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Robin Williams ‘changed’ while shooting Night at the Museum sequel months before death

Actor and comedian ended every day ‘sobbing’ due to worsening health 

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 14 August 2023 04:57 BST
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind trailer

It’s been nine years since Robin Williams died, an event that prompted an outputing of love from Hollywood.

The beloved actor and comedian’s final days were covered in Robin’s Wish, a documentary exploring the neurodegenerative disorder that the actor was struggling with before he died by suicide in 2014.

In the documentary, which was released in 2020, it was revealed that Williams deteriorated while filming a Night at the Museum sequel months before his death.

Susan Schneider Williams said 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.”

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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.”

Robin Williams in ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ (Rex Features)

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.

Robin’s Wish is available to stream in the UK on demand and digital now – read our review here.

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, or visit 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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