The loss of good friend Robin Williams was the most recent in a series of hardships in comedian Billy Connolly’s long career. As a boy, Connolly’s father had sexually abused him after his return from World War II, Over the years Connolly has been hit with serious health issues such as pneumonia, gallstones, acid reflux, and was recently diagnosed with deafness, prostate cancer and, like Williams, Parkinson’s disease. Connolly doesn’t enjoy talking about the disease as it’s not what he wants to be known for, but for his old pal Robin he made an exception.

After giving Williams a tip about how to handle Parkinson’s related problems with facial expression, Connolly says he received a phone call from the late Mrs. Doubtfire actor:

“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’.”

While there is still speculation about why Robin Williams committed suicide, the phone call Connolly speaks of seems to show an obvious attempt at saying goodbye to a longtime friend in the entertainment industry and close pal in whom he confided. And it’s no wonder why — Connolly, after finding out he had cancer, kept it a secret from the entire set during his filming of a new movie where he portrays a grandfather with cancer.