Richard Briers Tells of Battle Against Chronic Lung Disease

Chiswick based actor suffering from emphysema after smoking half a million cigarettes


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Richard Briers has revealed that he has a serious lung disease which has left him so debilitated he is unable to do his own garden. The 79 year old Bedford Park based actor who starred in the ever popular sitcom 'The Good Life' suffers from breathlessness on any exertion.

richard briers

In an interview with the Daily Mail he has told how he believes that the disease is a result of his smoking habit which has seen him smoke over 500,000 cigarettes during his life time. He told the interviewer, "It’s totally my fault. So, I get very breathless, which is a pain in the backside. Trying to get upstairs, oh God, it’s ridiculous. Of course, when you’re bloody nearly 80 it’s depressing because you’ve had it anyway."

He was first diagnosed with the disease five years ago. He is now reliant on his wife Ann to whom he has been married for 55 years.

He also revealed that he has drifted apart from The Good Life co-star Felicity Kendall who played his wife Barbara. When asked if she had been supportive of him during his illness he responded, "Not much. She seems to have disappeared in a strange way. She’s an extraordinary girl. I don’t really know who she is. Never did. She was always an attractive girl and she’s still pretty young, but you know she’s very strange. Enchanting, but very strange."

As for his screen character Tom Good, he confesses to have found him irritating as he did many of the characters he played. He told the Daily Mail, "I thought he was terribly selfish. It was about him all the time and he was terrible with the wife. There were no clothes for her, no babies — nothing at all. He was just sort of: 'This is my patch.' I never particularly liked him at all."

Richard was being interviewed with his lifelong friend Prunella Scales with whom he starred in Sixties comedy 'Marriage Lines' which is being rereleased on DVD.


February 1, 2013