Actor Bryan Murray is opening up about life following his Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
Bryan, who played Bob Charles on the long running soap, received his diagnosis four years ago, but waited until last year to share the news publicly. The 74-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.
Speaking with his wife Una on Ray D’Arcy on RTE Radio 1, she revealed how they discovered his diagnosis. Sharing how he started to forget the lines to a play he was working on.
“We were doing a play and I found that Bryan couldn’t learn the lines and that was a problem, and that became a huge issue because Covid happened. The play was cancelled. We were going to tour the country with it and when we went back to do the tour Bryan’s memory was completely gone,” Una explained.
But despite the challenges, Bryan is determined to continue working and is starring in a new play titled, An Old Song, Half Forgotten.
Revealing how he has continued to work and know his lines, Una confessed that his co-workers in Fair City introduced a very innovative solution.
“We were doing the Christmas episode which was last November. We filmed it and Bryan just couldn’t get his head around it at all,” Una began.
“We had already done the interviews so people knew he had Alzheimer’s so Aoife [Fair City’s floor manager] came up to me and very quietly said, very discretely, ‘Would Bryan mind if we offered him an earpiece?'”
“And I said, ‘No he would be delighted. He would jump at the chance,’ She was brilliant she fed him the lines and the rest is history.”
Delighted to welcome Fair City actors Bryan Murray (Bob Charles) & Una Crawford O’Brian (Renee Phelan) to Thomas Connolly this evening.#thomasconnollysligo #Faircity #Wildatlanticway #Sligo pic.twitter.com/mq1G4gVrAd
— ThomasConnolly Sligo (@ThomasConnolly_) October 2, 2019
Bryan is now working with fellow actor Matthew Malone to perform, with Matthew reading him lines on Fair City and his stage projects.
Una also spoke about the response they received after sharing news of his diagnosis.
“People come up to us in the street.”
“We’ve done some work for the Alzheimers Society. Everyone is terribly supportive it was a great thing to have done and it made life easier for both of us,” she shared.