July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014
"You're only given a little spark of
madness. You mustn't lose it."
In my career I've learned a lot about people
and how they deal with grief. There's no judging it. Grief, like
depression, is a personal thing.
Sometimes a celebrity's death affects
people deeply. Williams is one of those people.
I think a lot of it has to do with a certain
age group - a new generation, dealing with this sort of thing for the first time.
People had their JFK, their Diana, their Brad
Renfro and their Jonathan Brandis. There's no rhyme or reason, it just is.
Williams was a huge star. His manic behavior was his calling card. When he was
funny, we laughed. When he was serious, he was
When he was sinister, he sold it well.
As a human being, he was very generous.
He supported the St. Jude organization, and he co-founded the Comic Relief
charity. When his good friend Christopher Reeve had his tragic riding
accident and became a quadriplegic, Williams took over his medical expenses
when Reeve's insurance ran out. He also provided financial support to
Reeve's widow and son.
Williams had his fair share of personal
demons. Alcohol, cocaine, depression. Money doesn't buy mental
health. It can help, but sometimes all the rehabs in the world can't do
According to Williams' wife, Robin had recently
been diagnosed with Parkinsons.
I saw Williams once on Rodeo Drive in Beverly
Hills. He was with his second wife, the babysitter he left his first wife
for. Second wife was walking around with a pissed off look shooting the
stink eye at everyone around them. If you've ever been in a relationship
with a famous person you might know that look.
I know people that had personal experiences
with Williams. That manic behavior? By most accounts, he never
turned it off. At least not in front of others. I don't know what he
was like in an intimate setting. Talented? Absolutely yes.
Here's a paragraph I found about Robin and
Carrie Fisher. She's very good about mental illness.
Carrie Fisher says Robin
Williams opened up to her about bipolar disorder.
The "Star Wars"
actress said Williams surprised her one night after a performance of her
one-woman show, "Wishful Drinking."
She said he looked lost
and said that he didn't think he was bipolar. He took the test that she gave the
audience and got all the answers right, but didn't think being bipolar was
something that had anything to do with him.
Fisher had known Williams
for years and said she was blown away by his charisma. She said he was the
opposite of selfish, and anything would hurt him or impact him somehow.
Read more: http://johnjayandrich.iheart.com/onair/johnjay-rich-good-bad-and-the-gossip-23245/carrie-fisher-on-robin-williams-he-12669574/#ixzz3B8kvrj9h
This Google Earth image shows the home that
Robin shared with his third wife, Susan Schneider.
It was in this house that Robin was last seen
alive at 10pm on Sunday August 10th. Sometime during that evening/morning,
Robin fastened a belt around his neck and hanged himself. His assistant
discovered his body just before noon on the 11th.
This statement was released.
According to one published
County's assistant chief deputy coroner, Keith Boyd, told a news conference
Williams' personal assistant became concerned at approximately 11:45 am when
he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door," said Boyd. "His right shoulder area was touching
the door with his body perpendicular to the door and slightly suspended. Mr.
Williams at that time was cool to the touch with rigor mortis present in his
body," Boyd added.
also found a pocket knife near Williams and cuts with dried blood on his
wrist that matched the knife blade.
been seeking treatment for depression, Boyd said. He would not discuss if
had left a suicide note.
I read an account that Williams was seated when he offed himself. I asked an expert, the Chief Investigator for
the Los Angeles County Coroner, about this particular technique and how it is
accomplished. Chief Harvey's response:
"When you use a
ligature to asphyxiate yourself, you don't really need to hang suspended as much
as you are restricting the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. We often think
of hanging as breaking the neck...that was the intent in days past when someone
was suspended from a gallows or infamous hangman's tree. The mark of a good
executioner was the person that could guarantee the neck breaking when the body
dropped. Having a person squirm and wiggle as they asphyxiated was bad for
business. All you really need to do is fashion a ligature and apply slight
tension and you will eventually pass out/die. People tie off on door knobs and
just sit down and are successful."
There was a phony Robin Williams morgue shot
making the rounds. It was a convincing hoax. A real photograph, but not Williams,
Williams body was taken to Napa for autopsy and
released the same day.
Autopsy results are pending the results of
toxicology. They keep samples and releas the big stuff for cremation.
His cremains were scattered over the San
1. Drugs can kill you.
2. Booze can kill you.
3. Please don't kill yourself.
Our friend Brian Donnelly took this photograph
of Robin's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Mrs. Doubtfire house in San Francisco
became a shrine.
Wanna see his mailbox?