Robin Williams’ suicide in August 2014 sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry and stunned the millions of fans he had charmed for more than four decades. But, of course, as well as the public trauma, the tragedy had a deeply personal impact as well – and it was one that really hit home hard. A year after the awful event, Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, opened up about the last thing that the comic actor ever said to her. And as you might expect, the words were desperately sad.
Robin McLaurin Williams came into the world in Chicago on July 21, 1951, born to an automobile industry executive father and a mother who was a former model. After his schooldays and a college stint, Williams studied at the prestigious Juilliard School performing arts conservatory in New York. However, then he switched his focus from acting to stand-up comedy. He moved to the West Coast, where he became a regular on the San Francisco comedy circuit; and in 1977 he made his TV debut on NBC’s Laugh-In. Then, just a year later, the comedian landed the role that launched him to international fame – playing the eponymous alien in the sitcom Mork and Mindy.
And Mork and Mindy was to prove a springboard for further success. Despite an early setback on the big screen when starring in the title role of 1980 flop Popeye, Williams went on to forge an impressive film career. He received Oscar nominations for his stellar performance in 1989’s Dead Poets Society and, two years later, for his part in The Fisher King. Then in 1998 he won Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards for his dramatic turn in Good Will Hunting.