On Monday, the world was shocked at the suicide death of beloved actor Robin Williams.
“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,” the late actor’s wife, Susan Schneider, said in a statement.
And while the public mourns the legendary actor and comedian, his loving family has lost a husband and father.
Just two weeks before his untimely death, the Patch Adams actor left his final public message to his daughter Zelda, who just turned 25.
On July 31, Robin posted one last Instagram message. Sharing a precious family photo, the funnyman, 63, captioned an image with his then “baby girl.”
“#tbt and Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl. Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!,” the proud papa wrote.
In an emotional tribute Monday, daddy’s “baby girl” took to Instagram to share some thoughts amid her grief.
Zelda finished the message by writing: “I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up. Z.”
In an interview almost one year ago, Williams – also dad to sons Zak, 31, and Cody, 22 - was asked about the joys of fatherhood and reading to kids.
“My children give me a great sense of wonder,” Williams shared. “Just to see them develop into these extraordinary human beings. And a favorite book as a child? Growing up, it was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe — I would read the whole C.S. Lewis series out loud to my kids. I was once reading to Zelda, and she said, ‘Don’t do any voices. Just read it as yourself.’ So I did, I just read it straight, and she said ‘that’s better.’”
The world loved him.
From his zany characters like Mork from Mork & Mindy, to the deeply insightful Dr. Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting, he touched our hearts and inspired us to live with integrity and passion.
Since the tragic news hit late day Monday, notes of condolences have been pouring in from fans and costars alike.
Sarah Michelle Gellar was Williams’ most recent costar in the short-lived TV series The Crazy Ones. “My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams,” Gellar said. “To my children he was Uncle Robin, to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he was the Father I had always dreamed of having.”
Sally Field famously costarred with Williams in one of his most memorable roles: Mrs. Doubtfire. “I feel stunned and so sad about Robin,” Field said. “I’m sad for the world of comedy. And so very sad for his family. And I’m sad for Robin. He always lit up when he was able to make people laugh, and he made them laugh his whole life long…. tirelessly. He was one of a kind. There will not be another. Please God, let him now rest in peace.”
Fellow funnyman, National Lampoon’s Vacation star Chevy Chase, also shared his heartfelt sympathies: “Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease: depression,” Chase shared. “I never could have expected this ending to his life, and to ours with him. God bless him and God bless us all for his LIFE! I cannot believe this. I am overwhelmed with grief. What a wonderful man/boy and what a tremendous talent in the most important art of any time – comedy! I loved him.”
As the days go on, the condolences are sure to keep pouring in. I can only hope that the heartfelt sympathies will somehow help lessen the sadness for his family.
I am shocked and saddened by this tremendous loss. Robin was more than a great actor and funnyman, he was a peaceful force in our world. He has always been in our homes, and I will remember laughing out loud as a child, teen and adult to his comedy.
Depression is ugly and should not go untreated.
I can only hope that his suicide will be a wake-up call to anyone out there in need – even one person – who might be struggling with depression or mental health issues. Please take this as a sign to reach out for help. There is no shame in asking for support — please don’t go another day without help.
RIP to a talented man and inspirational soul. Genie, you’re free.