Despite the untimely passing of comedian Robin Williams more than seven years ago, his spirit and legacy live on in our hearts.
Williams’s death shocked the entire globe, and many people thought that his choice to take his own life was motivated by drug usage and depression.
But as it turns out, Robin Williams’ terrible death was actually caused by something quite else. Susan Schneider Williams, Robin’s widow, made the decision to come clean about what truly killed her husband.
When legendary comedian Robin Williams passed away in 2014, the world lost one of the greatest comedy minds. Robin was known for being an all-around hilarious guy, a family man, and a genuinely kind person.
Through his iconic parts in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, and Good Morning Vietnam, he won the admiration of fans all around the world.
People who knew him in person observed that he was equally humorous off-camera and that he could make the most of his talent to cheer up those who needed it the most.The adored actor had three marriages and three children.
In June 1976, Williams first met Valeria Velardi. Williams was just a regular San Francisco bartender at the time and wasn’t particularly well-known.
“He was bartending. He had a French accent, offered me a drink, chatted me up and was absolutely delightful,” Valeria said in 2018.
“He asked me for a ride home. He was speaking French and I was teasing him and we had a kiss. And I just knew I was going to see him again”.
The pair was married in 1978 and had a kid named Zack in 1983.
Williams and Valeria split up in 1988. Marsha Garces, the actor’s son’s nanny, was the subject of allegations that the two were having an affair, but Valeria has since denied this. That being said, Williams wed Marsha after the divorce.
While she was expecting, the pair were married in 1989.
Zelda was born in 1989, and Cody was born in 1991, to Robin and Marsha. Sadly, Robin’s second marriage was likewise destined for failure. 2008 saw Marsha file for divorce, alleging irreconcilable differences.
Then, Susan Schneider, Robin’s soul partner, entered his life three years after his second divorce. In the latter part of 2007, she first encountered the well-known comedian in a nearby Apple store, where they had a brief exchange.
“I walked in and saw this man and I thought: ‘I think that’s Robin Williams. ‘ Then on my way out I happened to look at him again and he was smiling at me and something inside me said: ‘Oh, just go over and say hi’, Susan said.
In 2011, they got married. The luxurious resort Meadowood in California’s Napa Valley served as the venue for the wedding.
The little wedding had about 120 guests, including family, close friends, and neighbors.
Susan and Robin had a clear vision for how they wanted their big day to turn out. It was a far cry from the glitter and grandeur one might often associate with celebrity weddings in Hollywood because no big stars were present.
Susan and Robin also came up with their own vows. The ceremony included tributes to Robin’s mother and brother, both of whom had already passed away. The actor requested that the pastor read aloud St. Francis of Assisi’s Prayer.
”The wedding day was very beautiful – they were very much in love and very quiet. Both Robin and Susan were very actively involved with the preparation of the ceremony,” the minister who married the lovebirds explained.
Susan and Robin resided in San Francisco Bay’s upscale Sea Cliff district. The 7,170 square foot mansion in the Mediterranean contemporary style featured a stunning view of the water, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands.
Although it appeared that Robin and Susan were content and had everything on the outside, we now know that their love was put to the test as Robin battled his inner demons.
His professional career was also impacted by his worsening health. Williams, who made his final on-screen appearance in Night at the Museum 3 in 2014, struggled to memorize single lines. Robin, who was renowned for memorizing dozens of lines and giving excellent performances, was perplexed as to why he was suddenly unable to learn basic lines.
“Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it,” Schneider Williams explained in 2016.
“Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating? And not from something he would ever know the name of, or understand? Neither he, nor anyone could stop it – no amount of intelligence or love could hold it back.”
Although Robin had his problems, Susan was always there for him, and they had a very honest relationship. Their relationship and love grew stronger with each passing year as they frequently recounted their achievements, setbacks, and worst worries.
Unfortunately, Susan was missing key information and was unable to completely comprehend the reasons behind her soulmate’s difficulties. Although Susan was in many ways helpless, they were nevertheless able to share some wonderful moments in Robin’s final months.
The failing actor was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s disease just before he passed away, which raised more concerns, frustrations, and unsettling ideas in Robin’s mind. Doctors had given Robin just three years to live.
“What he was going through didn’t match one to one [with] many Parkinson’s patient’s experiences. So, I think that was hard for him,” Robin Williams’ son Zak said in Max Lugavere’s “The Genius Life” podcast.
“There was a focus issue that frustrated him; there were issues associated with how he felt, and also from a neurological perspective, he didn’t feel great. He was very uncomfortable.”
The full truth wouldn’t come to light until after his passing, and the world only got a taste of what Robin was facing. The coroner’s report was made public three months after the famed comic passed away.
According to the story, Robin battled Lewy body dementia for a considerable amount of time prior to his passing in August 2014. Robin’s widow made the decision to step up and inform the public about what really killed her husband in her first interview after he went away.
“Lewy body dementia killed Robin. It’s what what took his life. Depression was a small piece of the pie of what was going on… really, what was overriding that more than depression was anxiety. And the anxiety was huge,” she said.
The late actor must have experienced agony during his final months of life, according to the actor’s doctors. One of the most severe cases of Lewy body dementia that doctors had ever encountered was his.
“Lewy body dementia is a devastating illness. It’s a killer. It is fast, it’s progressive,” Dr. Bruce Miller, director Memory and Aging at the University of California San Francisco.
Susan was finally able to fill in many blanks and comprehend why Robin behaved the way he did after finding out about her husband’s condition.
“I was relieved it had a name. Robin and I had gone through this experience together, really being chased by an invisible monster. And it was like whack-a-mole with the symptoms. I left there with a name of the disease, the thing that Robin and I had been searching for,” she said.
Robin Williams was discovered dead in his bedroom at his Paradise Cay, California, home on August 11, 2014. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office determined that suffocation by hanging was the cause of death.
When Susan recalled her final discussion with her husband in an emotional interview in 2015, tears streamed down her cheeks.Robin was about to check into a place for neuropsychological testing a week before he passed away.
Robin had requested a foot massage from Susan the night before he passed away. Of course, Susan couldn’t have known what was about to happen and turned down the offer.
She will never forget his sorrowful eyes and vacant stare. Then he departed. He repeatedly entered the space and uttered, “Good night, my love,” to which Susan replied, “Good night, my love.”
They were his last words to her, and her last to him.
Susan revealed in later interviews that she has forgiven Robin and doesn’t hold Robin responsible for taking his life. She was aware that his remaining years were limited and that they would have been difficult. She was by her husband’s side that terrible day when emergency personnel entered the home and attempted to save him.
“And I just wanted to see my husband. And I got to see him … and I got to pray with him. And I got to tell him, ‘I forgive you 50 billion percent, with all my heart. You’re the bravest man I’ve ever known.’ You know, we were living a nightmare,” Susan said.
However, we do know that Robin’s body was cremated at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Anselmo. It is unknown if Robin’s family arranged a private funeral for him.His ashes were strewn over San Francisco Bay on August 21. The actor had adored the place where he had spent over 50 years of his life and felt most at peace.
Every time someone takes their own life, it is sad. Even though I believe that people should never go that far, I can sometimes see why.
It’s a shame no one knew what was exactly was happening to Robin. He was one of the greatest actors and comedians ever, but more important he was a great person!
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