Gone Too Soon
Robin Williams, the beloved Oscar-winning comic and actor, was found dead after a 911 call from his home in Tiburon, California around noon on Monday, August 11. Law enforcement officials are stating that Williams took his own life. He was 63 years old and had been recently battling severe depression. He was found not breathing and coroner investigators suspect “the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia,” according to a statement from the Marin County, California, Sheriff’s Office.
Williams had a history of alcohol and cocaine addiction. He entered rehab in 2006 for alcoholism. Two years later, Marsha Graces, the mother of two of his children and wife of 20 years, filed for divorce from Williams. Last month, Williams revisited Hazelden in Minnesota to focus on and improve his sobriety skills.
Robin left behind three children: his oldest son, Zachary Pym, with his first wife Valeria Velardi, born April 11, 1983, and two children with former wife Marsha Graces, Zelda, born July 31, 1989, and Cody Alan, born November 25, 1991.
Williams was married, at the time of his death, to Susan Schneider, who stated: “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken.” Family and friends expect privacy during this awful time and want Robin remembered by the laughter and joy he brought to people around the world.
President Barack Obama sent a statement from the White House regarding his death:
“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”
The public will be able to see Williams in four more movie appearances coming to theaters. One role is Williams as Teddy Roosevelt in the third “Night at the Museum,” which is a role he played in the first two comedies.
Another celebrity who battled alcoholism and depression was Amy Winehouse. The Grammy award-winning singer died from alcohol poisoning in her north London home on July 23, 2011. Amy was only 27 years old.
Winehouse drank so much alcohol that she fell into a coma and stopped breathing. She was battling alcoholism and bulimia and was found with two empty vodka bottles on the floor beside her bed. She was in bed watching YouTube clips of herself and drinking vodka before she died.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his role as writer Truman Capote in “Capote” and who was nominated for Academy Awards four , was found dead on February 2, 2014. He was found on the bathroom floor in his New York apartment with a syringe in his left arm. The New York medical examiner’s office said he died from a deadly mixture of cocaine, benzodiazepines (Xanax and Valium), heroin, and amphetamine.
It appeared that his death was an accident. Prescription drugs, used syringes, and empty bags were also found throughout his apartment. Playwright David Katz and another man found Hoffman dead in his apartment. Hoffman battled drug addiction throughout his life but stated he was able to stay sober for 23 years after getting sober at age 22. Sadly, he lost his battle with substance abuse.
Film director, Tony Scott jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California, resulting in his death. Scott is best known for the films “Beverly Hills Cop II” in 1987 and “Top Gun” in 1986. He committed suicide on August 19, 2012. He left notes in his car and office for his family before jumping. A passerby saw Scott jump and called 911. The Los Angeles Police were able to recover his body from the water. The last film Scott directed was in 2010, the train thriller, “Unstoppable” with Denzel Washington starring. The L.A. County coroner’s office stated the official cause of death was drowning and multiple blunt force injuries. Antidepressants and the prescription sleeping pill Lunesta were found in Scott’s system, but it is unclear if these affected his mood to the point of the complete despair necessary to commit suicide.
Whitney Houston, pop icon died on February 11, 2012. Whitney Houston was found face down in a bathtub full of water with a small spoon with a white substance in it and a rolled-up piece of paper nearby. These drug paraphernalia items are used to snort cocaine. Cocaine and prescription medicine were found in Houston’s system. Forensic toxicologist Bruce Goldberger said the details about her blood from the toxicology report indicate that she was “acutely intoxicated from cocaine” at the time of her death and was a “repeated cocaine user.”
A total of 12 different medications were found in her room as a result of multiple doctors prescribing the drugs. There was also an open can of beer and open bottle of champagne in the room. Whitney battled substance abuse her whole life. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning exacerbated by atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.