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Tags: sam neil | robin williams | suicide

Sam Neill: Robin Williams 'Saddest Person I Ever Met'

Robin Williams performing comedy
Robin Williams (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 24 March 2023 12:59 PM EDT

"Jurassic Park" actor Sam Neill is remembering Robin Williams.

Neill reflected on their time together while working on 1999's "Bicentennial Man," writing in his book, "Did I Ever Tell You This?" that they shared "great chats" throughout their visits to each other's trailers. 

"We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do," Neill said, according to Deadline, calling Williams "irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny."

But despite the good times, Neill admitted he could sense something was wrong with Williams, who he described as "the saddest person I ever met."

"He had fame, he was rich, people loved him, great kids — the world was his oyster," Neill wrote. "And yet I felt more sorry for him than I can express. He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet." 

Williams seemed "inconsolably solitary and deeply depressed," Neill said, theorizing that Williams self-medicated through humor, saying that "funny stuff just poured out of him."

"And everybody was in stitches, and when everybody was in stitches, you could see Robin was happy," Neill said.

Williams died by suicide in August 2014 at age 63. At the time of his death, reports indicated that he had suffered from depression, but an autopsy later revealed that the Oscar-winning comedian had suffered from Lewy body dementia.

Filmmaker Shawn Levy, who was directing Williams in "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," recalled how, towards the end of his life, Williams was having difficulty in his job and was concerned about what it meant for him as an actor.

"Robin was struggling in a way that he hadn't before to remember lines and to combine the right words with the performance," Levy said in the documentary, "Robin's Wish," according to Vanity Fair. "Robin would call me — at 10 at night, at 2 in the morning, at 4 in the morning — saying, 'Is it usable? Is any of it usable? Do I suck? What's going on?' I would reassure him."

Williams' death sparked speculation that he had relapsed into old addictions, but his widow, Susan Schneider, squelched the rumors in a 2021 interview with The Guardian.

"Robin had been clean and sober for six years when he passed," she said. "It infuriated me when the media said he'd been drinking, because I know there are recovering addicts out there who looked up to him, people dealing with depression who looked up to him, and they deserve to know the truth."

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to resources for a list of additional resources.

Zoe Papadakis

Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

"Jurassic Park" actor Sam Neill is remembering Robin Williams.
sam neil, robin williams, suicide
Friday, 24 March 2023 12:59 PM
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