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Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suicide

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    CALIFORNIA - The Hollywood star Robin Williams was found dead on Monday at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide. He was 63. Marin County Sheriff's Office said it suspected the death was a suicide due to asphyxia, but the cause of death remains under investigation. Williams's third wife Susan Schneider released a statement on Monday night in which she said: "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.” The star’s publicist Mara Buxbaum said Williams had recently been suffering from severe depression.

    Williams, who had struggled with addictions to drink and drugs in the past, had entered a Minnesota rehabilitation centre last month to help him maintain sobriety. His representatives at the time said Williams was not using drugs or alcohol but had gone to the centre to "fine-tune and focus" his sobriety after working a longer-than-usual schedule. The Marin County Sheriff's office said it received an emergency call about midday on Monday, saying that Williams was unconscious and not breathing at his home near Tiburon, north of San Francisco. Local newspapers reported that he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. Fellow comedy star Steve Martin said in a tweet: "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."

    The thrice-married father-of-three was known to millions for his performances in films that ranged from the out and out manic comedy of Mrs Doubtfire, to more thought provoking fare like Dead Poets Society and The Fisher King. In many films, like Good Morning Vietnam, Williams attracted widespread praise by successfully combining his gift for comedy with an exploration of more serious underlying themes. Nominated for the best actor Oscar three times, Williams, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, in which he played the therapist to Matt Damon’s working class maths genius.

    As a stand-up, his explosive, improvisational talent was so hard to match that even the established star Billy Crystal once admitted that following Williams on stage was like trying to top the Civil War. Such was his talent that he was allowed to ad-lib in many of his films – and his quick wit enlivened many a media appearance. During a media tour for the 1990 film "Awakenings," when director Penny Marshall mistakenly described the film as being set in a "menstrual hospital," instead of "mental hospital," Williams had the presence of mind to offer the explanation: "It's a period piece."

    Williams once likened his act to the daily jogs he took across the Golden Gate Bridge. There were times he would look over the edge, one side of him pulling back in fear, the other insisting he could fly. He also said: "Comedy can deal with the fear and still not paralyze you or tell you that it's going away. You say, OK, you got certain choices here, you can laugh at them and then once you've laughed at them and you have expunged the demon, now you can deal with them. That's what I do when I do my act."

    Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams would remember himself as a shy kid who got some early laughs from his mother - by mimicking his grandmother. He opened up more in high school when he joined the drama club. He began his career in stand-up comedy before first achieving widespread fame in the TV sitcom Mork and Mindy. The show ran from 1978 to 1982 and Williams was frequently allowed to indulge his talent for improvised comedy while playing Mork, an alien living on Earth. As Mork and Mindy became increasingly popular, Williams started to reach an even wider audience with a series of televised stand-up comedy shows. During the late Seventies and early Eighties, however, Williams developed an addiction to cocaine.

    Williams was a close friend of the comedian John Belushi who died of a cocaine and heroin overdose in 1982. Williams had enjoyed wild parties with Belushi and subsequently admitted that the death of his friend and the birth of his son prompted him to quit drugs: "Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level.” On August 9, 2006, however, Williams checked himself into a rehab centre, later admitting he was an alcoholic. His publicist announced: “After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family.” Williams, though, appeared to have recovered well enough to joke, on a recent tour: "I went to rehab in wine country. To keep my options open."

    In March 2009 Williams was also hospitalised by heart problems, and had to undergo surgery to surgery to replace his aortic valve. A keen charity fundraiser Williams had, with his second wife, Marsha, founded the Windfall Foundation, to raise money for a wide variety of causes. As tributes poured in from stars around the world, the Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey tweeted: “Robin Williams made the world laugh & think. I will remember & honour that. A great man, artist and friend. I will miss him beyond measure.” Steve Carell, the star of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the US version of The Office, simply wrote: “Robin Williams made the world a little bit better. RIP.” An autopsy is due to take place on Tuesday.

    The Independent / August 12, 2014


    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Alien Sex Fiend
    Re: Depressed, Comic Genius Robin Williams, 63, Commits Suicide

    he hanged himself at lunch break
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: Depressed, Comic Genius Robin Williams, 63, Commits Suicide

    Robin Williams is genius on all creative levels; his painfully funny human observations and truisms will remain culturally priceless long after his death.

    I cannot count how many times I've sat and watched this man perform and thought, "He's so bright and plugged-in alive that it's almost terrifying. The emotions just keeps writhing up out of him, like some great eruption of human experience that you must witness to grasp--the highs, way-way high; the lows, the-bottom-rung low, accompanied by a buzzing, itchy kind of fervor always underlying his demeanor, which struck me like that of a naughty, old elf. In-your-face funny humor was Williams's claim to fame. Laugh yourself out of oxygen funny was what he delivered--in spades.

    But watching him create could be exhausting, and wind up an actual physical experience--right along with him. For his family. His friends and associates. And, likely, for he himself, Robin Williams was a lot of person to be around full-time. I will miss his being with us terribly. But what a gift he has given us in the hundreds of hours of great comedy and drama that are left us to remember him by. That crazy kid from Chicgo will be fondly missed by all.

    "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."

    "Reality: What a concept!"

    --Robin Williams
  3. Name goes here
    Re: Depressed, Comic Genius Robin Williams, 63, Commits Suicide

    The guy was a creative genius who's natural ability to view the world for what it is was unparalleled. A true loss.
  4. prescriptionperil
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    He's stated the perceived mania was a stage persona, but his depression was quite real. I recall seeing him in a restaurant in NYC. He was great at impov. He also was in rehab this summer, likely for alcoholism. Depression and alcohol can get ugly.

    Just sad.

    RIP Robin.
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    Robin Williams...R.I.P....A terrible loss...
  6. Szandbwoy
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    R.I.P. Mrs Doubtfire. At least we've got Frank Maloney to carry on the tradition of 'man in drag' in Robin Williams' memory.
  7. MindIsGlowing
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    :( This is just bad. Depression is a monster, and so is alcoholism. This world is not right, when such a splendid soul as his only can make it 63 years. Here is hoping that more research and better treatments is funded.
  8. Beenthere2Hippie
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    [IMGL=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=39901&stc=1&d=1408327016[/IMGL]The sadness of the clown is an old showbusiness irony. The death of the clown is even sadder. But Robin Williams was no ordinary clown, he was a clown in the round, a master of the one-liner, of verbal riff, mimicry, disguise, facial distortion, fury and hilarity. He made them laugh and he made them cry. He had the gift of enhancing the lives of others, yet he could not handle one person’s life, his own. Only last month Williams was admitted back into a rehab centre in Minnesota.

    Williams’ presumed suicide is receiving the same scrutiny as the recent deaths of other celebrity addicts such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Peaches Geldof. Addictive substances appeared to be the way in which these well-known people coped with the pressure of life. In that, they are no different from thousands of non-celebrities subject to even greater pressure. Yet it seems inexplicable that their addiction should be immune to personal success, the care of a loving family and all the therapies money could buy.

    Physical illness is something the medical profession understands. It knows what to do when the human body malfunctions and what not to do. Mental illness, if illness is the right word, seems lost in some dark age. Otherwise healthy people with every reason to be happy are found wrestling with private demons. Therapists wander the scene like surgeons on a medieval battlefield, at a loss for what to do.

    Williams appeared to have recovered from cocaine addiction but not from alcohol. He had been in and out of rehabilitation. In a remarkably frank interview in the Guardian four years ago, he was eager to discuss his problems lucidly. He was a regular member of probably the most successful therapy in existence, Alcoholics Anonymous, with its emphasis on non-judgmental group support. There was no help that Williams and others like him could not and did not receive. It failed.

    All illness is a great leveller, but none levels like mental illness. It remains the poor relation of medicine. Research is paltry. Therapies are halfhearted. Drugs are primitive. But addictive and depressive illness seems to probe deep into the relations between individuals and those around them. It is the crack in the window that can seem beyond mending. The sadness of the clown goes beyond irony. It is one of the great mysteries of life.

    The Guardian/ August 12, 2014


    Newshawk Crew
  9. RobinWilliams:My Hero
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    Wherever he is,i bet my bottom dollar that its a better place.RIP,you're my hero.
  10. Beenthere2Hippie
    Parkinson's Drug Tied To William's Suicide?

    [IMGL=white]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=39902&stc=1&d=1408327090[/IMGL]Fellow comic Rob Schneider claimed suicide is "one of the side effects" of medication used to treat the condition which attacks the brain.

    Schneider, 50, fuelled a growing belief that the Parkinson's diagnosis was a factor which helped push him towards suicide. He Tweeted: "Now that we can talk about it, Robin Williams was on a drug treating the symptoms of Parkinson's. One of the side effects is suicide." His remarks come amid rumours that the Oscar winner's family also believe his medication was to blame for adding to his depression.

    Meanwhile yesterday, grieving relatives of the Mrs Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting star were said to be gathering in California for a private funeral. Williams' third wife Susan Sneider - unrelated to Rob - was thought to be planning a low-key service at his home, attended by his three children and other close relatives. One source said: "The funeral will be private and small for family and very close friends only. There will be larger memorials in Los Angeles and New York at a later date." The actor, who took his own life last weekend, aged 63, had suffered from severe depression and had only been recently diagnosed with Parkinsons.

    But while friends say the diagnosis had not left him suicidal, Parkinsons' experts say treatment often increases the intensity of the patient's depression. A Hollywood source said: "Robin had recently left rehab. He was on medication for anxiety and depression and had also started taking drugs to combat the early onset of Parkinson's. "Many of these drugs list suicidal thoughts as a possible side effect. A lot of Robin's friends are convinced that the cocktail of prescription pills he was on somehow contributed to his mental state deteriorating as quickly as it did. "Robin had always suffered from depression and addiction but the diagnosis and treatment of his Parkinson's was new, as was the combination of drugs he was on."

    Dr Jeff Bronstein, a neurologist specialising in Parkinson's, said: "Obviously getting the diagnosis can make people depressed. "But we also know there is a much higher incidence of depression even before the disease is recognised. We think it's one of the early symptoms." Schneider, who starred in hit movies Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Hot Chick, had been friends with Williams for more than 20 years. Both stand-up comedians as well as actors, they first met while appearing simultaneously on US TV show Saturday Night Live.

    Williams killed himself at the family home in Tiburon, while spending the night in a separate room from his wife, because he suffered from insomnia.

    The Sun Express / August 17, 2014


    The Newshawk Crew
  11. Phungushead
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    So sad.

    Serves as a reminder to us all that no matter how 'perfect' and great someone's life may appear from the outside, it could in fact be crumbling on the inside.

    Because whatever they may have - the fame, the money, the possessions, the friends - they may still be missing something.

    Because what we don't realize is sometimes their outward appearance is the only thing in their life that they do have control over.

    And in reality, everything could be falling apart for them, and they're fighting a battle in their own mind, just trying to hold it all together...

  12. breedyman
    Re: Robin Williams dies: Hollywood's comic genius found dead aged 63 in apparent suic

    So sad, was a part of my childhood as growing up :( you will always be a film legend!!

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