Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. That's the stunning announcement on Thursday from his wife Susan Schneider.
The grieving widow made the revelation in a statement in which she said her husband "struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly."
According to published reports, he covered his bedroom windows with blackout curtains and spent 20 hours a day inside shutting himself out to the world.
Williams reportedly didn't eat, and slept virtually around the clock at his estate overlooking San Francisco Bay. He complained he was so exhausted he couldn't get out of bed.
His friend and fellow comic Rick Overton says he could see Williams' spirit dimming, saying, “He was closing off. He felt like he had overwhelming something that would not let him reach out to some friends. The visits and the phone calls stopped. Reduced the texting. It would be shorter texts, then shorter, then one sentence, then a word, and then not that.”
Despite his widow's statement that he was sober, Williams reportedly insisted on having real alcohol while shooting this scene with Kelly Clarkson from his ill-fated CBS sitcom, The Crazy Ones.
The scene was filmed at the famous Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills. One witness says that Williams had one cocktail, and that, quote, "one drink led to another." Until then, Williams had been clean and sober.
Williams' reps are denying reports that the Oscar-winning star was unhappy about doing a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel. Williams reportedly resented making the sequel more than two decades after the original with director Chris Columbus.
But a spokesman says Williams was looking forward to the sequel, saying, "Chris Columbus came up with an idea that Robin liked and the script was being developed."
Pierce Brosnan, who co-starred with Williams in the movie, paid tribute Thursday, saying, "I loved the man. I loved his work. He was bedazzling. Forever missed and loved. His films will live on forever."
Bizarrely, in one of those movies, 2009's World's Greatest Dad, Williams finds his son slumped over, having committed suicide by asphyxiation. Five years later, Williams himself would be discovered in a similar position.
On New York’s Broadway Wednesday night, the lights were dimmed in honor of Williams.
There was a moving tribute to late star as the cast of Aladdin led the audience in a rousing rendition of "Friend Like Me,” the song Williams made famous in the 1992 hit movie.