It was a sad day in Hollywood Monday, Aug. 11, when reports of the tragic death of Robin Williams, 63, shook the lives of many. According to the Marin County’s Sheriff Office Coroner Division, Williams was found dead by his personal assistant in his Tiburon, Calif. home Monday morning slightly suspended in a sitting position. He died of asphyxia due to hanging according to The Marin County Sheriff’s Department. There were chemical substances found in his system at the time of passing, but police are waiting for a toxicology report which won’t be available for 2-6 weeks. Police have said the investigation is still going on and a time of death has not been specified. Police are also reporting his wife was the last person to see the 63-year-old alive. Funeral arrangements have not been made public yet. For the full description of his death click here. [The details are graphic and may be disturbing to many].
E! News recently obtained the late actor’s official death certificate which revealed that Williams was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the San Francisco Bay on Aug. 12, one day after his death. E! reported that family members were seen arriving in town for what they were told would be a private memorial planned by the actor’s widow Susan Schneider during the week of his death in the Bay area. A source told E! Aug. 13, “It’s not official yet, but that’s the plan. It will be small. They were both very private people.”
Shortly after Williams’ death more news leaked as to what could have been a contributor to his passing. The late actor’s wife released a statement, which was posted by E!, about one of the hurdles he faced that the world had no knowledge of. She said, “Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety, as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly. It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”
The Oscar Winner left behind a wife and three children. Just hours after his death his daughter, Zelda Williams, 25, took to Instagram [handle: zeldawilliams] to post a heart wrenching quote that read, “You – you alone will have the stars as no one else has them…” she wrote. “In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You – only you will have stars that can laugh.” Zelda concluded by adding the words, “I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up, Z.” The post is a quote from the book, The Little Prince. An insider told E!, “She [Zelda] is devastated. He father was everything to her. They were so very close. She worshipped her father and he just adored her. She is such an amazing strong girl and everyone just loves her so much.” Zelda, who is Robins’ daughter with his second wife, Marsha Garces, is also an actress and not his only child. Williams has two other boys, Zachary Williams, 31 and Cody Williams, 22 with his first wife, Valerie Velardi.
Robins’ Past with Addiction…
Williams has always been open about his past struggles with depression and addiction. E! reveals in the last few decades, he has spoken candidly about his sobriety, falling off the wagon and how his addictions have led to the demise of at least one of his marriages. According to E!, he once told People magazine in 1988, “Cocaine for me was once a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down. There was a baby coming, I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life.” E! explained, “He admitted that he quit both cocaine and alcohol cold turkey in 1982 when his first wife was pregnant with their son, Zak.” E! reported, “Williams remained sober for nearly 20 years, and in 2006 he check himself into treatment center for alcohol addiction.” But, the star was still open about his struggles. He candidly spoke with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Mirror, Parade and WTF With Marc Manon over the years in detail about his addiction. Read his candid moments here. E! reports, “The Grammy Winner most recently checked into a treatment center to maintain his sobriety.”
Films he will Leave Behind…
With an incredible track record of films like Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting and animated features, like Aladdin and Happy Feet, Williams will not only be leaving behind family and fans, but four new movies to be released in 2014 and 2015. He starred in Merry Friggin Christmas alongside names like Joel McHale, Candice Bergen and many more, to be released Nov. 7. The talented actor reprised his role as Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb alongside Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and many more, to premiere Dec. 19. He starred in the movie Boulevard, a drama that was released earlier this year but has yet to maintain theatrical distribution. Continuing his career of animated films, Williams voiced the animated character of Dennis the Dog in Absolutely Anything alongside Kate Beckinsale and Simon Pegg, which is set to hit theaters in 2015. E! revealed, prior to his death, Williams met with screenwriter, David Berenbaum, because 20th Century Fox had been developing a sequel to his 1993 hit, Mrs.Doubtfire.
Two weeks before his death was the last time Robin Williams took to Instagram. He posted a #tbt photo of his daughter Zelda and himself, paying tribute to her 25th birthday. By the caption, which read, “#tbt and Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl! Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!,” it was evident the two were very close. Due to recent haters and negative comments about her father’s death and herself, Zelda has decided to quit Twitter and Instagram. Read the full story here. The horrible bullying caught the attention of Twitter vice president of trust and safety, Del Harvey. E! reported that Harvey released a statement saying, “We will not tolerate this nature of abuse on Twitter. We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our polices that regard self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.”
After his official cause of death was released, Robins’ family broke their silence. E! posted the statements that were released by the local police department. Read their words here.
A beautiful tribute [posted by E!] was held at this week’s 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, led by the Oscar Winners good friend, Billy Crystal. His longtime friend took the stage at the Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre to tell funny stories and share wonderful memories of Williams. Right after he spoke a montage of hilarious moments of Williams played for the audience. Once the montage ended the screen faded to black for a moment of silence before going to commercial. It was a beautiful way to pay tribute to the late star.
Williams loved video games. He even named his daughter after the popular video game character, Zelda of the Legend of Zelda series. On the same day of his death a Change.org petition was started to name one of the characters “Robin” in the new upcoming Zelda game. A statement from the petition reads, “He won’t get to play it, but he’ll live on forever in a universe he always loved.” Signatures are increasing rapidly to get the request granted and Nintendo released a statement on it. E! posted the full statement here.
Bob Zmuda owner of The Laugh Factory pictured above, told CNN, Tuesday, Aug. 12, “He was a true performer.” Chris Mazzilli, owner of the Gotham Comedy Club, recalled to E! about his time meeting Robin. Caroline Hirsch also spoke to E! saying, “He would pop in a lot over the years, he loved to surprise audiences.” Catch the full statements here.
Disney created a beyond touching tribute to Williams that will bring a tear to your eye. Check out the heartfelt message and tribute here.
The Academy tweeted, “Genie, you’re free.” This tweet seemed to be a beautiful response to the actor’s passing until an uproar of backlash was thrown at The Academy’s way. Some of the public is claiming the tweet reveals that suicide can be an escape from depression and that it sends the wrong message.
Co-stars and friends are all sending condolences and paying their respects in many ways, but who is more dedicated to paying tribute than his beloved fans? The very steps of the 1993 classic, Mrs. Doubtfire house is being used as a tribute spot for Williams. Shrines of flowers and candles have been placed upon the steps of the house by hundreds of fans stopping by to share memories, pay their respects and honor the late actor. According to E! the Boulder, Color., home used in the sitcom, Mork and Mindy was covered with flowers and signs that read, “You will be missed Mork.” The bench used in Good Will Hunting in Boston has also been turned into a memorial spot for Williams. E! reports that quotes from the Oscar Winning movie were written nearby in chalk. For a better look into his talented career click here.
Celebrities React to the Death of Robin Williams
Fellow comedians who were close to Williams, even those who have never met him, spoke out. Joan Rivers released a statement saying, “Everyone remembers him as a brilliant comedian, but he was much more than that.” Rivers went on to speak wonderful words about Williams calling him, “One of the nice guys.” Jay Leno released a statement saying, “It is a very sad day.” During a Buzzfeed Brews event with CBS This Morning, Seth Myers revealed, “I never worked with him. I was lucky to enough to meet him.” Conan O’Brien’s reaction seems to be going viral as the talk show host found out about the news during the taping of an episode with Will Arnett and Andy Richter. The full statements from the comedians above can be found at E!.
According to E!: Katie Holmes told E! News on the red carpet of “The Giver,” “It’s so awful. So awful. We just heard. I’m so sorry for his family and friends. He made us all ride so high. He brought such laughter and joy to us for so many years. I just hope that his family is ok and he is at peace.”
Recent costar, Sarah Michelle Gellar released a statement, “My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams. To my children he was Uncle Robin, to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he as the father I had always dreamed of having.”
Matt Damon, his Good Will Hunting costar, released a statement to E!, “Robin brought so much joy into my life and I will carry that joy with me forever. He was such a beautiful man. I was lucky to know him and I will never, ever forget him. I truly hope the people in the media can find it within themselves to give his family some privacy during this horrible time.” His co-star and friend, Ben Affleck took to Facebook to write a beautiful tribute claiming he owes “everything” to Williams. Read the rest here.
Justin Timberlake tweeted, “My heart is still breaking about Robin Williams. A genius…He was always so kind to me. We lost a great one. #RIPRobinWilliams.”
Pharrell Williams tweeted, “I’ve looked up to you since Mork and Mindy, and still do. You will be missed,” along with a picture of himself with Robin.
Co-stars, friends and others who have not even met the late star share their thoughts about the Oscar Winner on Twitter. Read the outpouring of love here at E! (link) More celebs and co-stars react here (link)
Robin Williams 1951-2014
The legend who made just about everyone laugh throughout his or her childhood has caused a shockwave throughout the world. From incredible films like Bicentennial Man, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting and so much more, Williams was a true star who will live on forever. From everyone at BUnow, our thoughts and prayers are with Robin, his family and friends.
If you or someone you know, is in need of help please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)