Friday 6 March 2015

‘He struggled, he was enduring inner conflict’ – Robin Williams' Irish sober-living coach

Published 12/08/2014 | 10:42

ROBIN Williams' Irish sober-living coach has spoken about the deep inner conflict he believed the actor suffered from.

Anthony Murray, a native of Co Meath, ran the 'Dry Dock' in San Francisco where the actor attended to maintain sobriety.

Sarah Michelle Gellar posted a montage of images with Robin Williams on Twitter
Sarah Michelle Gellar posted a montage of images with Robin Williams on Twitter
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 29: Actors Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar arrive at the CBS/CW/Showtime Television Critic Association's summer press tour party at 9900 Wilshire Blvd on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Actor and comedian Robin Williams prepares to present the award for best animated feature at the 77th Academy Awards in Hollywood
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Actor Robin Williams arrives at BAFTA Los Angeles 2011 Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on November 30, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images For BAFTA Los Angeles)
Actor Robin Williams (L) poses with his then wife Marsha as they arrive for the premiere of his film " What Dreams May Come" in Beverly Hills
Actor/comedian Robin Williams poses backstage with the Cecil B. DeMille award he received at the 62nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California
Robin Williams wins Best Supporting Actor for his role in 'Good Will Hunting'

He revealed he coincidentally met the actor first decades earlier in a bar.

“I met Robin probably in 1982 in the Richmond district of San Francisco, where he was still doing stand-up comedy”, he told Keelin Shanley on RTE Radio One's 'Today' programme.

However it was when the star began attending the dry dock in 2005 that he gained his unique insight.

“I think what happened to Robin was that he stopped cold turkey and he did it on his own, I think he was dry for around 20 years.

Actor Robin Williams (R), star of the film "World's Greatest Dad", escorts Susan Schneider at the film's premiere in Los Angeles, California
Actor Robin Williams (R), star of the film "World's Greatest Dad", escorts Susan Schneider at the film's premiere in Los Angeles, California
Oscar-winning actor and comedian Williams was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files
Actor and comedian Robin Williams (L) shares a laugh with actor Billy Crystal on the stage of New York's Radio City Music Hall during HBO's "Comic Relief 8" show
Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files
Actor Robin Williams (R) jokes with US Postal rider Lance Armstrong before the start of the 15th stage of the Tour de France between Valreas and Villard-de-Lans, in 2004. Reuters
Comedians Robin Williams (R), Billy Crystal (L) and Whoopi Goldberg share a hug on the stage of New York's Radio City Music Hall at the end of HBO's "Comic Relief 8" show, in 1998. Reuters
Actor Robin Williams arrives for the European premiere of 'Happy Feet' at the Empire cinema in London in November 2006. Reuters
Academy Award winning actor Robin Williams jokes with reporters as he arrives for the Los Angeles premiere of the film "One Hour Photo" in Beverly Hills, California, August 22, 2002. Reuters
Actor Robin Williams, star of the new film "One Hour Photo", arrives for the film's premiere at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Reuters
Robin Williams and daughter Zelda Williams at the premiere of their film "House of D" in New York, April 10, 2005. Reuters
Artist Susan Schneider and actor Robin Williams arrive for the Comedy Awards 2012 in New York
Comedian Robin Williams, wearing a camouflage jacket, entertains a cheering crowd of U.S. Army troops at Baghdad airport
Actor and comedian Robin Williams arrives at the premiere of the film "World's Greatest Dad" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah
Actor and comedian Robin Williams prepares to present the award for best animated feature at the 77th Academy Awards in Hollywood
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files
Actor Robin Williams (L) poses with his then wife Marsha as they arrive for the premiere of his film " What Dreams May Come" in Beverly Hills
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas/Files
File photo dated 1/7/2010 of actor Robin Williams who has been found dead at his home in California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said.
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files
Actor/comedian Robin Williams poses backstage with the Cecil B. DeMille award he received at the 62nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California
Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire
Robin Williams holds his Oscar after winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in "Good Will Hunting" at the 70th Annual Academy Awards
Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files
Robin Williams starred in the original Mrs Doubtfire movie
Robin Williams, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his role in "Good Will Hunting", arrives with his wife Marsha at the 70th Annual Academy Awards
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files
Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on August 11, 2014 at his home in Northern California from an apparent suicide, Marin County Sheriff's Office said. He was 63. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

“He started coming to the meetings around 2005. I think there was a big expose story in the tabloids that he relapsed.

“He would share in the meetings about his difficulties, just like everyone else. The whole strategy is all about anonymity and humility.”

Click here for tributes, photos, videos and some of Robin Williams's best moments

Mr Murray said that the star faced the challenge of trying to maintain sobriety under the harsh glare of the media spotlight.

“He  just wanted to  be there as another person in recovery.

“But it’s extremely difficult if you’re a celebrity because everybody’s looking for you for stuff.

“I made sure anyone who came in there and was well known that they weren’t harassed, that they were allowed space to get sober.”

Poll: What is your favourite Robin Williams' movie? 

 He explained that despite his on-screen persona, he found the star to be shy.

“He was a very shy individual. He was a very lovable character and modest. He was sort of introverted.”

Quotes: The poetic superstar: Robin Williams' most poignant off screen quotes 

Despite his shy nature and quiet nature, Mr Murray said he got the impression he was troubled.

“I always got the impression he was enduring all kinds of inner conflict, he was a man who might have been tortured in some respects.

“He struggled, I could see that. There was an enormous pressure. He was experiencing external pressure to be somebody.”

Greatest moments: Remember THAT Oscars speech? Robin Williams' most memorable moments 

He also appealed to anyone struggling with alcohol or depression to get help.

“If there’s anybody out there who’s feeling depressed and has a problem with alcohol there’s all kinds of help out there."

Meanwhile, tributes continue to pour in from celebrities worldwide:

 

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123

Irish Independent

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