ROBIN WILLIAMS, 63, DIES OF AN APPARENT SUICIDE, BUT LEAVES US WITH HIS GOD-GIVEN GIFT OF LAUGHTER…
“What’s wrong with death, sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity, dignity and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy, gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.”—Robin Williams, “Patch Adams”
Robin Williams, 63, passed on Monday, August 11, 2014 of an apparent suicide (story below my post). It’s a solemn time when someone passes from this world. When it’s someone you know and love, it’s like a ferocious punch to the gut. While I’m not fond of many pampered pests of Hollywood, I do have a special fondness for Robin Williams because he is a true talent. We all know he was battling depression, but what I can’t understand is how this multi-talented actor / voice actor, stand-up comedian, producer and screenwriter could take his own life, thinking it’s the only way out of his darkness and despair. He brought such joy and laughter to those who knew him, both on- and off-screen. His accomplished acting skills helped him mask the vulnerabilities he kept hidden inside himself for so long. Maybe he felt this was the only way to free himself of his inner demons. How very sad.
It’s mostly Robin Williams’ movies that I’d watch whenever I need a good laugh to lighten my own load. Movies like What Dreams May Come; Good Morning, Viet Nam; Mrs. Doubtfire; The Birdcage; and my ultimate favorite, Patch Adams, would lift me right up. When I was first diagnosed with Invasive Moderately Differentiated Ductal Carcinoma, it felt as though my world was coming to an end. I popped “Patch Adams” into my DVD Player and suddenly the darkness lifted. I’ve watched it over the past three years every now and then because I do believe that laughter truly is the best medicine. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to bring Robin Williams out of his own funk. I’m sure there are countless others who have watched the movies of this talented and funny actor to help them get away from the stressors of their own lives. How ironic that this incredibly funny guy who was battling depression couldn’t see past his own miseries and use his God-given talent to lift himself up, and know that although today may be bad, tomorrow will be better. I do believe things always get better, just as sure as there is always sunshine after night’s darkness.
Maybe his death will not be in vain. Maybe it will finally shine a spotlight on what he and countless others suffer from—deep-rooted depression. In trying to make sense of his desperate actions, at least he just killed himself. Others suffering from deep-rooted depression not only kill themselves, but they’ve taken other innocent victims along with them. I try and focus on that fact.
While it is incredibly sad that he is gone, he has left us with his gift of laughter. Rest in peace, Mr. Williams, and my deepest condolences go out to the Williams family. May God help you all through your grief…
With sincerest sympathy,
‘I’ll never understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay’: Robin Williams’ children release poignant tributes to comic as it emerged he killed himself while his wife slept next door
- Robin Williams three grown-up children issue moving statements in the wake of their father’s suicide
- Zak Williams, 31, Zelda Williams, 25 and Cody Williams, 23, all wrote their own tribute to comic
- The legendary actor, 63, was found dead by an assistant at his home in Tiburon, California, at 11.55am on Monday
- His wife Susan Schneider last saw him at 10.30pm Sunday when she went to bed and left Monday morning thinking he was still asleep
- A neighbor who was one of the last people to see the Oscar-winner alive has exclusively told MailOnline that Williams was a ‘shell’ this weekend
- Williams talked about needing work and reportedly told a friend he had ‘serious money troubles’
Robin Williams’s three children have all issued their own deeply touching and emotional statements in which they pay tribute to their father, who was found hanged in his bedroom on Monday in California after battling with depression.
In a moving message on Tuesday to well wishers, Williams’ first son Zak Williams, 31, said that the 63-year-old’s suicide meant ‘I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer.’
‘I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be,’ said Zak, whose mother, Valerie Velardi was the comic legend’s first wife.
The Good Will Hunting star’s younger son, Cody Williams, 23, simply said, ‘There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.’
The Oscar winner’s daughter, Zelda Williams, 25, who has already posted a heart felt message to social media, offered up a bittersweet statement that praised the comic genius’ fans, but offered a chastening word to his critics too.
Zelda Williams said: ‘Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.
Shortly after the news broke on Monday, Zelda posted an excerpt from French poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince on Twitter, and in her statement today added: ‘My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that’s gone, and I feel stripped bare.
ZELDA’S MOVING TRIBUTE TO HER DAD ROBIN: ‘ONE OF THE KINDEST, MOST GENEROUS, GENTLEST SOULS I’VE EVER KNOWN’
‘My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that’s gone, and I feel stripped bare.
‘My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments.
‘While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions.
‘It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.
‘To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too…
‘Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.’
‘THE WORLD IS A LITTLE GRAYER’: ZAK WILLIAMS ON LOSING HIS DAD
‘Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. I will carry his heart with me every day.
‘I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be. Seek to bring joy to the world as he sought.’
CODY WILLIAMS MOURNS: ‘THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME’
‘There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him.
‘I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again.’
‘My last day with him was his birthday and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments.
‘MY HEART IS SPLIT WIDE OPEN’: ROBIN’S EX-WIFE MARSHA SHARES HER GRIEF
‘My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you. Please remember the gentle, loving, generous – and yes, brilliant and funny – man that was Robin Williams.
‘My arms are wrapped around our children as we attempt to grapple with celebrating the man we love, while dealing with this immeasurable loss.’
‘While I’ll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there’s minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn’t help the pain, but at least it’s a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.
‘To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you’ve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too…’
And his second wife, Marsha Garces Williams also published her first statement on her ex-husband’s passing, calling him a ‘genius’.
Williams was last seen alive about 10.30pm on Sunday by his third wife Susan Schneider when she went to bed. Williams locked himself in a different bedroom, Marin County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Keith Boyd said this afternoon.
By the time an assistant found the Oscar-winning actor’s body at 11.55am on Monday, rigor mortis had set in.
After going to bed Sunday night, Susan got up and left the house to run errands about 10.30am – believing her husband of three years was still asleep.
An assistant, worried when Williams couldn’t be roused at 11.45am, broke into the bedroom and found Williams dead.
The official preliminary cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging, police in California said, and conclusion of the investigation is still weeks away.
Family: Actor Robin Williams is seen at the Golden Globes in 2005 with son Zak and his girlfriend (left), son Cody (third from left) then-wife Marsha Garces Williams (second from right) and daughter Zelda (right)
Emergency personnel arrived at noon. At 12:02 he was pronounced dead. Toxicology reports are pending and will take two to six weeks.
Police would not comment on whether Williams left a suicide note, though TMZ reports that his family don’t believe he left behind anything explaining his actions.
Police also wouldn’t discuss the circumstances under which Williams and his wife went to bed in separate rooms.
The Mrs Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting star’s suicide comes after decades of battling depression and alcohol and drug addiction. He was also facing significant financial pressures and admitted he was selling a $35million estate in Napa because he could no longer afford it..
Williams was ‘very drawn and thin’ and appeared just a ‘shell’ of his bright public persona this weekend – a few days before he committed suicide, according to his neighbor who was one of the last people to see him alive.
EXCLUSIVE: NEIGHBOR WHO SAW STAR ONE DAY BEFORE DEATH SAYS ‘HE WAS A SHELL’
One of the last people to see Robin Williams alive has said the renowned funnyman was ‘a shell’ when she saw him a day before he killed himself.
A longtime neighbor has exclusively told MailOnline that Williams was withdrawn when she stopped to chat with him this weekend near his home outside Tiburon, California.
Through tears she said: ‘The last time I saw Robin was over the weekend, we would catch up on the street, just casual.
‘He was very drawn and thin, he did not look like the Robin who first moved into this community many years ago.
‘He was a shell of himself, exhausted and not in the best spirits, but still the nice guy I had always known. There seemed to be something on his mind.
‘He was not at all like his stage persona, that was not the Robin I knew. He was more quiet and down-to-earth, not over-the-top like he was in the movies. He listened well.
‘He was often quiet and very private.
‘The last time I saw him he seemed to be in a bad place emotionally.’
The longtime resident of the secluded community where Williams lived has exclusively told MailOnline that Williams appeared subdued and preoccupied – especially compared to the up-beat family man who moved into the Tiburon, California, mansion years ago.
Williams’ neighbor told MailOnline through tears: ‘The last time I saw Robin was over the weekend, we would catch up on the street, just casual.
‘He was very drawn and thin, he did not look like the Robin who first moved into this community many years ago.
‘He was a shell of himself, exhausted and not in the best spirits, but still the nice guy I had always known. There seemed to be something on his mind…
‘The last time I saw him he seemed to be in a bad place emotionally.’
Williams struggled with depression and an addiction to cocaine and alcohol for decades. Last month the married father of three was back in rehab ‘fine-tuning’ his sobriety in a year where he had been working on six movies and a TV series.
His publicist also revealed the star had been ‘battling severe depression of late.’
Williams also admitted that he was troubled by his finances. He was reportedly forced to pay $30million during his 2008 divorce from his second wife Marsha Garces, the film producer who is mother to his last two children, and first wife Valerie Velardi.
Last year, he admitted that he was selling his $35million Napa estate because he could no longer afford it. He listed it in April for $29.9million – a $5million markdown from what he paid for it.
He also admitted that he was working many of his recent gigs – including a new TV show for CBS – to make money. He was also working on six movies this year – leaving four of them unfinished.
A source told RadarOnline that Williams confided that he had ‘serious money troubles.’
He told Parade magazine last September: ‘The idea of having a steady job is appealing… There are bills to pay.
‘My life has downsized, in a good way. I’m selling the ranch up in Napa. I just can’t afford it anymore.’
No matter Williams’ current financial state, he made sure to look after his three children, Zachary Pym, 31, Zelda Rae, 25 and Alan, 22.
TMZ reports that he set up trusts for his children in 2009 that were paid in stages. One their 21st birthday, the children each got one third of the trust. Half of the remaining amount was to be doled on out their 25th birthday and the rest on their 30th.
It is not known how much money is in the trusts, but TMZ reports that they will continue to pay out even after the star’s death.
Williams had not been seen in public since his birthday three weeks ago.
Despite his trip to rehab in Minnesota earlier this year, friends tell TMZ that the star’s final attempt at saving himself from his demons might have come too late.
‘Just before he checked in it was obvious … he had not gotten treatment for so long he was too far down the road,’ a source told the gossip site.
Felt around the nation: In Boston, the park bench from Williams’ famous scene in ‘Good Will Hunting.’ They also wrote tributes to his inspiration Oscar-winning character from the film
Those who knew Williams well also spoke to a disconnect between his on-screen exuberance and the private, withdrawn person he could be in his personal life.
‘I’ve always felt that Robin’s blinding speed and flash of wit was an effort at concealment, rather than revealing,’ Monty Python member Eric Idle said in 2009. ‘He would be talking about something personal or sexual, but it was always in general, not about him.’
Jamie Masada, a US comedy club pioneer, said: ‘He was always in character – you never saw the real Robin. I knew him 35 years, and I never knew him.’
Even the neighbor who spoke to MailOnline said his demeanor was different in person.
‘He was not at all like his stage persona, that was not the Robin I knew. He was more quiet and down-to-earth, not over-the-top like he was in the movies. He listened well,’ she said.
‘He was often quiet and very private.’
He drove a beat-up Jeep, not a flashy car and kept a low-profile in the neighborhood – despite living in a home worth millions.
‘UTTERLY HEARTBROKEN’: ROBIN WILLIAMS’ WIFE PAYS TOUCHING TRIBUTE TO ‘MY HUSBAND AND BEST FRIEND’
Robin Williams’ wife revealed that he had died and released a moving statement.
Susan Schneider said: ‘This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one if its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken,’ she began.
‘On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin’s death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.’
Shortly afterwards his daughter Zelda, 25, tweeted an excerpt from Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s novella The Little Prince which read: ‘You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You – only you will have stars that can laugh.’
Friends and colleagues such as Steven Spielberg, Steve Martin, Danny DeVito and Ben Stiller all took to social media to express their grief and offer condolences to Williams’ third wife and three children, Zachary Pym, 31, Zelda Rae, 25 and Alan, 22.
President Obama issued a touching tribute to the actor and comedian, and said: ‘Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.
‘He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.’
The Los Angeles’ Laugh Factory, where he inspired countless other comedians, issued their own tribute to the Oscar winning actor and entertainer by changing their banner to read ‘Robin Williams Rest in Peace. Make God Laugh.’
The star’s 25-year-old daughter Zelda Williams tweeted a poignant quote shortly after her about her loss.
She posted an exerpt from Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s novella The Little Prince which read: ‘You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You – only you will have stars that can laugh.’
She finished the post with the words: ‘I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up, Z.’
Williams’ last tweet and Instagram post came on July 31, – 11 days before his apparent suicide – in which he wished Zelda a happy 25th birthday, posting a picture of himself with her as a child. ‘Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl,’ he wrote.
Outside the family home in a neighbourhood of low-slung houses with water views, people left flowers and talked about the man who rode his bike around and had a smile and a wave for children on the street.
‘It wasn’t like having a celebrity,’ said Sonja Conti who said the actor would often ask about her dog and nicknamed him ‘Dude.’ ‘He was just a normal, nice guy. People left him alone.’
Another neighbour, Kelly Cook, 50, described Williams as a ‘private man’ who would often be seen cycling around the area.
She said her children would call him ‘the funny man’ and he would often speak to them when he was out walking his pug called Lenny.
He admitted he returned to TV after nearly three decades because two divorces have left him short of cash.
The comic’s breakups cost him £30million and he claims to need a ‘steady job’. He was also selling his $30million California ranch due to his sizeable alimony payments.
Williams said: ‘Divorce is expensive. I used to joke they were going to call it “all the money”, but they changed it to “alimony”.
‘It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.’
His marriage to Valerie Velardi ended in 1988 after the pair had been together for 10 years. The actor then wed his son’s nanny Marsha Garces with whom he stayed for 19 years and had two children with.
The couple divorced in 2008. Williams is now married to graphic designer, Susan Schneider.
• For confidential help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
• For confidential support on suicide matters call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit
a local Samaritans branch or visit http://www.samaritans.org