July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014
You’re only given a little spark ofmadness. You mustn’t lose it.
In my career I’ve learned a lot about peopleand how they deal with grief. There’s no judging it. Grief, likedepression, is a personal thing.
Sometimes a celebrity’s death affectspeople deeply. Williams is one of those people.
I think a lot of it has to do with a certainage group – a new generation, dealing with this sort of thing for the first time.
People had their JFK, their Diana, their BradRenfro 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 wasfunny,we laughed. When he was serious, he wasconvincing.
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 Reliefcharity. When his good friend Christopher Reeve had his tragic ridingaccident and became a quadriplegic, Williams took over his medical expenseswhen Reeve’s insurance ran out. He also provided financial support toReeve’s widow and son.
Williams had his fair share of personaldemons. Alcohol, cocaine, depression. Money doesn’t buy mentalhealth. It can help, but sometimes all the rehabs in the world can’t doshit.
According to Williams’ wife, Robin had recentlybeen diagnosed with Parkinsons.
I saw Williams once on Rodeo Drive in BeverlyHills. He was with his second wife, the babysitter he left his first wifefor. Second wife was walking around with a pissed off look shooting thestink eye at everyone around them. If you’ve ever been in a relationshipwith a famous person you might know that look.
I know people that had personal experienceswith Williams. That manic behavior? By most accounts, he neverturned it off. At least not in front of others. I don’t know what hewas like in an intimate setting. Talented? Absolutely yes. Exhausting? deffo.
Here’s a paragraph I found about Robin andCarrie Fisher. She’s very good about mental illness.
Carrie Fisher says RobinWilliams opened up to her about bipolar disorder.
The “Star Wars”actress said Williams surprised her one night after a performance of herone-woman show, “Wishful Drinking.”
She said he looked lostand said that he didn’t think he was bipolar. He took the test that she gave theaudience and got all the answers right, but didn’t think being bipolar wassomething that had anything to do with him.
Fisher had known Williamsfor years and said she was blown away by his charisma. She said he was theopposite of selfish, and anything would hurt him or impact him somehow.
This Google Earth image shows the home thatRobin shared with his third wife, Susan Schneider.
It was in this house that Robin was last seenalive at 10pm on Sunday August 10th. Sometime during that evening/morning,Robin fastened a belt around his neck and hanged himself. His assistantdiscovered his body just before noon on the 11th.
This statement was released.
According to one publishedreport:
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 matchedthe 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 forthe Los Angeles County Coroner, about this particular technique and how it isaccomplished. Chief Harvey’s response:
“When you use aligature to asphyxiate yourself, you don’t really need to hang suspended as muchas you are restricting the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain. We often thinkof hanging as breaking the neck…that was the intent in days past when someonewas suspended from a gallows or infamous hangman’s tree. The mark of a goodexecutioner was the person that could guarantee the neck breaking when the bodydropped. Having a person squirm and wiggle as they asphyxiated was bad forbusiness. All you really need to do is fashion a ligature and apply slighttension and you will eventually pass out/die. People tie off on door knobs andjust sit down and are successful.”
There was a phony Robin Williams morgue shotmaking the rounds. It was a convincing hoax. A real photograph, but not Williams,
Williams body was taken to Napa for autopsy andreleased 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 SanFrancisco Bay.
1. Drugs can kill you.
2. Booze can kill you.
3. Please don’t kill yourself.
Our friend Brian Donnelly took this photographof Robin’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Mrs. Doubtfire house in San Franciscobecame a shrine.
Wanna see his mailbox?