It seemed like Robin Williams changed almost overnight.
Before his sudden death in 2014, Williams’ friends and colleagues knew he was fighting some kind of internal battle.
He couldn’t remember his lines. He thought he wasn’t funny anymore. He cried uncontrollably.
“He was sobbing in my arms at the end of every day. It was horrible. Horrible,” makeup artist Cheri Minns has recalled. “I said to his people, ‘I’m a makeup artist. I don’t have the capacity to deal with what’s happening to him.’ ”
In an effort to help, Minns suggested Williams should get back into stand-up comedy.
“He just cried and said, ‘I can’t, Cheri. I don’t know how anymore. I don’t know how to be funny.’ ”
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At the time Williams had no idea he was suffering from a pernicious neurodegenerative disease that was slowly eroding his mind.
It was basically robbing Williams of everything that made him Robin Williams.
A new biography Robin, written by Dave Itzkoff, has recounted Williams’ final days.
It looks at Williams’ stellar comedy and acting career, in which it seemed like he could do no wrong, and then his slow fall from grace in noughties.
In 2013, Williams returned to the small screen co-staring in CBS’s The Crazy Ones with Sarah Michelle Geller.
But the magic wasn’t there and critics roundly slammed the show.
That’s when the people close to him started to notice a change in Williams. He began to complain about insomnia, indigestion, he said he had trouble urinating, he worried that he had lost his sense of smell. There was also a slight tremor in his left hand.
His third wife, Susan Schneider, described his deteriorating health in Robin.