There is a new book about Robin Williams’ last year of life by Dave Itzkoff, which if true, provides a heart wrenching look into Williams’ reality at the end. Dave Itzkoff is a journalist, currently with The New York Times with Robin not his first book. Itzkoff wrote a biography on Robin Williams, which goes through his entire career, but it also reveals some dark details near the end of his life. Itzkoff has interviews with those directly interacting with Williams during that time period, but we still want to believe he wasn’t suffering like Robin depicts.
According to the biography, though Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson's, he was actually suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, which is a brain disorder with no cure that was basically tearing him apart. The diagnoses came after Williams’ symptoms didn’t align with the Parkinson’s disease, though it seems it was further delayed due to belief that drugs and alcohol could be the reason for his symptoms showing differently then the traditional expectation. The accounts in Itzkoff’s book come from Williams’ makeup artist, Cheri Minns and Pam Dawber, who starred with Williams in Mork & Mindy and later joined him on The Crazy Ones. Both women describe him as not himself. According to Minns, “He just cried and said, ‘I can’t, Cheri. I don’t know how anymore. I don’t know how to be funny.’ ” She believed this was too much for her, because as his makeup artist, she wasn’t equipped to deal with his state of mind. The description gets worse when Dawber shares on her time on The Crazy Ones. Dawber claims that Williams was extremely inappropriate on set, groping her, which was unlike the man she’d always known and she even said, “Something is wrong. He’s flat. He’s lost the spark. I don’t know what it is,’ ”
Itzkoff also spoke with Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider, who had the most insight to share regarding what was going on with her husband in the months leading to his suicide. She spoke to the other symptoms plaguing Williams which align with the diagnoses he received in the end, as it destroys both the mind and body of the person. Schneider spoke of his complaints about insomnia, indigestion, a hand tremor but each was attributed to another source prolonging his public suffering and delaying his true diagnosis.
Itzkoff’s book Robin shares an even deeper look into that time including more interviews with those closest and those who interacted with Williams toward the end. Reading about the suffering Robin Williams was going through before he took his own life, make his death even more heart breaking because nothing could be done to help him. However, if they’d made a diagnosis for his true issue earlier, he could have escaped the public eye as the deterioration began and perhaps had more peace in his final months. Robin Williams death will always hit close to home because he was suffering with depression long before his disease took him, but he always made us laugh, even in his darkest hours. The book will be available on May, 15th if you want to read more, and feel free to watch the NSFW video below to allow Williams to make you laugh again. We'll post a second one from The Crazy Ones because Williams hadn't completely lost his spark.