Scottish actor/comedian Billy Connolly is convinced he should have done more to help troubled comic Robin Williams. The Mrs. Brown star had been friends with Williams for more than a decade and was devastated when he heard his pal had taken his own life last month (Aug14) following a long battle with depression.
Connolly admits he empathised with the Mrs. Doubtfire star's problems and wishes he had stepped in to help him.
He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "I used to be not quite like Robin Williams, but I'd find it hard to switch off. Robin was 'on' all the time. He was a joy to be around, let me tell you. In all the years I knew him I never got tired of him. He was a one-off, so warm, so human.
"In my quieter moments I do sometimes think I could have done more (to help him). It's a lonely life, showbusiness. You spend a lot of time on your own, and if you dwell on these things you can hurt yourself, as Robin proved."
Connolly was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease last year (13) and it recently emerged that Williams had also been diagnosed with the early stages of the degenerative disorder prior to his death.
"Everybody grieves in their own way. When I heard about Robin’s death, I was shocked, confused angry, regretful, and above all, sad. All I wanted was to talk to my family and friends and cry... While Robin and I had not talked in a few years, there is no question he had a great impact on my life. He was as warm and talented as everyone says, and a joy to be around. It’s as if my favourite teacher died." Robin Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire co-star Mara Wilson shares her feelings in the aftermath of the funnyman's death.
Robin Williams' widow has revealed the tragic funnyman was suffering the early stages of Parkinson's disease at the time of his death on Monday (11Aug14). Susan Schneider has released a new statement to the media in a bid to end speculation surrounding her late husband's apparent suicide, insisting money worries and his addiction issues were not responsible for the tragedy, despite ongoing reports to the contrary.
She claims the Good Morning, Vietnam star's sobriety was "intact" following a brief stint at a rehab/renewal centre earlier this summer (14), but he was struggling with a Parkinson's disease diagnosis.
Her statement reads: "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."
Actor Josh Gad has become the latest celebrity to pen a heartwarming tribute to tragic funnyman Robin Williams after striking up an unexpected friendship with his comedy idol. In a touching piece for newspaper USA Today, which was published on Wednesday (13Aug14), the Frozen star revealed he had looked up to Williams since he was a child, but it was the comic legend's ability to bring the Genie to life on the big screen in the 1992 animated Disney classic Aladdin which made him realise his own acting ambitions.
He later got the opportunity to meet the movie legend after performing on Broadway in hit musical The Book of Mormon in 2011, recalling the backstage visit from Williams was the start of a close friendship.
In a piece titled Olaf Remembers His Friend and Idol, the Genie, Gad writes, "It was always a thrill to look out in the audience and see a familiar face that had inspired me. But on this particular summer night, May 15 to be exact, I looked into the audience... and saw a bearded hero smiling back at me. That night, I gave what was probably the best performance I have ever given on a stage. I felt intoxicated with the knowledge that I was entertaining a man who had raised me on his comedy specials, his movies and his TV series..."
Gad, who once lived in the same New York apartment building as Williams, went on to reveal that the two stars exchanged weekly notes while Williams was starring in a production of the drama Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway, and the veteran sent his pal a bicycle as a gift when he moved from New York to San Francisco, California.
The Frozen star, who has previously discussed drawing inspiration from Williams' Genie for his own role as snowman Olaf in the 2013 Disney smash-hit, wrapped up his tribute by writing, "Olaf will never remotely touch the tour de force that is Robin's Genie. Because there is only one Robin Williams. But the joy and laughter that my little snowman has brought to children is because of the man who has left this world far too early. A man who taught me to be free, to be childlike, and a man who taught me to get out of my own way as a performer.
"His gift was to take all of our pain away and to allow us to escape. If only we could have returned the favor."
Williams died at his California home on Monday (11Aug14).
"Robin brought so much joy into my life and I will carry that joy with me forever. He was such a beautiful man. I was lucky to know him and I will never, ever forget him." Matt Damon pays tribute to his Good Will Hunting co-star Robin Williams following his death on Monday (11Aug14).
Tragic actor Robin Williams' three children have broken their silence over their father's death. The Oscar-winning star passed away on Monday (11Aug14) after he hanged himself at his home in Marin County, California.
Since the news of his death, there has been an outpouring of tributes from fans, friends, and former co-stars, and on Tuesday (12Aug14), his three children finally opened up about their beloved father.
Williams' oldest son, 31-year-old Zachary, from his first marriage with Valerie Velardi, said in a statement: "Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. I will carry his heart with me every day. I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be. Seek to bring joy to the world as he sought."
The comedian's other two children with second wife Marsha Garces also released statements about their father, with Cody, 23, saying, "There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again."
His older sister Zelda, 25, added, "My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that's gone, and I feel stripped bare. My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments.
"While I'll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there's minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn't help the pain, but at least it's a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.
"To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you've had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too...
"Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I've ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We'll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again."
Zelda also took to Twitter to thank fans for making donations to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital in memory of their dad, and wrote, "Thank you to all those donating to @StJude in memory of my father. I'm overwhelmed. The charity meant the world to him, as it does to me. Knowing that so many children will be helped in his honor is all I could've asked for. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you."
Ex-wife Garces also shared her sorrow, and said, "My heart is split wide open and scattered over the planet with all of you. Please remember the gentle, loving, generous - and yes, brilliant and funny - man that was Robin Williams. My arms are wrapped around our children as we attempt to grapple with celebrating the man we love, while dealing with this immeasurable loss."
Actors Nathan Lane and Jeff Bridges have added new tributes to Robin Williams after learning of their former co-star's death on Monday (11Aug14). The stars of The Birdcage and The Fisher King have offered up thoughtful statements a day after the late funnyman hanged himself at his home in Marin County, California.
United Artists via Everett Collection
Lane, who played Williams' lover in The Birdcage, says, "I feel I have to say something more than just 'heartbreaking and shocking' which everyone has said and I feel as well, but something a little more personal."
He adds, "One day in 1995 while riffing in the character of a snobby French toy store owner, Robin made me laugh so hard and so long that I cried. It seemed to please him to no end. Yesterday I cried again at the thought that he was gone. What I will always remember about Robin, perhaps even more than his comic genius, extraordinary talent, and astounding intellect, was his huge heart - his tremendous kindness, generosity, and compassion as an acting partner, colleague, and fellow traveller in a difficult world. My heartfelt condolences to his wife and family."
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
And Bridges, who teamed up with Williams for The Fisher King, tells WENN, "I just want to acknowledge the fullness of life; the joy and the sadness that is in store for us all. I'm filled with both of them today, as I was last night after learning of my dear friend's passing."
The movie star reveals he thought he saw the ghost of Robin Williams outside the party following the New York premiere of his new film The Giver, where he also made mention of his pal's passing, but realised he was looking at eccentric Big Apple street personality Radio Man. He explains, "I remember pulling up to the boathouse where we had our party and I'm sitting there with my wife trying to gather myself and I look out the window and I say, 'Is that Robin? Is that his ghost?' No! It's Radio Man!"
"It brought back all of these wonderful feelings of what an amazing time we had together here in New York shooting The Fisher King. I remember when we were shooting Fisher King, Radio Man knows where all movies are shot; I don't know how he magically does that. I remember seeing Radio Man on the set and I could not believe how Robin's character was there in the flesh, in reality! I got out of the car and embraced Radio Man last night and looked at his face. I felt Robin's spirit when I embraced him. I was just looking out my window at The Essex House to Central Park, my favourite part about New York, and I'm remembering the last scene of me and Robin out there at four o'clock in the morning, naked. And Robin is just wild and free, and he says, 'Let the wild pony dance!' And he's rubbing his butt on the grass and he says, 'You know why dogs do this? Because they can!' We were just so wild and so I had to share that with you because that's what's going on so strongly how much I miss him and I'm sure you guys do too. What a gift he was to all of us."
Meanwhile, another of Williams' great co-stars, Forest Whitaker, who worked with the tragic star in Good Morning, Vietnam, has also added his tribute to the hundreds that are pouring in for the late star. He took to Twitter.com on Tuesday and wrote, "U touched our lives U touched our hearts U gave us laughter n joy U'r a beautiful soul U will be missed Our love to the family RIP Robin W (sic)."
Aladdin composer and the animated Disney film's star have added their tributes to Robin Williams after learning of his suicide on Monday (11Aug14). Scott Weinger, who voiced the lead in the film which featured Williams as Genie, has joined several of the funnyman's co-stars in remembering him.
He tweets, "Farewell to my childhood hero and my Genie. The world won't be the same without him."
And composer Alan Menken, who worked on the Oscar-nominated Aladdin tune Friend Like Me with Williams, has issued a statement to Billboard.com, which reads: "If I had only watched Robin Williams on the TV screen, in the movies or on stage, I would consider myself blessed for having simply experienced his brilliance, his joy, his humor and his heart.
"The fact that I had the honor of sharing the creative process with him is an honor and a privilege that I will cherish for the rest of my life."
Tragic Robin Williams' beloved baseball team the San Francisco Giants have added to the tributes pouring in for the late funnyman, following his death on Monday (11Aug14). Williams was the Giants' lucky charm when they won the World Series for the first time in over 50 years in 2010, and he welcomed fans to the team's AT&T Park home for their National League Division Series kick-off game against the Atlanta Braves by referencing his line from hit movie Good Morning, Vietnam by yelling, "Good Evening, San Francisco!"
The Giants won the game and went on to win the title, and after learning of the comedian's death, the team's president Larry Baer issued a statement, which read: "We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Robin Williams. Robin was a true artist who brought joy to the world through his brilliance, humor, talent and love for our community. We lost one of our greatest fans today and he will be deeply missed by the Giants family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Robin's family and the entire community during this difficult time."
Meanwhile, fans paid their respects to the Oscar winner, who committed suicide at his home in Marin County, California, by placing memorials outside Boulder, Colorado home which served as the location for the actor's cult TV series Mork & Mindy.
Fans also gathered at the bench, which featured in Williams' film Good Will Hunting, in Boston Public Garden in Massachusetts. The late comic's star on the Walk of Fame has also become a makeshift memorial, covered with flowers and candles.
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar has added to her photo tribute to late co-star Robin Williams by calling the tragic funnyman the "father I always dreamed of having". Gellar played the Good Morning, Vietnam star's daughter in TV comedy The Crazy Ones and was so upset by the news of his passing on Monday (11Aug14), she simply posted photos of herself with Williams on her social media accounts.
She has since updated her Twitter.com page with the note, "I just want to say thank you for all the kind words and tributes. The outpouring of love is spectacular and greatly appreciated."
And the actress tells People.com, "My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams. To my children he was Uncle Robin, to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he was the father I had always dreamed of having.
"There are not enough adjectives to describe the light he was, to anyone that ever had the pleasure to meet him. I will miss him everyday, but I know the memory of him will live on. And to his family, I thank them for letting us know him and seeing the joy they brought him. Us crazy ones love you."
She then quoted the beginning of the Serenity Prayer, which is used as a meditation for recovering addicts, like Williams, who checked in to rehab earlier this summer (14) to focus on his sobriety.
She said, "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Williams committed suicide at his home in Marin County, California on Monday, aged 63.