Billy Connolly - Rotten Tomatoes

Billy Connolly



Multi-talented Billy Connolly is a world-famous comic, an actor on stage, screen, and television, a playwright, and a folk musician. Connolly was born on the kitchen floor of a Glasgow tenement in 1942. During the war, his father William joined the Royal Air Force and due to the stress of separation, his marriage to Connolly's mother disintegrated, leaving William in charge of raising Connolly and his little sister, Flo. He in turn sent the children to live with his two sisters, which made for a difficult home life as they resented their new responsibilities. At age 15, Connolly left school and worked as a delivery boy at a bookstore and then a bakery until he was old enough to work in the shipyards. In 1960, Connolly began a five-year welding apprenticeship. He left in the early '60s to join the Parachute regiment of the Territorial Army and during his stint completed 17 parachute jumps. After leaving the military, he finished his welding apprenticeship and took a job constructing an oil rig in Biafra, Nigeria. The work was unpleasant and eventually he returned to Glasgow.



An episode of The Beverly Hillbillies inspired Connolly to buy a banjo and, following experience in other folky bands, founded the Humblebums with guitarist Tam Harvey. They were later joined by pop singer Gerry Rafferty. Their music, coupled with Connolly's joke-telling between songs, led to considerable popularity, and the Humblebums enjoyed the wild life of touring, partying, and doing everything excessively. Due to his growing tendency to dominate their concerts with comedy, he and Rafferty had a falling out and the group disbanded in 1971 while they were in London. Connolly stayed and worked on his comedy career. By 1975, he had become a roaring success and was touring like a madman. In 1977, he wrote his first play, the unsuccessful An' Me Wi' A Bad Leg, Tae. Actually, none of his subsequent plays were as successful as his irreverent and sometimes coarse standup routines.



In 1979, Connolly made his film debut in Absolution, a drama starring Richard Burton. By the 1980s, Connolly had become a superstar in the U.K. and was having trouble with privacy issues, drinking, and exhaustion. He was involved in a bitter divorce/custody battle with his first wife, and his girlfriend Pamela Stephensen was pregnant. His divorce was granted in 1985 and he received custody of his two children. In the late '80s, Stephenson was working on Saturday Night Live in New York; Connolly periodically guested on the show and on David Letterman. He also did an HBO special with Whoopie Goldberg. In 1989, Connolly starred opposite Liam Neeson in The Big Man, married Stephenson, and replaced Howard Hesseman in the American sitcom Head of the Class. He proved successful and Warners signed a two-year contract with him. But the series was canceled and so Connolly was hired to portray the same character in a new sitcom, Billy, which was based on the film Green Card. He and his family decided to remain in the U.S.; shortly after settling in, the series was canceled. He made a cameo appearance in Indecent Proposal in 1992 and the following year returned to Glasgow to appear in Down Among the Big Boys. Since then he has become more involved with BBC television, notably in a fascinating tour of Scotland that resulted in his winning a Scottish BAFTA award. He also won a Best Arts Programme award for the BBC production The Bigger Picture and a Best Drama award for Down Among the Big Boys. Connolly continued his U.S. film career and even occasionally made guest appearances on U.S. television as he did in the short-lived 1996-1997 sitcom Pearl.



Connolly received the best reviews for any of his dramatic work playing opposite Judi Dench in the engaging drama Mrs. Brown. He continued to balance a respected career as a stand-up comic with work in small films such as Beverly Hills Ninja, The Boondock Saints, Who Is Cletus Trout, and An Everlasting Piece.

Photos

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Wild Oats
  • Actor
2016
71% What We Did on Our Holiday
  • Gordie
2015
59% The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Dain
2014
79% Quartet
  • Wilf Bond
2013
78% Brave
  • King Fergus
2012
No Score Yet The Ballad of Nessie
  • Narrator
2011
No Score Yet Open Season 3
  • Actor
2011
20% Gulliver's Travels
  • King Theodore
2010
23% The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
  • Poppa M/Il Duce
2009
No Score Yet Good Sharma
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet One Giant Leap 2: What About Me?
  • Actor
2008
31% The X-Files: I Want to Believe (The X Files 2)
  • Father Joseph Crissman
2008
No Score Yet Gabriel & Me
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Open Season 2
  • McSquizzy
2008
73% Fido
  • Fido
2007
48% Open Season
  • McSquizzy
2006
11% Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties
  • Dargis
2006
No Score Yet Gentlemen's Relish
  • Actor
2006
56% Fuck (F*ck)
  • Actor
2005
79% The Aristocrats
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Billy Connolly - Live in New York
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Billy Connolly - Erect for 30 Years
  • Actor
2004
72% Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Uncle Monty
2004
78% Overnight
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet The Rutles 2---Can't Buy Me Lunch
  • Himself
2004
No Score Yet Ivor Cutler: Looking for Truth with a Pin
  • Actor
2004
66% The Last Samurai
  • Zebulon Gant
2003
11% Timeline
  • Professeur Johnston
2003
70% White Oleander
  • Barry
2002
23% Who Is Cletis Tout?
  • Dr. Savian
2002
No Score Yet Billy Connolly Live - The Greatest Hits
  • Actor
2001
71% The Man Who Sued God
  • Steve Myers
2001
No Score Yet Prince Charming
  • Hamish
2001
No Score Yet Gabriel & Me
  • Gabriel
2001
48% An Everlasting Piece
  • The Scalper
2001
No Score Yet Gentlemen's Relish
  • Kingdom Swann
2001
60% Beautiful Joe
  • Joe
2000
No Score Yet Columbo: Murder with Too Many Notes
  • Findlay Crawford
2000
20% The Boondock Saints
  • Il Duce
1999
No Score Yet The Debt Collector
  • Nickie Dryden
1999
62% The Impostors
  • Sparks
1999
73% Still Crazy
  • Hughie
1998
No Score Yet Secret Policeman's Ball
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Deacon Brodie
  • William Deacon Brodie
1997
No Score Yet Paws
  • PC
1997
No Score Yet Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown
  • Actor
1997
94% Mrs. Brown
  • John Brown
1997
14% Beverly Hills Ninja
  • Actor
1997
70% Muppet Treasure Island
  • Billy Bones
1996
56% Pocahontas
  • Ben
1995
38% Indecent Proposal
  • Auction Emcee
1993
20% Crossing the Line
  • Frankie
1990
60% The Return of the Musketeers
  • Caddie
1989
No Score Yet The Hunting Of The Snark
  • Actor
1987
No Score Yet Water
  • Delgado Fitzhugh
1985
No Score Yet Blue Money
  • Des
1984
No Score Yet Bullshot
  • Hawkeye McGillicuddy
1983
No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Other Ball
  • Actor
1982
No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Ball
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Absolution
  • Blakey
1979
No Score Yet Billy Connolly - The Pick of Billy Connolly
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
2003
  • Panelist
No Score Yet House
2004-2012
  • Thomas
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
2015
  • Guest
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
2014
  • Guest
No Score Yet Conan
2010
  • Guest
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest

Quotes from Billy Connolly's Characters