Robert Lindsay worried he was "dying" while on the set of 'My Family.'
The 72-year-old actor starred as Ben Harper in the long running sitcom opposite Zoe Wanamaker as his on-screen wife Susan but was diagnosed with prostate cancer over a decade ago and "can't remember" recording the episode immediately after the diagnosis because he was so worried about death.
He said: "Comedy’s the worst thing when you’re having emotional problems. [Zoe] said, ‘Right, OK, let’s go on and be funny, and then we can talk about it.’ I can’t remember the recording at all. It was in front of a studio audience – 500, 600 people, cameras, lines, bang, bang, bang. All I could think was, I could be dying."
Robert - who has children Samuel, 22, James, 19, and John, 10 with wife Rosemarie Ford as well as Sydney, 34, from a previous relationship with Diana Weston -is currently starring as a man who suffers from Parkinson's disease in the play 'The Fever Syndrome' and admitted that he could relate to his character's grumpy demeanour because of the cancer he faced over a decade ago.
He told The Guardian: "I’ve got more irascible as I’ve got older, as my sons and my daughter will all point out. When they saw the play, they all said, ‘It’s not much of a stretch for you dad’. Parkinson’s disease is making this character very angry, and I know what that is, because I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago. I was monitored, and it came to the point where it was getting a little near to the periphery, and they can’t help you after that. So my wife and I had to make a decision and I had it removed."
'The Fever Syndrome' is at Hampstead Theatre, London, until 30 April