Robin Williams: RIP
Bill Quick

Robin Williams dead at 63 | Inside Movies | EW.com

Oscar winner and comedian Robin Williams died this morning at 63. While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that his death was a suicide, a rep did issue this statement. “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Rest in peace, funny guy.  I still remember the first time I saw you on Mork and Mindy….

What is it with comics and depression, anyway?

Posted in Obituaries permalink
Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

Robin Williams: RIP — 10 Comments

  1. Mork and Mindy didn’t do anything for me (maybe because I was too young to appreciate the humor) but I admired his live improv.

    As for comics and depression, it’s probably just a part of the well-known instability of performers. In Williams’s case, he always seemed manic depressive, though of course all I ever saw was when he was “on”.

  2. Tom Hanks started out as a comic. Even in more serious roles he has good timing and a comic touch.

    This is a shock to me. I do remember Mork and Mindy well. He was really, really good in this early days. When Belushi died though he started slipping. Lately I hadn’t been too impressed. I didn’t expect this.

    • Perhaps I was a little harsh re the time period. He did some of his best work right to the early 1990’s and Mrs Doubtfire. After that it was hit and miss and he never carried a movie since then. Good Will Hunting he was not the star. The Night at the Museum series he also had a good turn in a supporting role. Just not a performance to label as genius (my son really likes those movies. We will definitely see the third installment this December. He shrugged when he heard of his death, well he was “old” to an 11yo. He was surprised it might be a suicide though). Patch Adams, meh. He was good but I didn’t like the movie.

      My favorite was Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire. Dead Poet’s Society was also up there. The World According to Garp is weird but I kind of liked that too. I still like when the plane crashes into the house Garp is interested in buying and Garp wants to buy the house more than ever. What are the odds that a plane will ever fly into the house a second time! was his rationale. His rapid fire delivery interspersed with character voices and vocal slapstick made you forget that many of his early jokes had to be thought about for a while to catch the layers of funny. Manic and thoughtful at the same time.

    • “a certified insane depressant.”

      Did you mean that last word? I have a friend who used to call himself a manic depressant until I got tired of it and started agreeing with him, at which point he remembered the correct word. :)

  3. It was a good article.

    Sometimes I wonder, what does it say about people who aspire to be a stand up comedian or musician or actor who gets stage fright. Sort of the exact opposite, right? For example, Richard Manuel from The Band or the Owl from Canned Heat. In the studio they were able to produce music of extraordinary heights yet as they were expected to perform live they were barely able to get onstage. Yet they did it, and usually performed extremely well, until one day they couldn’t and killed themselves. Is it just a different personality expressing the same disorder? So some manic-depressives find expression in the manic side until the depressive side takes over and they commit suicide? The other side of manic-depressives outlast their depressive side until one day they get manic and they commit suicide?

  4. “What is it with comics and depression, anyway?”

    The same could be asked about people and drug use. I seem to notice most suicides are by those who have been heavy users/addicts of various drugs including alcohol.