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Brian Blessed Discusses Loneliness Following Wife's Death

Brian Blessed Discusses Loneliness Following Wife’s Death

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Brian Blessed has confessed that he is grappling with feelings of loneliness following his wife’s death last year.

The 87-year-old was married to fellow actor Hildegard Neil for 45 years before she passed away from cancer in September 2023.

In a recent interview with The Times, Blessed, celebrated for his role as Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon, opened up about his solitary daily routine as a widower.

“Breakfast for me will be yoghurt — I eat tons of the stuff. I love Bulgarian yoghurt, although eating alone takes some getting used to,” he shared.

“I do feel quite lonely at times, but I’ve got lots of friends to talk to.”

Blessed discussed his friendship with Monty Python actor Sir Michael Palin, who is also a widower. Palin’s wife, Helen Gibbins, died in May 2023 after 57 years of marriage.

“I had a lovely chat with Michael Palin recently at the Royal Geographical Society, as he lost his wife last year too. I still feel my wife’s presence and continue the adventurous life we used to enjoy together.”

Blessed spoke about the impact his late wife has had on him, revealing that she inspired his love for animals.

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“I love gardening and animals, so I’ll take my army of RSPCA rescue dogs onto the lawn and I’ll tend to the flowers. I’ve planted apples, strawberries and God knows what else, so there are hundreds of birds in the garden. And butterflies, hedgehogs and rabbits too,” he described.

“I’m on my own now, as my wife, Hildegarde, died in September – we were married for 45 years – and it’s she who taught me how to love animals.”

In 1974, both Blessed and Neil worked together on the ITV Yorkshire series Boy Dominic, where Neil portrayed Emma Bullman, and Blessed played William Woodcock. The pair married in 1978 and share a daughter, Rosalind. Blessed also has a daughter, Catherine, from his first marriage to American actor and Egyptologist, Ann Boman.

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Recalling their conversations on set, Blessed said: “We were doing Boy Dominic in Yorkshire. We were playing the leads together. I would talk about this and that.”

“I would talk about sophisticated science and imagination. She was amazed because I don’t know many actors, all I know are scientists and explorers.”

When Blessed had told Neil about the formerly undefeated boxer Rocky Marciano, who held the world heavyweight title from 1952 to 1956, Neil “reeled back” and said: “‘Do you know, I have never met a primitive before. You are primitive, aren’t you?

“She said, ‘Don’t be upset, Brian, I am praising you. True primitiveness is sophisticated. It is total sophistication and you have it’.”

Source: The Times