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Scotland's most famous comedian, Billy Connolly enjoyed years upon years of stardom in the U.K. before cracking the U.S. market, and settling into a career as an accomplished character actor.
Billy Connolly discovered his penchant for comedy while pursuing a career as a folk musician, and even scored a British number one single just as his comedy career was taking off.
Connolly began performing stand-up comedy around Scotland and northern England, concentrating on comedy but still mixing occasional folk songs into his act. In 1972 Connolly released his first album, Live. His 1974 follow-up album, Cop Yer Whack for This, became his biggest hit yet, going gold in the U.K.
Toward the late '80s, his appearances on American television became more frequent, which helped Connolly land a gig replacing Howard Hesseman on the comedy Head of the Class in 1990. In 1994, he hosted the acclaimed series World Tour of Scotland. It proved so successful that Connolly hosted two further exploration-themed BBC series. Connolly appeared in BBC Scotland's historical dramas Deacon Brodie (1996) and Her Majesty Mrs. Brown (1997), which was released worldwide to much acclaim. .