It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade since the world lost one of the most incredible comedians it’s ever seen. Beloved actor Robin Williams died in August 2014 at age 63 after suffering from Lewy body dementia. His death shocked the world and his adoring fans who recalled the many times the actor left an unforgettable mark on screen and in their hearts. He would’ve turned 71 today, on July 21. Williams had a rare presence: a talented actor with so much soul that he could make viewers roll on the floor with laughter and also move them to tears.
The comedian’s widow Susan Williams opened up about his passing and the real cause of his death in the hopes that it could help others suffering from the same condition that her husband had been fighting. Just before his death, Williams showed his true, caring side as he spent a weekend doing things his wife enjoyed. “We did all the things we love on Saturday day and into the evening, it was perfect—like one long date. By the end of Sunday, I was feeling that he was getting better.” But he never did. “It was not depression that killed Robin. Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one,” she told PEOPLE.
😢On this day Robin Williams, American actor and comedian would have turned 71.
Good Morning, Vietnam – Dir. Barry Levinson
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— Cinema Frame By Frame (@CinemaFBF) July 21, 2022
Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) which causes anxiety, delusions and impaired movement started taking a toll on the actor in the last year before his death. Susan wrote described his condition as a “terrorist inside my husband’s brain.” “Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it. Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating?” she wrote in Neurology. “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.” The grieving widow hoped to raise awareness about LBD so that other lives may be saved.
Susan Williams speak out about Robin Williams battle with Lewy Body dementia: https://t.co/LuFrgt4FVd
— Teepa Snow (@teepasnow) November 3, 2015
Describing the actor’s last words, she wrote: When we retired for sleep, in our customary way, my husband said to me, “Goodnight, my love,” and waited for my familiar reply: “Goodnight, my love.” His words still echo through my heart today. Monday, August 11, Robin was gone. After Robin left, time has never functioned the same for me. My search for meaning has replicated like an inescapable spring throughout nearly every aspect of my world, including the most mundane.
In 2013, a year before his death, the Aladdin star took part in a question and answer session on the social media site Reddit. According to CNN, he said he believed that the key to life was “family and friends. And a good pet. For pure loyalty there is nothing like a pug” and for whoever going through tough times, they should “reach out to friends. They’re out there. And know that you are loved.”
Rest in peace, Robin Williams.
If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is, please contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433).
Cover Image Source: Photo by Theo Wargo | Getty Images
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