Robin Williams, July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014 | You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
Robin Williams Dies of Suspected Suicide after Long Struggle With Addiction
Robin Williams was found “unconscious and not breathing” just before noon Monday inside his home in Tiburon, California. He was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. after emergency personnel arrived. He 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.
Williams, a four-time Oscar nominee, won a supporting actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting for his portrayal of a wise and morose psychologist. He most recently starred in CBS’ comedy The Crazy Ones, which lasted only one season. He was nominated for a People’s Choice Award for his role as an advertising executive on the comedy, in which Sarah Michelle Gellar played his daughter.
Williams died Monday, and his older son, Zack Williams, said, “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.”
Zelda Williams, his daughter, commented, “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.” Williams had expressed his love for Zelda in a tweet on the occasion of her 25th birthday on July 31, and she added, “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.”
She continued, “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.”
Cody Williams, his younger son, testified, “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.”
Marsha Garces Williams, Williams’ second wife and mother to Zelda and Cody, added, “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.”
In a previously release statement, Susan Schneider, Williams’ current wife, offered her thoughts: “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. 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 the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
David Steinberg, his manager of 35 years said “Nobody made the world laugh like Robin Williams. My brother, my friend, my soulmate, I will miss you.”
Perhaps it was that unrelenting stream of emotion that led Williams down a difficult path with substance abuse, she said. The comedian had been open in various interviews over the years about his struggles with alcohol and cocaine, as well as stints in rehab.
Williams checked himself in to a renewal center just a few weeks ago, but his battle with addiction dated back more than 30 years. He struggled with cocaine and alcohol abuse in the early ’80s, after his rise to fame on Mork & Mindy.
“Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down,”Williams told People in 1988.
Williams was even with John Belushi during the Saturday Night Live star’s all-night cocaine and heroin binge that led to his fatal overdose.
Belushi’s death and Williams’ then-wife Valerie‘s pregnancy with the couple’s son, Zack, forced the comedian to quit cocaine and alcohol cold turkey.
“The Belushi tragedy was frightening,” Williams told People. “His death scared a whole group of show-business people. It caused a big exodus from drugs. And for me, there was the baby coming. I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life.”