Wednesday 29 January 2020

The demons Robin Williams could not defeat

Robin Williams has been found dead at his home in California.
Robin Williams has been found dead at his home in California.
AJ Polis leaves a flower alongside a placard and a photo of the late actor Robin Williams as Mork from Ork at the home in Boulder, Colorado. where the 80s TV series Mork & Mindy was set (AP)
The last tweet Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Robin Williams and wife Susan Schneider
Robin Williams and daughter Zelda Williams at the premiere of their film "House of D" in New York, April 10, 2005. 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
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 and comedian Robin Williams arrives at the premiere of the film "World's Greatest Dad" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah

Beverley Rouse

Most fans will remember Robin Williams for his bubbly, energetic comedy roles.

He made people laugh with memorable performances in Mork & Mindy and Mrs Doubtfire, but behind the cheerful exterior he admitted there were problems he found it difficult to shrug off.

Williams spoke many times about his battles with alcohol and cocaine and in a 2010 interview with the Guardian's Decca Aitkenhead he talked about suffering from anxiety.

The actor, who was promoting World's Greatest Dad - a film about a father who fakes a suicide note from his dead son - spoke of feeling "alone and afraid" when he started drinking again in 2003 after 20 years sober.

"It's just literally being afraid. And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn't," he said.

Asked what he was afraid of, he replied: "Everything. It's just a general all-round arggghhh. It's fearfulness and anxiety."

Read: Robin Williams' 'The Crazy Ones' co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar pays tribute to "father I always dreamed of having" 

After three years he went to rehab and continued his recovery by attending weekly AA meetings.

Williams also admitted he had been a workaholic, telling Aitkenhead: "You have this idea that you'd better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous. And then you realise, no, actually if you take a break people might be more interested in you."

The actor, who had his aortic valve replaced in 2009, added: "Now, after the heart surgery, I'll take it slow."

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

At the time of the interview he said he felt happier and was "not afraid to be unhappy", adding: "That's OK too."

Sadly it appears the anxiety and depression which had plagued him had returned prior to his tragic death.

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

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

PA Media

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