Fair City star Bryan Murray has revealed he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Bryan, who played Bob Charles on the long running soap, received his diagnosis three years ago, but waited to share the news publicly.
The 73-year-old is opening up about his experience with Alzheimer’s disease now, in an effort to help others going through the same journey as him.
Telling the RTÉ Guide: “As a younger actor, I would get a script, it would be four pages and within 15 minutes I would know the lines. As I got older, I couldn’t do that any longer.”
“I had no problem telling the people in Fair City my memory was shot, that after half an hour of reading a script, I had no recollection of it.”
Sharing supportive his collogues in RTÉ were, he revealed they allowed him to continue working, even as he struggled with memorising scripts.
Saying: “They really could have said, well if you can’t learn your lines, you can’t be in the show, but they did the exact opposite and that got rid of one of my biggest fears.”
“I really wanted to let it be known this was my situation and that for anyone who’s been recently diagnosed, there is an answer to it.”
“It’s not the end of the world. It’s the changing of your world, but it’s not the end. I wish I didn’t have it, but I do have it, and I’m still here. I have it and I am working with it.”
Sharing when the first signs of Alzheimer’s began to show, his wife, fellow actor Una Crawford O’Brien, who plays Renee Phelan on Fair City, revealed how she noticed a change while they were touring with a play.
She explained: “I noticed Bryan’s lines were difficult for him. He’d get irate if I were to say anything, so later, on holidays, I asked if he’d get his memory checked. He had the tests and got the diagnosis.”
“For Bryan, memory was his thing, and to have it taken away from you when you have been a professional actor for 52 years is upsetting. Yes, you can use tricks and all the rest of it, but when you can’t remember, it’s hard.”