Peet, Connolly sign up for 'X-Files'

NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Actress Amanda Peet, rapper Xzibit and comedian Billy Connolly have all signed on for roles in the new "X-Files" movie, The Hollywood Reporter said.

No memorial for Scotland's bad bard

EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 2 (UPI) -- William Topaz McGonagall, the Scottish poet widely reviled in life, is getting no honor in death either.

Stewart splurging on wedding

LONDON, April 17 (UPI) -- Rocker Rod Stewart, adopting a can't-take-it-with-you attitude, is spending more than $2 million on his coming nuptials in Italy with model Penny Lancaster.

Jockstrip: The world as we know it

Amputee leads police on high-speed chase ... Nessie displaces Robert Burns as top Scot ... Report: British muggers seek 'buzz' ... Teen prank leaves town without water ... The world as we know it from UPI.
By United Press International

Nessie displaces Robert Burns as top Scot

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The honor of being Scotland's top Scot goes to Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, who bumped poet Robert Burns into second place, a survey said.

Comics condemn BBC's lack of Scottish fare

LONDON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- "Rab C. Nesbitt" comic Tony Roper is criticizing the BBC, claiming the network fails to represent the comedy of his native Scotland.

Celebs get honorary degrees

GLASGOW, Scotland, July 4 (UPI) -- Comedian Billy Connolly, singer Annie Lennox and actress Tilda Swinton Tuesday received honorary degrees from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Billy Connolly planning Scotland return

ABERDEENSHIRE, Scotland, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The wife of Scottish actor-comedian Billy Connolly says she and her husband are coming home.

Cast assembling for 'Garfield' sequel

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Talks are going on in Hollywood to have actor Bill Murray reprise his role as the voice of Garfield the cat in "Garfield 2."

Pete Cook voted top comic

LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A group of comedians voted the late Peter Cook the greatest comic of all time, the Daily Mirror reported Monday.

Tommy Cooper voted funniest Briton

LONDON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- British comedian Tommy Cooper has been voted the nation's greatest humorist in a Reader's Digest poll, the Daily Mirror reported Wednesday.
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Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly arrives for the premiere of his new movie "Fido" at the Regal Cinemas in New York on June 5, 2007. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh)

William "Billy" Connolly, Jr., CBE (born 24 November 1942) is a British comedian, musician, presenter and actor born in Scotland. He is sometimes known, especially in his native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One). His first trade, in the early 1960s, was as a welder (specifically a boilermaker) in the Glasgow shipyards, but he gave it up towards the end of the decade to pursue a career as a folk singer in the Humblebums and subsequently as a soloist. In the early 1970s he made the transition from folk-singer with a comedic persona to full-fledged comedian, a role in which he continues. He also became an actor, and has appeared in such films as Indecent Proposal (1993); Mrs. Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA; The Boondock Saints (1999); The Man Who Sued God (2001); Water (1985);The Last Samurai (2003); Timeline (2003); Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004); Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006); and The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008). Connolly reprised his role as Noah "Il Duce" MacManus in Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Connolly appears as the King of Lilliput in the 2010 remake of Gulliver′s Travels.

Connolly was born at 69 Dover Street ("on the linoleum, three floors up" "at six o'clock in the evening") in Anderston, Glasgow, to William Connolly and his wife Mary (McLean) Connolly, a hospital cafeteria worker. Connolly's grandfather was an Irish immigrant. In 1946, when he was barely four years old, Connolly's mother abandoned her children when his father was still away in the army. Connolly and his sister, Florence, were cared for by two aunts, Margaret and Mona Connolly, his father's sisters. His biography, written by wife Pamela Stephenson, documented years of physical and sexual abuse by his father, which began when he was ten and lasted until he was about fifteen.

"Twice in my life, two birds have flown in and made a huge difference," explained Connolly in 1996. When he was seven, the Connolly family went to Rothesay on holiday. He was sent to get some milk and bread rolls. On his way back with his hands full, a bird landed on his head. Connolly immediately thought God had called him and "nearly had a coronary". "It was a jackdaw, and I didn't know you could teach jackdaws to speak. But I was walking along, and this thing landed on my head and said hello. I nearly passed away. I learned subsequently that it was a tame bird, and we became friends and I got used to the idea: the bird would land on me and I was quite happy. My life had changed forever." Connolly said the second "bird" was Brett Whiteley, an Australian artist he met through Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits in the 1980s.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Billy Connolly."
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