Liz Carr: I was so nervous when I was told I wouldn’t live long

Liz Carr said that since being told as a teenager she wouldn’t have long to live, she still had “huge anxiety”.

The 50-year-old actress, known for her role as forensic examiner Clarissa Mullery in the BBC crime drama Silent Witness, is also a disability rights activist.

She was born with a rare genetic condition called arthrogryposis multiplex, a condition that affects joints and muscles, and has been in a wheelchair since the age of 11.


Liz Carr after winning best supporting actress for The Normal Heart at the 2022 Laurence Olivier Awards (Ian West/PA)

She told Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs: “I was a patient of a very scary doctor, you would go to her counseling sessions, and a big fat woman.

“I was like, I didn’t know I was scared. I was very weak. What is going to happen? We don’t know, but you won’t live to old.

“How it affected me, is every night before I go to bed, when my mother talks about how I would say, ‘Am I going to die tonight?’ And she would say ‘no’ and I would say, ‘Yeah, but you didn’t know that’.

“I needed realism and when you were told that by doctors, and of course we believed doctors and to this day, I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think about it.

“I was very nervous but I have lived so far with that (perspective). I have to do it now because who knows.”

Carr joined the second season of Netflix’s dark fantasy series The Witcher, starring Superman Henry Cavill as monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, and has also appeared in the comedy-drama This Is Going to Hurt by the BBC NHS and the Amazon supernatural series Good Omens with David Tennant and Michael Light.

She also talked about her advocacy work with Not Dead Yet UK, a collection of disability activists who oppose assisted suicide and assisted suicide.

Carr told presenter Lauren Laverne: “I’m concerned that once we introduce assisted suicide, everything will change, that it’s going to change our NHS, it’s going to change our relationship. us with the medical profession.”

Carr added that she understands that when people are sick or disabled, they get the feeling that “their burden feels hopeless.”

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“Of course, your life has changed beyond reason and I know it because I’ve been through it too,” she added.

“So I totally sympathize…I don’t even know how many years it took me to settle into who I am.”

The 2022 Olivier Award winner, who took home best actress for her supporting role as a polio survivor, and Dr. Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart, a play about the HIV/AIDS pandemic Aids in the 1980s, also recalls one woman looking homeless giving her a change when she first met future wife Jo Church.

Carr added: “A homeless woman who, in a beautiful act of generosity, thinks I am more needy than she is.

“So I feel that even though we have such inequality, we have inequality in the way we view some lives.

“We have inequalities in the provision and delivery of health care. We don’t support everyone.

“We don’t have enough palliative care (so) I think I’ll keep speaking up.” Liz Carr: I was so nervous when I was told I wouldn’t live long

Fry Electronics Team

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