Dead Person You Should Know: Robin McLaurin Williams

On the day of August 11, 2014 the world lost yet another remarkable human being. Robin M. Williams was pronounced dead at 12:02 P.M. on this Monday afternoon. Police received a call from a person stating that a man had been found “unconscious and not breathing…” Thinking Williams was still sleeping, his wife Susan, left the house around 10:30 A.M. Williams was found by his personal assistant when Williams did not answer after several knocks on his door which led to his finding.

Williams had been going through many personal challenges in which seemed to start while filming

Mork and Mindy. He developed an alcohol and drug addiction which followed him for decades to come. Robin Williams had hanged himself. Reports also stated that “...a pocket knife was found at the scene and several cuts were found on William’s left wrist.” The family was devastated along with all of the people following him through his lifetime.

Following his death, his family took time to themselves to grieve. His children looked up to Williams and after his passing, their lives were changed significantly.  His son, Zak Williams said, “Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer.” His daughter, Zelda stated, “My last day with him was his birthday, and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter.” His youngest son spoke up about his emotions through this difficult time as well. “There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him.”

The family was not expecting this day to come and realizing how quickly it approached, they took this time to appreciate everything he did for them. According to the interview with his second wife, Susan Williams on Good Morning America, she forgave him for taking his life. “Lewy body dementia killed Robin. It's what took his life."

Regardless of the struggles, he continued acting and bringing joy to all those who watched him. He will always be known for his iconic roles which include Genie (Aladdin), Alan Parrish (Jumanji), and Euphegenia Doubtfire (Mrs. Doubtfire). Even though he was known for his comedic roles, he took part in playing the characters of a more thrilling genre such as the movies Insomnia, One Hour Photo, and The Night Listener. His true talent was acting and he has left an impact on the lives of all who look up to him.

After his death, suicide rates went up 10 percent just in the four months of his passing. A group from Columbia University researched how true these statistics were and concluded that the suicide rate did reach a 9.9 percent increase. According to researcher David Fink, they “...cannot determine with certainty that these deaths are attributable to the death of Robin Williams…” but they did notice a major increase in suicides within those four months in 2014 since his death. It has been noticed for decades that when media reports a death of a celebrity, the suicide rate increases.

Williams’ final film was released in July of 2015 titled, Boulevard. The movie showcased his true talent - which was pride and passion. Every word spoken, every laugh broadcasted was a shining example of his attention and drive for his craft and showed the true meaning of his acting career. Every character he portrayed, every role he perfected, will stay with audiences and fans of his for lifetimes to come. He will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.

I am a student at Greater Johnstown High School. My career goal is to be a photojournalist and to travel the world while capturing the sights I see.

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