Funnyman and actor Billy Connolly has an Australian fan to thank for his early Parkinson's diagnosis after he urged the Mrs. Brown star to seek a check-up.

The 71-year-old Scot was in a bar in Los Angeles when he struck up conversation with a group of Aussies - and one of them offered him some odd advice.

Connolly tells the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper, "He said, 'I'm a surgeon and I have been watching you walking; you have a strange gait'. That was the way he put it.

"He said, 'You're showing distinct signs of early onset Parkinson's disease, see your doctor'. I think it was the way I held myself when I was walking. Then they did blood tests and various other little bits and pieces and told me I had it."

Connolly reveals he's planning to battle the disease by not acknowledging it: "I prefer not to give it any notice. I don't see much shaking going on and I have always had a s**tty memory anyway. I have forgotten things my entire career. I was taking drugs to control the Parkinson's but I'm not on them anymore."

Connolly has also battled prostate cancer but was given the all-clear in December (13) after surgery in the U.S.