Robin Williams Committed Suicide (1951 – 2014)

August 11th, 2014 // 110 Comments
Robin Williams

Legendary actor/comedian Robin Williams was just found dead in his home where he reportedly committed suicide. He was 63. TMZ reports:

According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office … authorities found William’s body inside his home. They say he was found unresponsive.
He was unconscious and not breathing and the coroner suspects suicide due to asphyxia.
Williams was last seen alive at his house at 10 PM Sunday night.
Robin went back to rehab last month to focus on his sobriety. We’re told alcohol was an issue.

One of my very first introductions to comedy was Mork & Mindy when I couldn’t have been more than three or four. I had the Mork doll in overalls where you pulled the string and it said, “Nanoo nanoo!” and would relentlessly hound my parents to watch the show at all hours of the day way before the advent of Netflix, DVRs or even VHS, so that must’ve been a real treat for them. Anyway, yes, Robin Williams went on to make some spectacularly ass movies later in life and became an almost hyperactive parody of himself, but you could always tell he was a guy struggling to stave off some seriously dark shit with spastic comedy and kept fighting the good fight all the way into his 60s.

Thanks for making a little boy laugh with your egg ship, Mork. You earned your rest.

Photo: Getty

superficial

  1. The world has lost another reason to laugh. Rest in Peace, Mr. Williams.

  2. Cock Dr

    Another tortured substance abusing comedian loses to the demons. Third wife was not the charm.
    RIP funny funny man.

  3. Ali

    Nicely said, fish. Nicely said. May he rest in peace.

  4. Odbarc

    I am in the middle of watching a documentary with him in it! He’s describing the aristocrats joke.

  5. Wow selfish, there had to be a better way. Like fish my earliest memories of comedy was also the sitcom Mork and Mindy in the earlier 80s and I enjoyed his movies and other spots for a good while until his films went into the toilet, though there were some peaks here and there in later years. Comedic genius the man definitely is. I agree he definitely for his problems earned a well deserved rest, yet that wasn’t the way to get it.

    • As someone who has been in the deep, deep, hopeless recesses of depression in the past, I will adamantly state that the only selfish thing would be to tell someone going through that torture, decade after decade, that they have to keep living for the sake of others.

      For some people, there comes a point where nothing works, and when nothing works, as shitty as it is … you’re not truly living anymore anyway.

    • I think I can speak for quite a few – perhaps not all, but quite a few. Your comment pretty much sucked and demonstrated an enormous lack of tact, empathy and basic human decency. I am sure you recall the old Biblical tenant “Judge not lest ye be judged?” Well you judged. Now shall others judge you. The jury might sill be out, but I am pretty confident that your character shall be found to be wanting.

    • Says the person who has probably abandoned all their depressed friends because they are “too much drama”.

    • Dox

      My best friend committed suicide. So I have a little more knowledge than most people about this subject.

      When I first found out, I was confused. I existed in a daze, where even now, I can’t honestly tell you what occurred during the 24 hours I found out. All I know is it happened April 1st, and I thought… at first… it was the most tasteless joke my other friends played on me.

      At first…. I was so angry. And sad. And I felt such enormous guilt. I spent six hours on the back of a rice rocket to get back to South Carolina to try and…. I don’t even know. To try and help in some way.

      When I got home, my friends and my ex were all huddled together like refugees. Everybody spoke in hushed whispers, and the first thing… the very first thing we did was try to make sense of it all. We all recounted our last conversation with him. We all hunted, and searched for some sign that we missed, some moment that he asked for help and we… were too stupid, or selfish to notice.
      But you know what? There wasn’t one there. There was no note. No explanation. No sense to be made of it. Just my friend, dead at 24.

      Two decades later, one of those spent working as a Paramedic I have seen this event replayed. The results… the emotions and questions that persist after. They are always the same. I can empathize with the people suffering it. And no, there is no magical understanding that comes later. It is, what it is.

      Is it selfish? Our culture, our society tells us it is. But, we, as the survivors of those we love have the ability to choose how we remember. I don’t remember Dave for his suicide. I remember Dave for his life. For his friendship. For the amazing advice he gave, and the times he put his back up against mine and we took on all comers. You guys probably would have liked him. He was a decent sort of guy.

      All we can do in this life, is what we can do. We fight. We struggle. We succeed brilliantly, and fail spectacularly. We are often times remembered more for our failures than our successes.
      I guess you have to ask yourself, what do you remember him for the most? The way he died, or the way he lived?

  6. I was waiting for the post as soon as I found out. Twitter is a sea of sadness right now. So many great actors and musicians he’s touched through the years. Depression is a monster. RIP, Robin.

  7. This fucking blows.

  8. Not a huge fan but he there were some good movies and parts he played. I can’t say anything bad, except that motherfucker had the hairiest forearms of all time.

    • You know, there are times when the best thing to do is just shut your fucking mouth. This was one of those times.

    • I actually laughed at McBeef’s comment because those fuckers were hairy. Relax, Steve.

      • Sure you laughed, because you’re a perpetually arrested adolescent who runs a fifth-rate titty shot sight.

        RIP Robin.

      • mike

        This is a *second*-rate titty shot site.

      • …he laughed ’cause that shit was funny (i chuckled too) …and guess what? robin williams was a goddamn comedian …and that’s exactly the kind of joke he would’ve told AND laughed at …”not the time & place” is bullshit in this context …we’re not at the viewing cracking jokes, THAT would be insensitive …we’re a bunch of strangers commenting on a public website …a good, well-placed joke is welcome at a time like this …so all of you get over yourselves.

      • This is rich, coming from a perpetually arrested adolescent who frequents a “fifth-rate titty shot sight” [sic], apparently because he’s too stupid to figure out how to find free internet porn.

    • Dude wouldn’t have been able to make his famous cunnilingus joke without them.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMB7MOLk16w

    • Kimmykimkim

      I love that “Steve” is really catching on.

    • Mr. Sensitive

      One other bad thing you could say is that he stole material from non-famous comedians at a rate much higher than the usual theft rate. After he became famous, he still showed up at comedy clubs almost every night. Everybody said aw, that’s great, he’s still working alongside all the standup guys, taking chances, working on his craft. The reality is that when he showed up, many comedians would refuse to go onstage and do their material in front of him. Apparently he finally lost the will to steal.

      • Don Draper's Dad

        Feel free to die in a fire. Wrong time, wrong place.

      • Fuck off, Mr. Sensitive. Now is SO not the time for that bullshit.

      • All Together: Thoughts & Prayers

        Come on, he was doing all that joke-stealing in the 1980s, a long time ago. Back when everyone – Williams included – was doing a lot of coke. Like John Belushi, for example. Williams did a few lines with him the night Belushi died, noticing that he looked really bad and saying “If you ever get up again, call” when he left. Somebody like that deserves great tact and sensitivity at the time of his own death.

      • Slappy Magoo

        Come on Mr. Sensitive, everyone knows when a famous person dies we’re not allowed to bring up any bad shit they ever did, for an indeterminate length of time that depends greatly as to how beloved the figure was and how awful the shit he or she did was. Which is why Michael Jackson is still a touchy subject for a lot of people. Some more than others.
        See what I did there.

  9. I just this past weekend listened to Adam Savage’s podcast where he talked about meeting Robin Williams on the set of Bicentennial Man. He ran into him at the Craft Service lunch table, and Robin started chatting him up…Adam being a total nobody prop guy at the time. Adam said it was very surreal to have Robin Williams basically performing a private show for him alone, and eventually having to tell one of the most famous people in the world “I’m sorry, I have to go back to work now”.

    We can say what we will about his troubles with alcohol and cocaine, and making some truly bad movies along with some amazingly spectacular ones (The Fisher King haunts me to this day)…but I can’t recall anyone ever having a bad word to say about the man.

    He had decades of amazing work yet ahead of him. that’s what I’ll miss most.

  10. Robin Williams is dead and Kardashians still create carbon dioxide.

  11. PassingTrue

    A tragic part of suicide is all the others who are scarred while you release your own deamons for the last time. I hope that they can find some measure of comfort in the days ahead.

    So sad. And nothing snarky will do.

  12. Beer for thought

    Wow, my heart just sunk. We lost a great one today, truly one of the funniest people ever. I won’t be able to watch mrs doubfire the same ever again. RIP.

  13. Don Draper's Dad

    As someone who has also squared up against crippling depression and almost gave it up as well I have one thing to say to those of you who will say it’s selfish and not the way, etc.: FUCK YOU. It’s a disease.

    Perhaps someone like you should pop down to the cancer ward and say, Hey! Don’t have cancer! I don’t!

    A lot of people will say that it’s selfish and the one’s left behind have to deal with the pain. How could he do that to them. If he was in that much pain and suffering, and believe me, depression hurts both physically as well as mentally. Who is the selfish one? The one pulling the plug or the one who keeps it in for their sake and not the affected person?

    I am grateful to Robin Williams for the work he did. I hope he’s free of what he was grappling with wherever he is. It’s an awful thing to go through for everyone involved. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. I know they will miss him.

    • Depression is a beast that hounds you, sinks its teeth into you, and tries to drag you with it down into a deep dark hole in the ground, where it will swallow you.

      If you haven’t experienced that–and I don’t mean sadness, which is transitory, or even mourning or grief, but an all-consuming soul-ripping darkness from which no light can possibly escape–you cannot understand, and you have no right to judge those who have felt the teeth of this beast.

      Some survive the beast. Some don’t. No one gets out without scars. That’s how it is.

      • Don Draper's Dad

        Damn straight.

      • HeySamjo

        I have to say this is probably the most intelligent and well spoken threads on this site ever. Depression is the leading mental illness in the U.S., and is no joke. If Robin did one last thing, even if he didn’t know it, was to use his fame to raise awareness for this horrible condition. Hopefully, because of this tragedy, more people will talk about it, and those who need help will seek and receive help. Bless you Robin, and thank you for everything ♥

      • mike

        True. However, this should not imply that Veronika isn’t an unspeakably boring, one-note gimmick without a punchline, except when (s)he forgets to tuck before a post.

      • D-chi

        Depression is one of the scariest monsters I’ve ever faced, and it is by the grace of God that I’m alive. And it’s terrible because no one else truly understands; it’s a unique experience for everyone who goes through it. I’m so sad that Robin Williams felt he wasn’t able to hold out any longer.

    • Amen. I haven’t suffered from chronic depression, but I did have post-partum depression after my daughter was born. It was the most hopeless, lonliest, scariest time of my life– during what should have been the happiest. Depression is real and it surely is a beast.
      RIP Mr. Wiliams. I shed tears when I heard of your passing.

      • I’m glad you pulled out of your PPD. My mother suffered from that after the birth of my younger sibling and it’s scary to watch someone you love get pulled into this dark place where you cannot reach them. You can see them but you can’t touch them. You know what I mean.

        Some people go into the darkness and find a way out. Some go in and become lost. Robin lost his way after a long fight. The battle wears you down.

        I’m glad we had as many years of him sharing his gift with the world as we did and wish he’d found a way to give us more.

    • MC ToeJam

      Too many people confuse Depression with “just being sad” and that’s like confusing getting drunk once or twice with full-on alcoholism.

    • Slappy Magoo

      The shit of it is some people can’t or don’t want to understand the difference between “being/feeling depressed” and “Depression” with a Capital D. Everyone gets depressed, because sometimes life is depressing. Depression is a whole different kind of motherfucker that makes you feel that, not only is everything NOT going to get better, but what would be the point if it did? And when you stat feeling that way, you start feeling like nothing matters, and then you start feeling like you don’t matter. Really, despite the best intentions of many people on the internets tubes the past 24 hours, if you know someone who’s really depressed, yeah, be there for that person, but make sure at some point, you say 20 or 37 times “you need help.” Because chances are you, whoever you are, are not capable of talking someone back from the brink if the brink’s where they’re at. And if you do it this time, you might not the next time. At a certain point, you’ve got to bring in the pros. And if YOU’RE the one who’s depressed, yeah, talk to friends and family, don’t keep it bottled in but at a certain point, call a pro. Maybe they don’t know you or love you, but they know what the fuck they’re doing.

  14. Hmm

    As someone who also grew up watching Mork & Mindy and everything else Robin Williams did, this is terrible and so sad. I don’t even know what to say. R.I.P.

  15. Depression is an awful disease. I know it from experience. There are people who think it’s selfish what he did but they don’t know what it is when you are in a very dark place. Everyone has a breaking point where they just can’t take it anymore. Also sometimes you can be in so much pain that you just don’t think normally and rationally. He seemed like a good person and a great actor of course. I’m sure he will be missed by many.

    • ToobiasMerriweather

      20 years ago this past 7/1 or 3 (forget at this point really) lost my fiancée one month before our marriage. She died. So one night I got this idea that “stepping out” was the way to go. Took a belt, tied it around my neck, attached it to a rail in the closet and walked in with chair and all. How am I still here? It hurt like a Mother-effer and only by chance (or something else) was able to get loose. Some years later would try the car in the garage with the engine running route but a friend who had never been to my place dropped by with a book on grieving. Yeah there were several weeks spent in a hospital that only gave sporks with food! Don’t know and will never know what led Robin or anyone in that position to do what they do but yeah life is a bisnitch sometimes but no matter what it’s still very short when you consider we’re (all) going to be gone longer than we were here. Sad to think this was his only thought recourse.

  16. cc

    Dammit. I liked the guy…I thought he was a damn fine actor. He could be very funny but he rocked the dramatic roles too, and even did a good villain.

    RIP Mr Williams

  17. Real, relentless depression is a motherfucking bitch – for some people, it’s as bad as a gunshot wound.
    I feel so sad right now… ‘can’t even imagine how his family and friends are feeling right now… ‘gonna be a truly shitty week for anyone who remotely like that man.

    Thank you so much for all the laugh, sir; you will truly be miss.

  18. cc

    ‘you could always tell he was a guy struggling to stave off some seriously dark shit’

    My sister said something similar….even when he was laughing it up he always looked a bit melancholy and now when I think about it, he did, didn’t he?

    • That’s the impression I always got, too. He was always “on” just so he wouldn’t show the people around him how bad he was hurting.

  19. I was at the funeral of someone very close to me just last month, much younger than Robin Williams, and also dead by suicide. This is what I said then and it applies now:

    “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

    ― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (suicide at the age of 62)

  20. I lived in the Bay Area and, like many people there, had a “close encounter” with Robin Williams. He was always kind and gentle with people. Always. It was part of his nature.

    Having seen him up close, I got the sense there was some pain and darkness lurking behind the clowning. It seems that pain fuels the talent of our best comedians, which is why they seem to understand our own fears and hurts so well.

    Robin had many other sides to his personality and was a troubled man, there is no doubt, but he was a comic genius and a gifted actor. I don’t use the word “genius” lightly. Those with his talent are few and far between. You will not see his like again.

  21. This is so sad. Depression is no joke. My condolences to the Williams family. He was a funny man and will be missed.

  22. Michael Buble

    I didn’t expect this – was not prepared at all. I am truly saddened at this moment. Selfish be damned. I understand, Robin. Many of us understand. Be at peace, sir.

  23. There are only so many times a man can be mistaken for Bono before he begins questioning life.
    Rest in peace, Mr. Wiliams. I hope there is a Standup Heaven for you and all my idols.

  24. whatever

    This is really sad news, a real ARTIST and COMEDIAN kills himself and Kim and Kanye still walk this earth.
    Nice priorities MEDIA, TV, and MUSIC world, you award SCUM with media space and drive REAL beloved artists to kill themselves.

  25. Kimmykimkim

    Didn’t see this coming but I’m also not that surprised.

  26. Unexpected

    Whoa, what a shock.

    What happens to his twitter, facebook, instagram, … accounts?
    Do these corporation bastards silently delete them?

  27. He was a gifted and talented performer. And very underrated. I’m sad for all who loved him.

  28. icu

    And yet the kardashians STILL find a reason to live…

  29. anonymous

    Sad, sad news.

    Can’t say I was a fan of his latest stuff but I grew watching RW and at his comedic peak he was as funny and entertaining as they came.

    RIP, Robin.

  30. Damn. Just, damn.

  31. Honestly, we were lucky to get 62 years from him. At the speed that he lived, it’s like he was 120.

  32. Dox

    When I heard…. the first thing that popped into my head was, What Dreams May Come.
    I think that movie was quite possibly one of the most underrated films of his. That movie, tapped into the turmoil of emotions that seemed to drive an almost frantic need for laughter. As if, just one more laugh would keep the darkness at bay. And Im sure he struggled daily against it. Sought comfort from whatever substance numbed the overwhelming tide of emotions he fought to stay above.

    I hope, truly hope, that he has found some measure of peace. And I hope, that in spite of the decision he may have made, they can find some measure of understanding and forgiveness for him.

    We are all of us, tormented in some way, shape or form. None of us escape the darker side of our psyches. And in truth, there are no answers that will ever seem reasonable.
    But that man could make the darkness go away for a time.
    That, is an amazing talent.

    • +1
      What Dreams May Come is a gem. As someone who struggled with depression for years, I watched WDMC many times during the healing process. So sad that the man is gone now. RIP, Mr. Williams.

    • Oh God, that film…as the child of two chronically depressed parents it hit very close to home. He had such an impact on so many people on this planet; I can’t even begin to imagine what his family feels.

  33. I was gutted when I heard about this and realized it wasn’t a hoax. It’s Robin Williams. He always seemed sad under it all, though. Battling depression and making people laugh, and doing that for a living, has to be a real trip. I grew up watching him and now he’s gone.

    Depression is no joke, it’s not laziness, it’s not weakness, its not selfish, it’s not attention seeking, it’s not something that people just get over, it doesn’t discriminate and it’s not something to be taken lightly.

    RIP Robin Wiliams

  34. Bringbackbabalu

    Poor guy. RIP

  35. Short Round

    What more could be said than already has been said above. I am simply baffled and still just trying to process this great loss. The media is full of people unworthy of our attention. So, when an increadible human being like him comes along you value them all the more. RIP Robin. Thank you for all the great memories and laughs.

  36. MC ToeJam

    Meanwhile complete mass-murdering wastes of skin like Mugabe, Kim Jong Un and all the members of ISIS are still walking around breathing perfectly good air. There is no god.

  37. malaka

    damnit… this was the guy that inspired me to embrace the crazy.

    its like when hunter s thompson killed himself.
    cmon man.. you got plenty of time to be dead!

    the world has had joy and laughter taken from it.

    there’s this bruce mcculloch song i like called vigil… (check it out on youtube! its funny!)

    “someone sad and crazy went and done something hideous and left a lot of stronger
    people behind.”

    what is especially difficult besides the obvious, is when something like this happens,
    its what this person wanted.
    it can be hard to imagine the sort of unbearable pain which would lead to somebody making a conscious decision like this.

    regardless… in spite of how much the departed are beloved, it was they whom rejected the greatest gift anyone can possibly receive and the universally held most
    precious possession.
    all we can do is say goodbye and acknowledge that they will be missed.
    we are all living on borrowed time.

    not too long ago, i found out that funerals are really for the bereaved. not the deceased.
    of course, some can be more difficult to come to terms with than others.

    i’m just an anonymous fan.
    but even as a complete stranger, it feels like a gut punch to the soul.

  38. Kronaz

    Someone doesn’t know what “suspected” means… not that I’m surprised.

  39. Just watched goodwill hunting last week. Truly a talented man. I grew up watching him on Mork and Mindy and then got to enjoy him with my kids as the genie in Aladdin. Rest in peace Robin.

  40. RexSeven

    It’s a very sad story. There was obviously something very dark in there. The world just stood around and laughed as he suffered and died. I never understood why as he just plain was not funny. Hopefully he has some peace now.

  41. Agree. There has always been some very deep shit sorrow in him. I pity him with all my heart.
    Robin in “Captain Hook”, Mrs. Doubtfire and a lot of others are among the best portrayals of this wonderful man’s genius.

  42. Raymond Flattenberg

    Wow Fish. What a shitty obit. You could have done better. Maybe because he didn’t have tits or appear as a superhero in some Michael Bay recapitulation of a little boy’s fantasy world. Focusing solely on Robin’s Mork contribution is short-sided and narcissistic. No one cares about your dolls. The man deserved a better thought-out accolade, even if this is the superficial. If you can take on Jerry Sandusky, you can take the time to write something more meaningful.

    • Fish simply related a fond childhood memory. There are thousands of sites recounting Robin Williams’ great career. Go troll those boards, fucktard.

    • Dox

      I don’t usually defend Fish, mostly because he’s a big boy and he can take it. But I think, today, I will.

      What you fail to grasp is the authors very personal moment that he shared. It was the beginning of a connection to a man that lived thousands of miles away, and existed in world far different than his. Something, to you, that seems so meaningless as a doll is what began and formed a connection that lasted decades, and is why hearing that Robin Williams is no longer alive actually brings tears to my eyes… and probably Fish’s.

      It was because of a seemingly inane television show, that we were able to take a journey with Robin. Sometimes it made us laugh uncontrollably, and other times it made us question our lives, but always it took us somewhere. Fish had dolls, and I had Robin Williams Live at the Met.
      I played that tape until it demagnetized, and then bought it again. I bought it when it came out on CD, and then bought it again digitally. And If I am alive, and it comes out on some new age crystal Ill buy it then too.

      Because that material thing, as foolish and narcissistic as it seems to you, was our connection to Robin. A synopsis of his films, or written biopic on his life has less meaning than those dolls to a little boy. And I guarantee you that every single person on this board, who felt some connection to Robin has his or her own version of those dolls.

      And for your information I could write about that stupid tape all day long. I could write about how it saved me when I lost my foot, or I found out my wife cheated on me, or how it helped me survive when my best friend ate a gun at my house, or how it kept me going through a year of learning how to walk again, and finally how it kept me from succumbing to my own demons almost two decades later.
      But according to you, it would be shitty to talk about that tape, and the meaning it held for me. The truth is, anyone with half brain cell understood the point that Fish was making. We got it. You didn’t. We all shared in that moment of nostalgia. We all remembered what Robin did for us throughout our lives, even if he was never physically present. We all understood.

      You didn’t. The truly sad thing about that is, what you were looking at was a mirror. An opportunity to reflect on how Robin Williams effected your life, and take a quiet moment of silence to share a small smile with him.

      instead you saw narcissism.
      Maybe you should stop looking at Fish, and start looking at yourself.

      • Most beautifully and eloquently said. I always enjoy your posts, but this one was something special.

      • I remember RW first appearing on Happy Days before Mork and Mindy, and then watching him grow over the years. And, yes, there was always some sort of emotional unease in his countenance. But he had a lot of the same problems that many of us had: alcoholism, cocaine, Quaaludes, and every other recreational drug available in those days. Ergo, Robin became something of a “pal.” And now our pal has ended his own life, and it’s awfully fucking hard to understand why. RIP, Old Pal.

  43. malaka

    a lot of people feel the need to come along and add some ill timed snark to the mix like;
    i never got his humor. therefor, he was not ever funny at all.
    which is complete horse shit shit. but i digress…

    there’s no shortage of people who will thumbs up or thumbs down any given artist, comedian, performer etc..
    that part i get.. sort of… at least it no longer surprises me.

    but even though its unlikely to hear anything negative especially now, i’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about this guy as a person.
    and for me, i think that is the most important point…

    he was unbelievably troubled.
    you wanna say he was or he wasn’t a gifted artist. whatever..
    but he was a good guy..

    that is why people will miss him and remember him above all of his memorable performances.

  44. A beautiful soul gone to soon. You’ll be miss Bro. R.I.P.

  45. Cher X

    I usually don’t swear in my posts but FUCK DEPRESSION. It took another awesome person before their time. RIP. :(

  46. Robb7

    Rest in peace, Mr. Williams. Nanu, nanu…

  47. Deacon Jones

    Man, another comedic genius lost. Most of these guys once you get to know them through books, interviews are deeply troubled people. Their comedic talent was developed through the years as a coping mechanism. Some people binge eat, some people do drugs, but a rarer few develop their comedic skills, their misery is what fuels them.

    I just can’t comprehend killing yourself when you have a wife and three children that need you. That’s me though.

  48. Cary

    Oh Captain my captain

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