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81-Year-Old Actor Had No Idea He'd Been Colorblind Nearly Entire Life

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There are plenty of health conditions that are highly visible. They can cause people a lot of grief because there’s no way for them to hide the problems they’re dealing with.

There are others that are nearly invisible and may go undiagnosed for a person’s entire life until something happens to make them reconsider.

Many people don’t realize they need glasses until they get to college and have to read words on a whiteboard or powerpoint and realize everything looks a little fuzzy.

As far as colorblindness goes, people may never really realize they aren’t seeing the full spectrum, especially if their condition is mild.

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The most common forms of color blindness cause difficulty distinguishing between certain colors, rather than seeing no colors at all.

In recent years, glasses have been designed for those who don’t want or can’t get the corrective surgery, and there are videos all over social media of them “rediscovering” the world in real color.

One celebrity just realized, after 81 years, that the world doesn’t look quite the same as it used to.

A doctor noticed something else was wrong with Sir Tom Courtenay’s eyes during a check-up before cataract surgery.

Courtenay had never noticed this before, but the doctor told him he wasn’t seeing color the way others did.

So he had surgery to correct the issue. Apparently, a bout of scarlet fever at a young age left him with impaired color reception, but now he’s seeing clearly.

“I bought a brown T-shirt in Glasgow a while ago,” Courtenay related, “and now I’ve realised it’s plum!

The actor — known for his roles in films like “Billy Liar” and “Doctor Zhivago” — is tickled by this discovery.

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“It’s incredible, really,” he said, “I’ve got all this colour in my life.”

In spite of his age, the actor is still busy in the world of film. He turns a critical eye to his past performances but is often surprised by what he likes about them.

“I’d always worry about what I didn’t have back then, like technique and assurance,” he admitted. “But when I watched, I was astonished at something I realised I did have back then: sheer, raw passion. Gosh!”

Now he can assess his performances in a new light and in vibrant colors.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking