Fringe star returns, speaks out on illness: "I couldn't even think"

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Dec 17, 2012

Fringe season five is back on schedule. Unfortunately, last month production was shut down due to a star's illness. John Noble, who plays fan favorite Dr. Walter Bishop, was suffering from a serious disorder that was affecting his work. But with treatment, he and the show are back on track.

Noble recently spoke to EW about his battle with a severe sleep disorder. "I couldn't even think, mate," he said. "I was working and going: 'This is really hard.'" The Australian actor is no stranger to a lack of rest. For years he struggled with insomnia and sleep apnea, and it had finally taken its toll.

After spending the summer promoting Fringe's new season (including a stint at Comic-Con), he realized he couldn't take it.

"I basically hit a wall, and we had to deal with it," revealed Noble. "I went to the hospital, had all the tests, and we put the strategies into place to deal with both of those issues, including the space-age mask that I wear to bed now." he joked. "It's pretty unsightly."

Noble took 10 days off for treatment and received an outpouring of love from fans. "People were so bloody supportive, it was really touching, I'm feeling more well rested now and sleeping better than I have in 20 years," he exclaimed.

He's currently back on the Fringe set (in Vancouver), working on the season's second episode.

Fringe returns Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. on Fox.

(via EW)