News / Arts & Entertainment

    Robin Williams Suffered from Early Parkinson's at Death

    FILE - Actor Robin Williams, star of the new film "Old Dogs" arrives at the film's premiere in Hollywood, California, Nov. 9, 2009.
    FILE - Actor Robin Williams, star of the new film "Old Dogs" arrives at the film's premiere in Hollywood, California, Nov. 9, 2009.
    Reuters

    Robin Williams was sober and suffering from early stages of Parkinson's disease as well as anxiety and depression at the time of his apparent suicide, the actor's widow said in a statement on Thursday.

    Susan Schneider said Williams “was not yet ready to share publicly” his struggles with Parkinson's, an incurable and debilitating nervous system disorder that causes tremors and slowness of movement.

    “It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid,” Schneider said in the statement.

    The 63-year-old, Oscar-winning comedic virtuoso, whose madcap style and dramatic versatility made him one of film and television's top stars, was found hanged at his Tiburon, California, home north of San Francisco on Monday.

    • Actor Robin Williams participates in the "The Crazy Ones" panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, July 29, 2013.
    • Robin Williams presents a tribute to Jonathan Winters on stage at the 65th Emmy Awards at Nokia Theater, Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles.
    • Robin Williams gestures during a panel discussion for his HBO show "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction" at the Television Critics Association Cable summer press tour in Pasadena, California, July 30, 2009.
    • Actor Robin Williams arrives at the premiere of the film "World's Greatest Dad" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 18, 2009.
    • U.S. comedian Robin Williams, third from left, poses for photographs with U.S. soldiers at a U.S. base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 20, 2007.
    • Actor Robin Williams (right) gets slimed by show host Jack Black at the 19th annual Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, April 1, 2006.
    • Comedian Robin Williams, wearing a camouflage jacket, entertains a cheering crowd of U.S. Army troops at Baghdad airport, Iraq, Dec. 16, 2003.
    • Comedian Robin Williams holds his Grammy Award to his ear as he poses for photographers at the 45th annual Grammy Awards at New York's Madison Square Garden, Feb. 23, 2003. Williams won the Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy Album for "Robin Williams Live 2002."
    • Actor and comedian Robin Williams (center) shares a laugh with rescue workers near the site of the World Trade Center collapse in lower Manhattan, Oct. 17, 2001. Williams spent time with rescue workers as well as surprising their wives with phone calls.
    • Robin Williams (C) sings the nominated song "Blame Canada" from the movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" during the Academy Awards, March 26, 2000.
    • Oscar winners (left to right) Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck hold their Oscars for their work on the film "Good Will Hunting" at the 70th Annual Academy Awards, March 23, 1998, in Los Angeles. Damon and Affleck won for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen and Williams won for Best Supporting Actor.
    • Actress Pam Dawber (L) shares a laugh with actor Robin Williams as they pose for photographers before the annual American Museum of the Moving Image Tribute dinner, Feb. 23, 1995, in New York.
    • Academy Award-winning actor Robin Williams, wearing a prop from his new film "Patch Adams" places his handprints in cement during ceremonies to honor him at Mann's Chinese Theater, in Hollywood, Dec. 22, 1998.
    • Comedians Robin Williams (R), Billy Crystal (L) and Whoopi Goldberg share a hug on the stage of New York's Radio City Music Hall at the end of HBO's "Comic Relief 8" show, June 14, 1998.
    • Comedian Robin Williams, who starred in "The World According to Garp," is shown, July 21, 1982, in Los Angeles.

    The Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting star had been open about his struggles with alcohol and had gone to a Minnesota rehabilitation center this summer to “fine-tune” his sobriety, his publicist said in July.

    Friends of the comedian, who first shot to prominence as a friendly alien in late 1970s TV series Mork & Mindy, described Williams as a man who masked his depression and thrived from performing for a crowd.

    Williams' death, which has touched off a national conversation about suicide and depression, shook Hollywood and generations of fans.

    U.S. President Barack Obama called him a “one of a kind” actor while directors and colleagues noted his humble nature, generosity and talent as one the most inventive comedians of his era.

    • Festival goers pay tribute to the late actor Robin Williams at a makeshift memorial at the 22nd Sziget (Island) Festival on the Shipyard Island in northern Budapest, Hungary, Aug. 13, 2014.
    • A woman walks past graffiti on a wall that shows late actor Robin Williams after he was found dead at his home in California, in Belgrade, Serbia, Aug. 13, 2014.
    • People pause by a bench at Boston's Public Garden, Aug. 12, 2014, where a small memorial has sprung up at the place where Robin Williams filmed a scene during the movie, "Good Will Hunting."
    • Visitors look at a photograph of Oscar-winning actor and renowned comedian Robin Williams displayed at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Aug. 12, 2014.
    • Flowers sit in front of the home of Robin Williams, Aug. 11, 2014, in Tiburon, California.
    • A photo of the late actor Robin Williams as Mork from Ork hangs with flowers left by people paying their respects, in Boulder, Colorado, Aug. 11, 2014, at the home where his hit 1980s TV series "Mork & Mindy", was set.
    • A person walks past the marquee of the Laugh Factory with a message in memory of actor/comedian Robin Williams in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, Aug. 11, 2014.
    • Robin Williams' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is seen, Aug. 11, 2014, in Hollywood, California.
    • AJ Polis leaves a flower alongside a placard and a photo of the late actor Robin Williams as Mork from Ork, as people pay their respects at the home where the 1980's TV series "Mork & Mindy", was set, in Boulder, Colorado, Aug. 11, 2014.
    • Newspapers announcing the death of comedian Robin Williams are stacked on a newsstand in New York, Aug. 12, 2014.

    “Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched,” Schneider said.

    “His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles,” she added in the statement.

    Funeral arrangements are pending, and a full toxicology report will take two to six weeks, local officials said.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures