Today the world got a little less funny. On the 12th August 2014, Robin Williams was found dead at home in a suspected suicide. Again, the funniest people tend to have the darkest lives. In his own words, Germany has no comedians anymore because they killed all the funny people.
Robin McLaurin Williams, one of the few actors to keep their birth name, was born 21st July 1951 exploded onto our screens as Mork in 1978 in Mork and Mindy, as an alien come to earth. And, just like the creature of sci-fi, he shot to fame and became a major household name. The phrase “na-nu na-nu” swiftly became a standard phrase, there wasn’t a person who didn’t know it.
In his early life he became friends with Superman actor Christopher Reeve. He cheered Reeve up after his accident, prompting, as Reeve said, the first bout of laughter since his accident. Reeve stated that he knew then everything would be ok. Robin was also friends with John Belushi, whom he shared a cocaine addiction with. On Belushi’s death, Robin said that it was a major wake up call, but that “the grand jury helped”. He played so many roles, many we’ll remember forever, too many to mention, but as Peter Pan in Hook, he reminded us to remember our inner child, with his typical childlike glee. He once said that children fascinated him, they amazed him that they grew so quickly into people in their own right.
Robin Williams was beyond famous for many films and stand up. His stand up poked fun at his previous addiction, once saying “No, I’m a reformed alcoholic, you have that double vodka, I’ll be over in the corner kicking the cat.” He stated about addiction to drugs as being free-basing. He declared that “It isn’t free, it costs you your home, it should be called home-basing”.
Robin Williams is the latest in a long, tawdy list of dead celebrities, that, rather selfishly, I’m starting to worry about. I grew up with Leslie Neilson, Anthony Hopkins and many others. I grew into adulthood with many more names. Phillip Hoffman, Michael Clarke Duncan, Robin Williams, Bob Hoskins, Mickey Rooney, Roger Lloyd Pack. These are just a few of the ones we lost in 2014 alone, and it’s only August. I have to say, now death is chewing through my list of favourite celebrities, I’m getting rather worried for Anthony Hopkins, Tony Todd, Sigourney Weaver and a few others. Sounds selfish, I know, but needs must!
The problem is that Robin Williams has famously battled depression for years, but now, despite all his life gifts, he couldn’t fight anymore. This is the cruel thing about depression, it strikes when you’re either at your height or lowest ebb, it doesn’t care if you’re famous or not, old or young. It digs its teeth in, hangs on and it takes a lot of work, from you and your friends and family, which you feel you don’t have, to pry its jaws open.
Sometimes people can fight it off, even keep it at bay, but others just can’t fight anymore. You can fight and fight and fight, but sometimes you just have to rest, and that will either make or break your life, or even death.
Don’t be ashamed if you have depression, don’t feel you can’t talk to anyone, there are places to go and things to do. Have patience with those who have depression. I can’t say it enough, please, have patience.