Fatigued Dudley Moore Says End Is Near

December 4, 2000 -- British comic actor Dudley Moore, who has a rare degenerative brain disorder, says in a television interview to be aired today that he faces a "short and uncertain future" and will die.

"It's totally mysterious the way this illness attacks, and eats you up, and then spits you out," says Moore, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1981 for his role in Arthur.

"I did get angry. But there's not much point feeling angry. There's always this feeling of 'Why did it hit me?' and I cannot make peace with it, because I know I am going to die from it," he says.

Extracts from the composer-actor's BBC interview were printed by British newspapers.

Moore, 65, is said to appear in the BBC program looking drawn and fatigued, and suffering from impaired speech. Doctors for the 5-foot-2-inch star said in September that he was being treated for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, an incurable, Parkinson's-related disease.

PSP's symptoms include falling, problems with walking, imbalance, and slowed movements.

Pianist Moore says in the BBC interview that the disease has robbed him of his greatest love: his ability to play music. "Music is my main comfort now. But it is difficult to know that all the keys are there to be played and I can't play them," he says.

Moore first found fame in the 1960s in the British satirical review Beyond the Fringe and through his comedy partnership with the late British satirist Peter Cook. In the late 1970s, he moved to Hollywood, where he eventually found fame as a movie star. The diminutive actor was later dubbed a "sex Thimble."

The star says early symptoms of the illness led many to believe he was drunk. "People started saying I was drunk on stage. It was dreadful," he says.

Moore has suffered from ill health for several years. He underwent open-heart surgery in 1999 and has suffered four strokes. He currently lives in New York, where he is being cared for by friends.

"Dudley Moore knows that he is a dying man. It was therefore with great fortitude and bravery that he decided to make his last television appearance via Omnibus," a BBC spokesman tells the Daily Mail.

Reuters contributed to this story.