Robin Williams: actor, comedian, philanthropist. But it was his role offscreen, as a family man, that he held closest to his heart.
At the age of 63, the comedic icon was found inside his home after hanging himself with a belt.
In her first interview since her husband’s death in August 2014, Susan Schneider Williams bravely opened about her husband’s demons — and the complicated diagnosis she says ultimately led to his untimely death.
Susan also shared her husband’s final words to her, and they are nothing short of tear-jerking…
Robin Williams will forever be known as one of the funniest and most talented performers in the history of American entertainment.
Offscreen, Robin was a dedicated family man with three beloved children.
The multitalented actor and comedian was also an incredible philanthropist.
His appreciation for the Army, and for the men and women who serve overseas, always had a profound effect on him.
Robin always jumped at the chance to perform for the USO.
Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide in August 2014.
Mara Wilson, who played Robin’s youngest daughter in the hit movie Mrs Doubtfire, shared a touching tribute to her fallen hero.
“Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant. While it can be hard for me to remember filming Doubtfire, I’ve been flooded with memories in the past few days.”
“It’s humbling to know I am one of the few people who was there for these moments, that he’s no longer around to share them.”
The Academy tweeted out a tear-jerking meme in Robin’s honour.
It went viral with 330,683 retweets.
Three months after his death, Robin’s third wife and grieving widow, Susan Schneider Williams, sat down with Good Morning America for her first interview.
She bravely shed light on her husband’s demons and complicated diagnosis.
In the months before his death, Susan said she watched her husband “disintegrate” before her eyes.
There was one time she discovered him in the bathroom with a bloody wound he sustained after hitting his head.
“I miscalculated,” he told her.
Susan says it wasn’t depression that was the main cause of his suicide — it was Lewy Body Dementia.
Lewy Body is a type of dementia that can result in slowed motor symptoms, depression, and hallucination.
Susan likened the complicated illness to “chemical warfare in the brain.”
Susan broke down in tears as she shared the last words Robin said to her before he died.
“I was getting in bed and he came in the room a couple of times… and he said, ‘Goodnight, my love.’
“And then, he came back again. He came out with his iPad, and he looked like he had something to do.
“And that was like, ‘I think he’s getting better.’
“And then, he said ‘Goodnight, goodnight.’
“That was the last.’”
Two years after his death, Susan Schneider Williams published an essay for the medical journal Neurology, entitled, “The terrorist inside my husband’s brain.”
“At times, he would find himself stuck in a frozen stance, unable to move, and frustrated when he came out of it,” she wrote.
“He was beginning to have trouble with visual and spatial abilities in the way of judging distance and depth. His loss of basic reasoning just added to his growing confusion.”
Susan now works to spread awareness about Lewy Body Disease (LBD).
She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Brain Foundation.
Gone, but never forgotten.
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