The Many Faces Of Robin Williams



"Please, don't worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you're ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer skies, when the stars are strung across the velvety night, and a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day. Make a wish. Think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did." - Robin Williams as Jack Powell in the 1996 film "Jack."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).




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56 comments

  1. Wonderful. Thank you, Brenda for these pictures and quotes..
    I hope you've had a good day..
    Charlotte

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  2. Love it!! I am glad you shared the hot line. Di@Cottage-wishes

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  3. Wonderful! So many are suffering from depression and this shows that it truly can be anyone!

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    1. Yes, it can be anyone. The person behind you at the gas pump. The president of a big corporation. An actor or writer or artist. Or simply anyone.

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  4. It's so strange that the death of Robin Williams, someone I did not know personally, has left me so sad. He was so talented. Every time I see a picture or hear his voice, I want to cry. God Rest his soul. I pray for peace for his family.

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    1. Julie, I feel the exact same way. Just melancholy. I see his photos and in my head I can hear that up and down singsong voice of his, and I just want to cry. And I feel so bad for his family. He will so be missed. There will never be another like him.

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    2. I just purchased 4 of Robin's movies. Cant' wait to watch them. I'm sure I will cry when I see them.

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  5. Wonderful post, Brenda ~ thank you for sharing.

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  6. Brenda, Robin will be missed. It's sad that when a person is depressed, they don't want to be ,and sometimes we can't reach them. xoxo,Susie

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    1. No, when they're that far down, there's no reaching them. You can extend your hand down the deep dark well. But no matter how much you stretch to reach them, they just keep falling farther and farther down.

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  7. May he rest in peace. Thank you for sharing this.

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  8. I think his death made so many of us truly realize that what a person is showing outwardly can be just a façade for what is going on internally. I am with Julie, I have had a sadness every since I heard the news of his death. I have never been affected like this about any other actor. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. He was so special. I haven't felt this way before either. He spent his life making us laugh, but at what expense?

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  9. This was a wonderful tribute. I can't stop thinking about him and his final hours. I still can't believe he's gone.

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    1. I can't either. I had to go to Walmart today to get some groceries after I went to the doctor. I saw his face everywhere. On every magazine. And one was almost a book and it was all about his life but in semi-magazine form. His sad eyes followed me throughout my shopping. Now I can conjure them up at will.

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  10. Mrs Doubtfire portrayed Robin Williams...she was a sad woman(man) which was him...I can always sense a person inside and I always felt he had a sad soul...his eyes and his expressions always showed it...the eyes are the windows to your soul...he is making everyone happy in heaven..God called him home to make him feel more at home...what a wonderful man he was!! RIP Robin.

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    1. He did indeed have sad eyes. Tired eyes. Weary eyes. The eyes of someone who has pretended and pretended and is so tired of pretending. May he rest in peace. I already miss him.

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  11. I agree with Carol--my husband and I talked about no matter how much he smiled or laughed his eyes were always so sad looking. Especially if he was in a quiet moment, or in photos.Something probably overlooked because of his immense genius of humor and drama. We are so sad he felt so troubled ending his life was the only answer he could see. May his soul be at rest with God. I have a family member who suffers from depression and this has made me more aware again of watching and listening to people around you.....

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    1. Please be aware. I know it may feel uncomfortable. But the person in line ahead of you at the grocery store may have no one to listen. And she or he may be on the verge. If someone shares with you, please, please just listen.

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  12. I lost my father to suicide, and I really feel I understand why Robin did what he did. The world will miss him terribly, as well as his family. He was truly an amazing man, talent beyond belief, such a quick wit and mind! I've always wondered if comedians are like that at home, say having dinner w/the family, hanging out. I hope the family finds some solace in knowing how much he was loved.

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    1. Well Annette, we shall be watching over you. Because if a parent commits suicide, the chances go up for their child to do the same. Which brings us back to depression as hereditary. I'm so sorry you lost your father that way. Wish I could hug you.

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  13. So touching, Brenda. In a strange way, his death may save so many others. It has opened up the conversation and awareness about depression and suicide in a way that might not have been possible before.

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    1. Yes, and it took us losing a brilliant comedian and a caring man. He had to give his life for people to give mental illness a second thought. How tragic is that?

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  14. Beautiful memorial. Thank you for sharing. My heart is heavy with his memory, and the tremendous loss to his family and the world. Rest in Peace dear man.

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    1. It's hard for me to accept that there will never be another Robin Williams movie.

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  15. He has brought me so much laughter and joy in my lifetime and he will continue to bring me that same joy after his death. I will watch his work over and over and I will continue to laugh! Nano nano to his wonderful work. He was a comedic genius! I mourned his death but know his death also brings conversations about depression which are so needed. Brenda thank you for talking about it, I have found that so many share this disease. It is comforting to know we are not alone.

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    1. We lived in the shadows for so long. Now maybe we can step back into the light.

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  16. Thank you for sharing the pictures & quotes. They brought smiles & tears. After Robin died I read something about depression that said that depression is not a joke, it is a real illness that does not discriminate. No amount of money or fame can fix it. The funniest man on earth couldn't just think positive thoughts and be healed.

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    1. No, and no one is going to think positive thoughts and be healed. Because if you are mentally ill, that is impossible. If I ever hear another person say just stop feeling sad and get over it, which my daughters have been known to say, I will scream. They don't get it. They will never get it. They don't WANT to get it. Guess I don't really blame them. They've tossed their mother out of their lives because I'm "different." Doesn't matter that it wasn't by choice. Doesn't matter that I have walked through hell and back. I'm simply not acceptable. My oldest daughter last week said she'd get a restraining order if I emailed her again. So there you go. Talk about sinking down the rabbit hole...

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    2. I'm so sorry that happened, Brenda. As a fellow human being that hurt to read that; I can't imagine as a mother how much that hurt to experience it. We, your readers, love and respect you so much!

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  17. Robin Williams suffered from Bipolar DIsorder. I read somewhere that he didn't like to take meds because he was primarily manic and the meds affected his comedic work. Unfortunately, like many people who suffer from Bipolar disorder, he often chose to self medicate. He was a brilliant man and his loss has affected many of us deeply. I hope that anyone who suffers from depression or any mental illness will pick up the phone and seek help. Thanks for sharing the hotline number, Brenda. xo Laura

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    1. I do know that people with bipolar disorder have trouble taking their meds. More so than say, me. I've heard it time and time and time again. And they do tend to self-medicate. Bless their hearts.

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  18. I know this is your blog and you can write what you like. However, given that I guess I can comment the way I like.
    I am so tired of hearing how Awful it is about Robin Williams. Yes it is awful, but not for the reasons that everyone states. It is awful because he took the easy and selfish way out. He didn't care enough about his family and others who loved him to stay and fight. He had the early stages of Parkinsons. He gave up when the fight was just starting. Think about what his family and those who were very close to him are feeling right now. Yes. they miss him, but they also feel guilt for not having done more. For not paying closer attention. For not picking up the phone to say HI. For not visiting more often. They are they ones who deserve our sympathy, not Robin.
    He only shows what happens when the end gets too tough, and you don't want the fight. I get that it was depression. I get that he suffered a long time. But in the end he took the easy way out.

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    1. I'm guessing you've never battled depression. Or watched a loved one suffer from it. It's hard to understand the depth of it and the utter despair they feel unless you have. (And I hope you never have to.) Even then, we can't totally understand what they are going through. You reach out, you try everything you can think of to help them or to get them help. You don't give up on them, even when they've given up on themselves. There is no easy way out. And for those who just can't climb out and turn to suicide...there's such a sense of loss that lives inside you. But there's also a hope that maybe, finally, they're at peace. It's not what you would have chosen for them, but you learn that sometimes it's not your choice.

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    2. This is my experience...and I don't pretend to speak for everyone who's been through this. Just thought I'd share another perspective.

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    3. I tried to commit suicide in May of 2000. I was beyond despair. I think I had plunged into psychosis. And when you're psychotic, you're not thinking rationally. Your reasoning is skewed. I thought everyone was better off without me. And I was doing them a favor. I was found, and I'm still here. But I've been close to that point a number of times, but that time I was dead serious. Pardon the pun. I can't explain what it feels like. But I had been crying and crying. And suddenly I became very calm. I knew the answer. I knew a way out of the pain. People who have decided to kill themselves are often quite peaceful at the end. Because they have finally found the door out.

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    4. Brenda, I applaud your willingness to share your experience and your honesty--thank you! We think we know what someone else is going through in their battle but we never really do. You've walked the walk and now shared such insight. (((HUGS))). I'm so very glad you're still here!

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    5. Well, I wouldn't have met any of you guys!

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    6. I have been depressed, clinically depressed. I take some heavy duty drugs to ward it off. When it first started happening I contemplated running away from my life, and ending it. I was down so low I didn't think I could find my way out. I didn't do any of the things I thought of because I realized I loved my family too much. I went into intensive therapy. I was in therapy for 7 years, and periodically go back. I found out I had probably been depressed since high school. I worked through. I kept my thoughts on my family not on myself.
      As for not knowing anyone who did this, you're wrong there too. A boyfriend from a long time ago killed himself about 4 years after we broke up. His note said, "Tell Trudy I always loved her." No message for his mom who he was very close to. I was the last person he thought of. And you think that was OK? Do you have any idea how devastated I was? His mother then blamed me. So yeah I do know what being left behind is like.
      My husband is severely depressed. He has threatened to kill himself a couple of times. He is agoraphobic because of the depression. The depression led to the agrophobia. He won't get help other than the medication he is on. I think the only thing keeping him here is me telling him how much he means to me, and the fact I have told him the killing himself is the selfish way out.
      So I experienced every aspect of depression.

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    7. As I wrote in my email to you, this is your reality and should not be judged. Your experience was entirely different. Had he not written that note, you probably would not feel so strongly. I think it was very selfish of him to leave that legacy for you. And then for you to be blamed. As we all know now, there are many contributing factors to why someone commits suicide. His mother blamed you because she did not want to look inward at the family. I'm so sorry you've carried that around all this time, and for what you are dealing with daily now. Thanks for explaining. Things look so different when we understand what is behind someone's view.

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  19. I think often genius minds are so full and so busy that it is incredibly difficult to cope with. For a man like him that genius was constant, intense, and brilliant, but unfortunately what made him want quiet. I think you're right in that we need to pay attention to people, don't judge just by what you see on the outside, everyone is fighting some kind of battle and we can help them sometimes by just being understanding. Wonderful tribute!

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    1. Robin's day to day behavior seemed frenetic to me. Manic. Obviously it was mania. And then when you're bipolar, which I am not, but I know this, you speed to the other end of the spectrum: depression. I think he used what he had, the frenetic wit and such, to his advantage for many years. But when he fell to the other end, I doubt he went out. I imagine he was alone. Because he couldn't have kept that up during the depressive phase. Which is why I think he took recreational drugs. To "jolt" him out of the depression so he could continue to make people laugh. Now that's absolutely NOT the thing to do. I don't drink a drop of alcohol or take any drugs other than what is prescribed to me. But I cannot and will not judge him. Everyone is different. No one can say they know someone else's pain.

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  20. Robin was large in life and large in death. God made him special and God has more for him to do. We watched the highlights of Robin's interview on "Inside the Actor's Studio" with James Lipton. I've watched it twice and both times, he has amazed me with his mind and so very quick wit. At one point, James was comparing a fast athlete to Robin's fast comedic brain. James Lipton, who is normally so reserved and proper said something to the effect of, "I mean, what the hell is going on in there?" Robin laughed so hard. As others have said on here, no matter what the rest of his face was doing, his eyes were always sad. The contrast in the features of his face sort of symbolizes the contrast in his life, hilarious/depressed. Thanks for the pictures and this post, Brenda.

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    1. I don't think anyone could be compared to Robin Williams. Can you think of ANYONE who could be like that? The quick wit, the brilliant one-liners. I think perhaps only someone bipolar could pull that off. That's just my view. I know I couldn't do it. Can you imagine how tiring that would be? Everyone he met on the street expected him to make them laugh. He could never exit the stage and just live.

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  21. Brenda, thank you for this tribute...Robin was brilliant. Let's not brush aside this devastating time in our lives as if it is history already.

    Of course I disagree strongly with Ms. Mintun above. Death is not "easy", and I believe when someone takes their own life, they are already beyond "living" and want to spare the ones they love, not hurt them. People should not make assumptions about the lives and mental state of people suffering from depression. Unless of course they have magically walked in their shoes.

    Jane xx

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    1. Jane, I read this after I post my reply above. WELL said--thank you!

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    2. I've said this before I'm sure. A dear male friend who was a psychiatric social worker talked to and counseled me after my suicide attempt in 2000. He helped pull me back up. But he was bipolar. We had moved 90 miles away, so didn't see him most every day anymore. He killed himself May 2002. Exactly two years after my attempt. I felt so bad, because he was there for me. And he didn't let me know he needed someone. He masked it very well and drank to keep up the facade. I will always miss you, Chuck.

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  22. A reader sent me this information she knew personally about Robin Williams that I'd like you all to read:

    A Little Known Robin Williams Story:
    “Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider.

    For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting theme for an event- anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do).

    This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.

    When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work.

    I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back.

    I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions.

    He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.”

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    1. What a wonderful thing to learn..Thank her for sharing this info..I will pass this on to the people I know!

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  23. Wow..Trudy M..I have also been down that rabbit hole that leads to the end..I have also been to the point of calmness that Brenda speaks of..there was nothing but peace as I swallowed those handfuls of pills..drifting away was so restful..and I was so so tired..When I woke up in the bright lights and glare of the hospital..and of life..all of the pain came rushing back..oh no..No..you don't "get" that he was depressed..No..you don't "get" that he suffered a long time..You don't "get" any of it of it or you couldn't say such cruel..hurtful things..there are those of us here that have suffered through these disabling..debilitating things..including Brenda..Please do not tell us that we were "selfish" or "trying to take the easy way out"..The easy way out??..Please do not say that we "didn't care about our families or others who cared for us"..you have no idea what it takes to get down that long sad rabbit hole..and the battle that some fight every day to keep from going back there..Thank you Brenda for this beautiful tribute to a man I will always admire for the courage he used to fight the hard battle every day with a smile on his face just to make us happy..but yes..I too saw that the sadness in his eyes and I knew there was much more to this man than what he was showing us..He looked so tired..the kind of tired that pain gives you..the pain of doing battle with yourself..Bless everyone who lives this..do not let the words of others put you down or get you down..Hugs

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Nancy--I hope it helps others find some bit of understanding and compassion.

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  24. It's just a fact that people who have not "been there" simply can't understand. They don't have any reality to base it on, so I don't blame them. But I also don't want them to judge me for something they have not experienced.

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  25. Like pregnancy & childbirth...if you haven`t lived it, you just can`t understand it. If you have not been in that black hole of depression, you really have no idea...

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  26. You're right. Absolutely...no...idea.

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  27. I have been there. See my other comment.

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    1. I read it. And you have my utmost respect for having the courage to tell your story. I thank you.

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