Call The Midwife’s Judy Parfitt says husband’s dementia made her feel ‘alone in marriage’
Call The Midwife: Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan
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Call the Midwife’s Judy Parfitt, 86, has spoken out on dementia and how it affected her relationship with her late husband, Tony Steedman. Judy and Tony, who was best known for his role as Socrates in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, met at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in 1960.
The couple went on to tie the knot in 1963 and have a son together.
Tony passed away on 4 February 2001 after battling Alzheimer’s for three years.
She pointed out how she “lost him as a husband” about a year after the diagnosis.
Judy revealed how the diagnosis changed their life together, explaining that the condition leaves the partner “feeling very alone”.
In a piece for the MailOnline published in 2014, Judy continued: “Tony didn’t understand what was happening to him which is, I suppose, about the only positive of his illness. But I felt terribly lonely.
“That’s the thing with dementia. If you’re with somebody who has a serious illness you can usually talk to them, have a laugh every now and then — the person is still with you.
“With dementia there’s no conversation, there’s no togetherness, no sharing.”
The actress continued: “It leaves you feeling very alone in a marriage.”
Luckily, Judy recounted receiving “huge support” from her and Tony’s son and daughter-in-law.
However, she confessed having them to talk to was “no substitute” for being able to talk to Tony.
She added: “The person you most want to share those feelings with is the one person you can’t.”
Judy plays Sister Monica Joan on the hit BBC One period drama Call The Midwife.
Sister Monica is the eccentric nun fans have loved from the begging and now fears have exploded for her future following the last episode.
Season 11 episode six, which aired on Sunday, saw Sister Monica receive the surprise visit of a black raven in Nonnatus House, which she perceived as a bad omen.
She commented: “There’s someone among us about to meet our maker.”
Fans were left worried about Sister Monica’s fate, with some even taking to Twitter to express their concerns.
MuIderitsme tweeted: “That crow better not be coming for sister monica joan that woman is not allowed to die.” (sic)
B91Sar added: “Keep your grubby mits off Sister Monica Joan grim reaper!
“I’m still not over Barbara and Sister Evangelina.”
Twirlingteacups said: “I’m still not over Sister Evangelina and Barbara dying, and I’ll be a teary mess when Sister Monica Joan dies.”
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