TIME celebrities

Robin Williams’s Son Zak on His Dad: ‘I Miss Him All the Time’

Timo Pre Fall 2009 Launch with Interview Magazine
Robin Williams and Zak Williams attend the Timo Pre Fall 2009 Launch with Interview Magazine at Phillips De Pury on Nov. 18, 2008 in New York City. Jamie McCarthy—WireImage/Getty Images

"Often I see something or if I'm watching a film, I think, 'Oh, man, he would have appreciated this'"

Four months after Robin Williams took his own life at age 63, his eldest son has opened up about the loss of his beloved father.

“I miss him all the time,” Williams’s oldest son, Zak, 31, tells People. “Often I see something or if I’m watching a film, I think, ‘Oh, man, he would have appreciated this’ or ‘He would have gotten a laugh out of this.'”

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about our dad,” Zak said, speaking for himself and siblings Zelda, 25, and Cody, 23.

Read more at People.

TIME celebrities

Robin Williams’ Ashes Scattered Over San Francisco Bay

Robin Williams at "The Crazy Ones" Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 8, 2013 in Beverly Hills.
Robin Williams at "The Crazy Ones" Press Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 8, 2013 in Beverly Hills. Vera Anderson—WireImage/Getty Images

The day after comedy legend Robin Williams was found dead in his Tiburon, California, home, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered “in San Francisco Bay off the coast of Marin County,” according to his death certificate obtained by NBC News on Thursday…

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

TIME Appreciation

Mara Wilson Pens a Beautiful Tribute to Her Mrs. Doubtftire Dad Robin Williams

Kobal
Twentieth Century Fox

"Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant"

Former child star Mara Wilson, who memorably played Robin Williams’ daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire, said she was too devastated last week to talk openly about the actor’s shocking death. Three days after the fact, she posted a “quick update” on her blog, briefly explaining that she was felt “shocked, confused angry, regretful, and above all, sad.”

Now, having had a week to process her emotions a bit more, the 27-year-old has posted a beautiful, thoughtful tribute.

“He always reminded me a little of my father,” she begins. “Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant. While it can be hard for me to remember filming Doubtfire, I’ve been flooded with memories in the past few days.”

She recalls his brilliant comedic mind and his ability to relate to kids without ever being patronizing or condescending. But she also remembers seeing a more vulnerable side of his personality:

Robin was so on so much of the time that I was surprised to hear my mother describe him as “shy.” “When he talks to you,” she told her friends, “he’ll be looking down at his shoes the whole time.” I figured he must have been different with grown-ups. I wouldn’t see that side of him myself until a few years later, when I was invited to be part of a table read of What Dreams May Come. … Robin crossed to me from across the room, got down to my level, and whispered “Hi, how are you?” He asked how my family was doing, how school was, never raising his voice and only sometimes making eye contact. He seemed so vulnerable.

Read Wilson’s full blog post here.

TIME celebrity

Robin Williams Recorded This Video Message for a Terminally Ill Fan Before He Died

He was helping a 21-year-old mom with cancer finish her bucket list

Robin Williams recorded a video message a few months before he died to cheer up a terminally-ill fan, New Zealand’s Sunday-Star Times reports.

Vivian Waller, 21, who is living with cancer in an Auckland hospice, drew up a bucket list in January that included getting married, seeing her daughter turn one, and meeting Robin Williams, the beloved actor who took his own life on Aug. 11.

While the first two items have been completed, she has been too sick to travel to the U.S. to meet the star, so he emailed her this approximately 30-second clip instead.

“Hey girl, what’s going on down there in New Zealand? Sending all my love to you,” Williams says in the video. “Mark this off your bucket list.”

TIME Appreciation

Pizza Place Honors Robin Williams With Awesome Themed Specials

For example: the Pork & Mindy pizza and the Good Will Hotwing

People around the country have been finding all kinds of ways to honor Robin Williams following his shocking death Monday. In Brooklyn, the employees of Vinnie’s Pizzeria created a tribute that was a bit tastier than the rest. They named their specials after some of the actor’s most memorable works and displayed them on a whiteboard next to some lovely illustrations:

Showing our respects in the only way we know how. Rest in Pizza, Robin.

A photo posted by Vinnies Pizzeria (@vinniesbrooklyn) on

Vinnie’s is known for its pop culture-themed specials and corresponding illustrations — seriously, check these out, because they’re really great — but this one definitely stands out as a lovely tribute to a fallen star.

(h/t Grubstreet)

TIME celebrities

Michael J. Fox ‘Stunned’ to Hear About Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s Diagnosis

Robin Williams and Michael J. Fox during "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's..." Benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research 2004 at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Robin Williams, left, and Michael J. Fox during "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson's ..." benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in 2004 KMazur—WireImage/Getty Images

Williams committed suicide Monday

Actor Michael J. Fox tweeted Thursday evening that he was “stunned” to learn that Robin Williams, who was found dead after committing suicide in his home Monday, had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Fox, who was himself diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, sent the tweet after Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement saying her husband was in the early stages of the disease.

“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,” the statement read. Williams was 63 when he died.

Fox tweeted on Monday after the initial announcement about Williams’ death:

Fox did not disclose his condition until seven years after his diagnosis. Since then, he has established the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and continued to act. Recently, he has had recurring roles on The Good Wife, Boston Legal and Rescue Me. He also starred in the short-lived The Michael J. Fox Show last year.

Parkinson’s affects nearly 10 million people, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. It is a movement disorder that attacks the nerve cells in the brains, resulting in trembling of the hands, arms, legs and face. The progressive disease gets worse over the course of time.

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

Robin Williams’ Parkinson’s: The Link Between the Chronic Disease and Depression

Robin Williams
Tracey Nearmy—EPA

Williams' widow reveals actor was battling early Parkinson's

Receiving a positive diagnosis for Parkinson’s can be devastating. It’s a chronic disease that progressively worsens, causing formerly competent men and women to gradually lose control of their own bodies, and it’s the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s. As revealed on Thursday by his wife, the late actor and comedian Robin Williams was privately battling the early stages of Parkinson’s on top of his more public struggles with anxiety and depression.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) acknowledges there is a link between Parkinson’s and depression, though the association is not always biological. It’s estimated that about half of all people with Parkinson’s will experience depression at some point during the disease. For some, depression can be spurred as a result of receiving the diagnosis, learning that the new ailment may turn their mind against their body.

Other research has shown that depression may be the result of biological factors that the two diseases share and that a chemical imbalance in the brain could contribute to both. For instance, changes in levels of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain, like dopamine and serotonin, caused by Parkinson’s may increase the likelihood that a person will also develop depression, since both are involved in mood regulation. But it should be noted that Williams’ depression and anxiety were likely established separately from his Parkinson’s.

What’s known about the connection is that having depression on top of Parkinson’s can negatively influence the outlook for the disease. People who have both depression and Parkinson’s have higher levels of anxiety and trouble moving, according to the NIH, compared to people who have just one or the other. Similarly, individuals with both diseases may have greater difficulty concentrating than people who suffer from depression alone.

Williams’ death, by an apparent suicide earlier this week, is a reminder of the weight that people with both diseases carry. As Williams’ wife said, “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.”

TIME celebrities

Robin Williams Was Battling Parkinson’s Disease, Wife Says

Susan Schneider and Robin Williams
Gilbert Carrasquillo—FilmMagic/Getty Images

Says "sobriety was intact" when he died

The wife of Robin Williams revealed Thursday that at the time of his death, the late comedian was not only battling depression and anxiety but the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.

“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,” said Susan Schneider, in a statement.

Parkinson’s affects nearly 10 million people, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. The National Institutes of Health cites that “for people with depression and Parkinson’s disease, each illness can make symptoms of the other worse.” Research linking the two has focused on depression following a diagnosis, but it can be assumed that the actor’s depression predated his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Schneider was Williams’ third wife. Read her entire statement below.

“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

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.”

TIME celebrity

Cast of Broadway’s Aladdin Pays a Special Musical Tribute to Robin Williams

Remembering Williams' classic role as the Genie in 1992

On Wednesday, Broadway theaters across New York City dimmed their lights to honor to Robin Williams. But the previous night, one particular group of Broadway performers paid a much livelier tribute to the actor, who died Monday at 63.

After their performance, the cast of the musical version of Aladdin took a moment to pay their respects and then lead the audience in a singalong rendition of “Friend Like Me.” Williams, of course, sang this song when he played the Genie in the 1992 animated Disney movie.

James Monroe Iglehart, who plays the Genie on Broadway, also spoke a bit about Williams’ incredible talent and influence, calling him “one of the greatest — not comedians — but one of the greatest entertainers of all time.”

 

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