July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014
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 convincing.
When he was sinister, he sold it well. Very 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 shit.
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. Exhausting? deffo.
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.
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 report:
Marin County’s assistant chief deputy coroner, Keith Boyd, told a news conference
“Mr. 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.
Officials also found a pocket knife near Williams and cuts with dried blood on his wrist that matched the knife blade.
Williams had 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 Francisco Bay.
- Drugs can kill you.
- Booze can kill you.
- 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?
9 thoughts on “Robin Williams”
Robin Williams, Errol Flynn, Jim Carrey. All members of the herpes club
Diana Morgan, the author of the comment above about LBD, is absolutely correct. Here is an article that was written by his wife Susan a couple of years after Robin’s death: https://n.neurology.org/content/87/13/1308. I reread it from time to time to remind myself how devastating brain diseases can be for the patient and the patient’s family alike.
I still miss him. I’m a little curious why this says he left his first wife for the babysitter though. I just watched a documentary on Amazon about him. His first wife was interviewed and she said Robin DIDN’T cheat on her or leave her for their nanny. They were already broken up but hadn’t announced it. She said one of her biggest regrets was that she let the media paint him as a cheater when he wasn’t. She just didn’t like publicity and always kept her mouth shut to the press because that’s how she always handled those things. It seems unfair to keep blaming him even in death for something that he didn’t actually do.
You knew that he didn’t cheat on her because you watched a documentary about Robin Williams. Scott, the owner of findadeath, probably hasn’t seen it and was led to believe, like most people, that he left his wife for the nanny. You even said his ex-wife helped perpetuate the lie by not correcting the reports. So not everyone knows.
may you rest in peace robin williams
I don’t remember if I hallucinated this but I remember clearly reading an article about how it wasn’t depression exactly but something else had taken over him. It was an interview given by his wife in which she described hallucinations and lapse of memory. I cannot find the article but I feel like I saw it on a snapchat story??? Anyways your website is cool! Keep up the good work!
He had Lewy Body Dementia. Lewy bodies are abnormal protein deposits in the brain. LBD is the second most common form of dementia, after Alzheimer’s. Lewy body dementia can cause a wide range of problems such as disturbances of cognition, behavior, sleep, movement and autonomic function, paranoia and hallucinations. When Mr. Williams’ autopsy was conducted, his brain was apparently teeming with them. He may have been an undiagnosed bipolar and he certainly had issues with depression, but he was also showing some odd behavior changes, such as hiding his watch collection in socks and taking them to a friend’s house so they could be hidden from people who wanted to steal them. His widow’s comment on the results of the autopsy was that it was “illuminating “. Who knows what was going on in his brain, or what he might have been seeing or hearing that made suicide seem like the best option? Someone I knew with LBD had spells when she couldn’t put her feet on the floor because she thought the floor was on fire. LBD doesn’t get better with time. It’s a harsh way to go.
His house is back on the market as of 4/28/20
Somebody bought it…at a reduced price. I personally don’t think I could handle living in a home where someone I grew up watching ended their life.