Robin Williams deteriorated while filming a Night at the Museum sequel months before his death, his widow has said.
The actor and comedian’s final days are covered in Robin’s Wish, a new documentary exploring the neurodegenerative disorder that the actor was struggling with before he died by suicide in 2014.
In the documentary, which is out now in the UK, Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider Williams, reveals that her husband battled to find answers to his health issues before he died after being misdiagnosed with Parkinson's.
Despite this, he continued to work in film, and shot Shawn Levy film Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, alongside Ben Stiller, Rebel Wilson and Dan Stevens, at the height of his illness.
Unbeknownst to Williams, he was suffering from Lewy body dementia, an incurable brain disease, which was only revealed following his autopsy.
A 2018 biography on Williams, written by Dave Itzkoff, corroborates the story that Williams’ deterioration took hold while filming the third and final Night at the Museum film.
His makeup artist on the film, Cheri Minns, also told The New York Post in 2018 that he would end every day “sobbing in my arms”.
She described the experience as “horrible”, adding that he once said: “I don't know how to be funny anymore.”
In the new documentary, his widow tells filmmaker Tyler Norwood: “My husband had unknowingly been battling a deadly disease. Nearly every region of his brain was under attack – he experienced himself disintegrating.”
Williams starred in classic films such as Mrs Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam and Disney’s Aladdin. He won an Oscar for his supporting role as a psychologist in Good Will Hunting.
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.
In the US, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800 273 8255 or chat online for help.
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