 2013, Billy Connolly underwent minor surgical procedure for early-stage prostate most cancers. He additionally introduced presently that he was being handled for the early indicators of Parkinson’s illness.
In August 2018, his outdated good friend Michael Parkinson stated that Billy was struggling to recollect who his mates had been, and this “fantastic mind had dulled”. The Glaswegian legend revealed in March 2020 that he was quitting dwell efficiency, because of his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s illness.
He defined that his mind now “works in another way”, making dwell comedy tough. Billy stated: “I’m completed with stand-up – it was pretty and it was pretty being good at it. It was the very first thing I used to be ever good at.
“I get upset as a result of sure issues go flawed with you, your mind goes adrift, and it impacts your physique. So that you stroll in another way, you stroll like a drunk man typically, and also you’re frightened you’ll be judged on it.”
Regardless of retiring from dwell efficiency, Billy is regarded nonetheless as one of many best comedians to have ever lived, and is beloved the world over – however particularly adored in his hometown of Glasgow.
Down within the east finish of town, minutes away from Glasgow’s Barrowlands, stands an enormous mural devoted to the Large Yin.
We want Billy all the perfect on his birthday, and hope to have a good time the nice man’s life for years to return alongside him.