David Bowie knew his liver cancer would kill him more than a year ago, but he was desperate to see his daughter grow up.
So said one of Bowie’s closest recent collaborators, theatre director Ivo van Hove, in a radio interview with Dutch station NOS.nl. The director added that the star kept it secret from all but his closest friends and family, Daily Mail reports.
Van Hove, who directed Lazarus, an off-Broadway production featuring Bowie’s songs, said that Bowie intended to create another despite being too frail to work during periods of his battle with cancer.
The director said that Bowie “fought like a lion” and never stopped working, swearing him to secrecy about his diagnosis. Bowie reportedly told him: “We have to work together very intensely for the next year and I want you to know, if I cannot be there, why that is.”
Van Hove also said that Bowie was very fragile physically when he was last seen publicly at the premiere of Lazarus in New York on 7 December, but added that he never waned mentally.
“I felt he was not in a death struggle but a struggle for life – he wanted to live on,” Van Hove said. “He has a daughter of 15 and he really wanted to go on, but it was physically not possible.”