RIP, Robin Williams: A Comic Genius Lost to Suicide

3 years ago

When I learned that Robin Williams died at his home in Northern California today, I couldn't believe it, so I went online looking for sources to confirm. I found the release by the Marin Sheriff Department, with the heartbreaking phrase that "at this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia."

A portrait from 2002. Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

I saw multiple sources reporting a statement from his press rep:

"Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late," his rep Mara Buxbaum said. "This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."

I found a news story from last month, which I had missed, saying Williams had checked himself into rehab.

But one of the first things that came up in my search was this gag reel from his recently released The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, cracking up on set with Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage:

That's how I want to remember this icon of my childhood.

And the news that he was preparing for a sequel to his most beloved role, Mrs. Doubtfire, just makes it so, so clear: Depression is a terrible disease.

I hear this news and I think of all my friends and colleagues and people I follow who have been so brave to talk about their own experiences. Jenna, and A'Driane, Morgan, Katherine, Elizabeth, Feminista ... and so many more.

And I remember suicidal depression, how it was for me, and I think about how it could be again.

But mostly, today, I remember the genie:

And Mork:

And the witty, warm person he was:

In 2009. Image: © Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA Press

"Oh captain, my captain." Image: © Touchstone Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com

With Mindy. Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

With Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg for Comic Relief. Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

If you need to talk to someone, visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 1-800-273-TALK.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.
comments

More from entertainment

Entertainment
by Julie Sprankles | 31 minutes ago
Entertainment
by Julie Sprankles | 11 hours ago
Entertainment
by Julie Sprankles | 13 hours ago
Entertainment
by Christina Marfice | 18 hours ago
Entertainment
by Christina Marfice | 20 hours ago
Entertainment
by Christina Marfice | a day ago
Entertainment
by Christina Marfice | a day ago
Entertainment
by Christina Marfice | a day ago
Entertainment
by Allie Gemmill | a day ago
Entertainment
by Jessica Hickam | 3 days ago
Entertainment
by Jessica Hickam | 3 days ago
Entertainment
by Shanee Edwards | 3 days ago
Entertainment
by Allyson Koerner | 4 days ago