Five years ago, Robin Williams left his family and fans. He was a gifted actor who had magic within him. He taught us that people may look fine, but they may be fighting a battle within themselves. We miss you, Robin!
Time and tide wait for none, not even for the grieving souls. It has been five years since the world and the entertainment industry lost an absolute gem, one that they haven't gotten around to replacing, yet. When we think of the actor, the first image that pops up is of him, grinning from ear to ear.
His ever-iconic role as Mrs. Doubtfire is something all of us still laugh about when we need something to cheer us up. With a career that spanned more than 40 years, the 63-year-old star created magic on screen. On August 11, 2014, the father-of-three was found dead at his California home. No one ever imagined that this was how Robin Williams would bid adieu to the world.
Remembering Robin Williams 5 years after his passing... pic.twitter.com/ewifyxjeQV— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) August 11, 2019
Acting came effortlessly to him, and Robin Williams could switch between the personalities of the comic characters that he created for himself, and he hid his true feelings and emotions behind that of his characters', which is probably why even the people who were close to him could never tell what was really going through his mind. He was an excellent actor and he acted all through his life, even when it came to his own feelings.
Remembering Robin Williams, who died on this day five years ago. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/kXwAJMAPZh— People (@people) August 11, 2019
"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,'" wrote his wife, Susan Schneider Williams about the night before he took away his own life, published in Neurology.
"His words still echo through my heart today. Monday, August 11, Robin was gone." It was only after Robin's death that Susan found out that he was exhibiting symptoms of Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).
Robin Williams, whose free-form comedy and adept impressions dazzled audiences for decades, died Aug. 11, 2014, at age 63. https://t.co/Psh0YTaFU7— Wisconsin State Journal (@WiStateJournal) August 11, 2019
In the days that led up to his death, his wife and the people around him saw that Robin Williams was slowly losing the spark that made him the man that he was, the one that made him stand out in a crowd.
When he was shooting the third film in the Night at the Museum series, it was reported that he couldn't even remember a single line. By the end of each day, he was left devastated to see how he was losing himself.
Remembering Robin Williams... 1951 - 2014. You made that dash spectacular. Thanks for the laughter and the tears and all you left behind... 💔 pic.twitter.com/QajhFmbhbN— Mary Denton 🏴🇳🇱🇪🇺 (@zephyrdenton) August 11, 2019
“He was sobbing in my arms at the end of every day. It was horrible. Horrible,” makeup artist Cheri Minns recalled, according to New York Post. “I said to his people, ‘I’m a makeup artist. I don’t have the capacity to deal with what’s happening to him.’" So, Cheri suggested that he go back to stand-up comedy to boost his confidence, but instead, she saw a man who had completely given up on himself.
“He just cried and said, ‘I can’t, Cheri. I don’t know how anymore. I don’t know how to be funny,’" Cheri Minns recalled. In September 2013, CBS premiered The Crazy Ones, and people thought this would be the actor's big comeback, but they soon realized he'd somehow lost his magic.
While people thought he was just exhausted, the beloved comedian was losing his mind to what his wife described as a "terrorist inside my husband's brain".
Five years on and remembering the brilliant Robin Williams today. Loved his comedy and enjoyed all his films. He brought a lot of fun to the world which we don’t seem to see so much of any more. #RobinWilliams— Philip Morris (@phil500) August 11, 2019
Soon after, his anxiety and fear started getting worse, which wasn't like him. With time, he grew more and more frustrated, losing weight and having sleepless nights. Even his booming voice had turned weak and "he hated that he could not find the words he wanted in conversations," his wife explained.
"Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it. Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating?" his wife wrote. "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."
💔Remembering beloved comedian Robin Williams on the 5th anniversary of his death. pic.twitter.com/jLtAeTfMa7— CBC (@CBC) August 11, 2019
He felt powerless and was gradually sinking deeper and deeper into his symptoms. But, he did not let anyone know that he was suffering. "In Robin's case, on top of being a genius, he was a Julliard-trained actor. I will never know the true depth of his suffering, nor just how hard he was fighting," she added. "But from where I stood, I saw the bravest man in the world playing the hardest role of his life."
However, with so much pain, he tried to hold on to himself. Susan Schneider Williams wrote, "...we sprinkled those summer months with happiness, joy, and the simple things we loved: meals and birthday celebrations with family and friends, meditating together, massages, and movies, but mostly just holding each other's hand."
Even in the days just before he took his own life, the actor gave his wife a weekend that was filled with the things they enjoyed doing together.
Remembering the great Robin Williams, who died on this day 5 years ago. pic.twitter.com/QabqgVfLPs— Clayton Baker🥋 (@IGIF_) August 11, 2019
"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," she wrote.
And they went on to sleep their usual way, but when Robin Williams went to sleep after that weekend, he never woke up again. “It was not depression that killed Robin,” she told People. “Depression was one of let’s call it 50 symptoms and it was a small one.”
Remembering Robin Williams today. pic.twitter.com/TzJmd20pDK— Gary L. Thomas (@GaryLThomas1) August 11, 2019
Ever since his death, the actor's wife has been trying to understand what really was the reason for him to take such a drastic step. She's learned more so much more about LBD, but only after his death.
Susan wrote, "After Robin left, time has never functioned the same for me." She hopes that her husband's case, which was an extreme case of LBD, might help people know more and learn more about it, hopefully, save other lives before it's too late.