In the latest issue, on newsstands now, Closer Weekly talks to friends and costars of the late Robin Williams two years after his death to uncover the star’s longtime mental health issues and lifelong private torment.
With pressure mounting over his expensive divorces, declining career and health, Robin ultimately felt unable to hide his torment behind a mask of manic merriment. “If you looked close,” Ed Asner, who guested on Robin’s final TV series, The Crazy Ones, tells Closer, “you could see someone who was terribly afraid.”
Robin in 2013.
In the documentary Robin Williams: Behind Closed Doors, set to air on Sunday, Aug. 28 on Reelz, his childhood friends say that as a kid Robin didn’t always fit in and often “stayed in his own world.” Growing up in a 40-room mansion outside Detroit with his auto-exec father and mother, Robin felt a great deal of guilt for being brought up with money.
Perhaps that is why Robin worked tirelessly for multiple charities like Comic Relief. “I never saw him say no to any event,” his good friend Ed Begley Jr. tells Closer.
Robin and his third wife, Susan Schneider, in 2012.
Robin was most comfortable in front of an audience and had a fear of being alone. He tried to use drugs and alcohol to numb his mental anguish to no avail — sometimes even seeking extramarital female companionship to buffer his isolation. “That feeling of loneliness can happen inside a marriage,” says LA psychologist Jennifer Armstrong.
Richard Kind costarred with Robin in one of his final films, the dark comedy The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. “In retrospect, I could see how he was just exhausted from life,” Richard tells Closer. “I would start talking to him and he had to answer, but it was a labor to him.” Less than three months after the movie’s release, Robin took his own life on Aug. 11, 2014 at age 63.
Despite his struggles, “He was unbelievably gentle, considerate and wonderful,” Ed says of Robin.
For more on Robin, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!