Sotheby’s announces that artworks owned by Williams, and memorabilia from his career, including autographed scripts, awards and props will be auctioned in New York on Oct. 4. The sale will include street art by Banksy and Shepard Fairey, furniture and decorative art and more than 40 watches from Williams’ personal collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit organizations including the Juilliard School, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Williams’ widow and his three children reach a settlement over his estate. Lawyers say Susan Williams will remain in the San Francisco Bay Area home she shared with Williams and receive living expenses to maintain the home for the rest of her life. She will also receive a watch Robin Williams often wore, a bike bought on their honeymoon, and their wedding gifts. Lawyer:
Susan gets to enforce Robin’s wishes. She gets to stay in the house as Robin wanted, with the trust being created to pay the expenses.
I think they’re just very happy to have this behind them.
A judge gives Williams wife and adult children until the end of July to settle their differences. There are over 300 items still in contention along with money to maintain one of his houses. Williams children claim his widow is:
adding insult to a terrible injury by trying to change the trust agreement and rob [us] of items [our] father clearly intended [us] to have.
Williams widow’s attorney says she is:
an emotionally grieving widow who is trying to honor her husband.
Court documents reveal that on January 31, 2012,Williams transferred all rights to his identity to a nonprofit organisation in the event of his death. All ownership rights to Williams’ “name, voice, signature, photograph, likeness and right of privacy/publicity” come under the charitable Windfall Foundation and cannot be used until August 2039.
If the Windfall Foundation is deemed ineligible for a charitable deduction by the IRS, the Trust mandates Williams’ publicity rights be distributed to charitable organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, AIDS, Make-a-Wish. According to the Hollywood Reporter this is a strategy aimed at reducing the estates’ tax liability.
Williams’ widow, Susan, and Williams’ children from a previous marriages, Zachary, Zelda and Cody, file opposing court documents regarding the distribution of personal items and memorabilia from Williams’ estate. Allan Mayer, a spokesman for the Williams children:
Robin’s children want nothing more than to be left alone to grieve … The fact is that they have been barred from what had been their father’s house, and not even the trustees of the Robin Williams Trust have been able to conduct a complete inventory.
William’s son, Zak, talks about how the family is coping with William’s death while speaking at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation fundraising gala.
We’re doing OK. We’re acclimating to the new normal. Everything is step by step. Personally, my wife and I are focusing on doing a lot of good. She runs the San Francisco office of Human Rights Watch, and we’re working with them to do good in the world.
TMZ cites sources connected with Williams’s family as saying his official autopsy reveals Lewy body dementia, caused by abnormal protein deposits in the brain that can lead to hallucinations. It says patients can experience visions of phantom objects, people, or animals, and try to converse with them. It is often co-morbid with Parkinsons, and Parkinsons medications can cause a bad reaction in people suffering from both conditions. Williams is reported to have complained to his wife about the effect of the meds. It says Williams’s doctors agree that the condition was the key factor in his suicide.
Marin County sheriff’s office releases Williams’ autopsy results, finding Williams had no drugs or alcohol in his system. The investigation found Williams had taken prescription medications, but in “therapeutic concentrations.” The coroner rules his death a suicide that resulted from asphyxia due to hanging.
Williams gets a hummingbird tattoo to honor her late father Robin Williams. Williams posts a picture of the tattoo on Instagram along with the caption:
For poppo. Thank you to the incomparable @dr_woo_ssc for so beautifully bringing my reminders to life. I’ll always put my hand out to shake with a smile.
Williams appears in the trailer for the movie Merry Friggin’ Christmas, one of his final movie roles. Williams plays a cynical father forced to reconnect with his son on a road trip to rescue presents and Christmas. The movie opens in theaters in November 2014.
Hawke, one of the co-stars of Dead Poet’s Society, tells Jian Ghomeshi for CBS Radio:
Even (to me) at 18, it was obvious he was in a tremendous amount of pain. Anybody who was watching knew.
On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Crystal and Fallon pay tribute to Williams by swapping funny stories about him. Fallon commends Crystal for his tribute to Williams on The Primetime Emmy Awards show. Crystal says “It was really a hard thing,” mentioning the entire crowd was feeling “the same sadness, bewilderment, frustration and this overall ‘What?!’
It was only two weeks after. And to try to do him justice for myself and for the audience around the world, really, in two minutes was the task. I’ve given eulogies before, sadly, for a lot of people I love, but nobody on television.
Crystal says of Williams:
He had the biggest set of balls ever on a stage. He was fearless.
Rolling Stone devotes its cover to Williams. A tribute from Tom Hanks to Williams’s start in television:
The legend is true. In 1978, word came from the set of TV’s Happy Days. That week, Fonzie’s ultracool was threatened by a stranger from another world. The guy playing the alien was hilarious.
Some viewers criticize the Emmys tribute to Williams for including a clip of a joke about an Iranian woman that they consider racist. In the gag, Williams covers his face to simulate an Islamic headscarf, and says:
I would like to welcome you to Iran… Help me!
The person putting together the Robin Williams segment for the Emmys decided to use his racist material.
— Hannah Story (@hannahmstory) August 26, 2014
Publisher Henry Holt and Co. announces that it will publish Williams’ biography. The book, as yet untitled, will be written by New York Times culture writer Dave Itzkoff, who profiled Williams for the newspaper in 2009 and wrote his obituary, and edited by executive editor Paul Golob in order to ‘provide the definitive, comprehensive account of Williams’s life.’ Itzkoff:
Robin Williams was a cultural hero of mine, and in the encounters and interactions I was able to share with him, he was always gentle and generous, humane and thoughtful and hilarious.
A document shows that Williams refused a $600,000 offer from AEG Live to headline two shows at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas two years before his death. Sources say that Williams’s decision to turn down the offer, which came while he was shooting The Crazy Ones, indicates that he did not have money troubles.
Apatow comments in Rolling Stone on Williams’s uniqueness as a performer:
You can’t look at any modern comic and say, ‘That’s the descendant of Robin Williams,’ because it’s not possible to be a Robin Williams rip-off. He was doing something so unique that no one could even attempt their version of it. He raised the bar for what it’s possible to do, and made an enormous amount of us want to be comedians. He looked like he was having so much fun.
One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek tells Rolling Stone that Williams was so used to entertaining others that he needed to let off steam between takes of the psychological thriller:
He was so addicted to entertaining people and making them laugh that he needed to be funny between takes to get that out of his system, so when he went into character, he could be completely free of that urge.
Rollins apologizes in a second LA Weekly article after a public backlash follows his remarks on Williams’s suicide:
I am deeply sorry, down to my marrow. I can’t think that means anything to you, but I am completely sorry. It is not of my interest to hurt anyone but I know I did.
Rollins sharply criticizes Williams for his decision to take his life. The singer writes in an LA Weekly column that he admired Williams’s abilities:
On more than one of my USO tours, Robin Williams had been on the same stage a few days before me. That’s all I needed to know about him. As far as I was concerned, he was a good man.
However, he says that suicide leaves family members behind:
I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life…Fuck suicide. Life isn’t anything but what you make it.
Williams is cremated and his ashes scattered in San Franscisco Bay. The funeral home is Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Rafael, California. Authorities will continue to investigate his death and said that toxicology test results won’t be completed for two to six weeks.
Emmy Awards executive producer Don Mischer announces Crystal will lead a tribute to Williams during the show’s In Memoriam segment, which honors stars who have passed away:
We felt we needed to do something powerful and memorable. Billy seemed like the perfect choice.
The Emmy Awards will be hosted by Seth Meyers and be broadcast on Monday, August 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
Williams’ Mrs. Doubtfire co-star, Mara Wilson,who played Williams’ youngest daughter, talks about her on-screen father and how kind he was on the set and how he used to improvise a lot.
Chris Columbus, our director, would let Robin perform one or two takes with what was written, then do as many more takes as Robin had variations. Sometimes I wonder why they didn’t give him at least partial screenwriting credit.
Jakub, who played Williams’ eldest daughter in Mrs. Doubtfire talks about how kind Williams was to her on the set. She talks of how thoughtful Williams was in writing a letter to her school, regarding their choice in ousting her from their program, due to her extensive time on the set.
Robin stood up for me. He was in my corner. I was only 14, but I had already seen that I was in an industry that was full of back-stabbing. And it was entirely clear that Robin had my back.
A Facebook campaign is asking the public to make one last stand in honor of late actor and comedian Robin Williams. The group, Standing Ovation for Robin Williams, is calling for people in San Francisco — and beyond — to stop what they’re doing at 1 p.m. August 18 and cheer Williams for a minute. So far, 30,000 have signed up.
Letterman devotes 10-minutes to a tribute to Williams on his show. The two were close friends for nearly 40 years. Letterman:
Two things would happen, because Robin was on the program. One, I didn’t have to do anything; all I had to do was sit here and watch the machine. And, two, people would watch; if they knew Robin was on the show, the viewership would go up, because they wanted to see Robin. And, believe me, that wasn’t just true of television. I believe that was true of the kind of guy he was. People were drawn to him because of this electricity.
In a statement William’s wife, Susan Shneider gives tribute to her husband and reveals that Williams was suffering from early stages of Parkinson’s Disease.
Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid. 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. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly. 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.
After Williams’ daughter, Zelda, receives harassing messages and disturbing photos following her father’s death and deletes Twitter from her devices, Twitter announces their policies are being reviewed. Del Harvey, vice president of trust and safety at Twitter, says in a statement to ABC News:
We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one. This includes expanding our policies regarding self-harm and private information, and improving support for family members of deceased users.
Fans pack Williams’ Walk of Fame star in Hollywood, placing flowers, drawings and letters in tribute to his life. Iraq veteran Chris Mulrooney, who met Williams while on tour in Iraq:
He brought joy to me when I was most depressed … I wish we could have been there for him when he needed love and support.
Mashable: On Walk of Fame, a Vet Remembers Robin Williams: 'He Brought Me Joy': LOS ANGELES — Police barricad… http://t.co/Bxpqa3hraL
— Markedia (@Markedia) August 12, 2014
Disney releases artwork titled Genie in the Stars paying tribute to Williams, created by Genie at Disney supervising animator Eric Goldberg. CEO Robert Iger:
We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Williams, a wonderfully gifted man who touched our hearts and never failed to make us laugh. An incredible actor and a comedic genius, Robin will always be remembered for bringing some of the world’s favorite characters to life, from his zany alien on ABC’s Mork & Mindy to the irascible genie in Disney’s Aladdin. “He was a true Disney Legend, a beloved member of our family, and he will be sorely missed. We join Robin’s friends and fans everywhere in mourning, and offer our thoughts and condolences to his family during this difficult time.
A tribute to Robin Williams by Eric Goldberg (Supervising Animator of Genie): pic.twitter.com/hZOiwNMZgz
— Disney (@Disney) August 12, 2014
Lawrence, Williams on-screen son from Mrs. Doubtfire, expresses his thoughts and feelings about Williams.
I am devastated. He was the single most important influence in my career and not a day goes by I don’t appreciate the time I got to spend with him. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family.
The 66th Emmy Awards will pay tribute to Williams. Producer Don Mischer is still planning the tribute to make it meaningful. Mischer:
It’s about what can we do to properly remember Robin and create perhaps an emotional moment about Robin, knowing all that he did for all of us who love entertainment and love comedy.
Whitaker tweets a poem and releases a statement on the death of his Good Morning Vietnam and The Butler co-star:
The world has lost a special soul. Robin Williams touched our hearts, he gave us laughter, he gave us joy, he made us think about the impossible. I’m blessed to have been able to walk inside his universe. He forever changed this world with his presence. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all those who hold him dear. Rest in Peace
U touched our lives U touched our hearts U gave us laughter n joy U'r a beautiful soul U will be missed Our love to the family RIP Robin W.
— Forest Whitaker (@ForestWhitaker) August 12, 2014
Winkler describes how he saw Williams before his loss:
This incredible, delicate, funny, dramatic human being is gone.
His reaction to Williams’s performances:
My only job was to keep a straight face and it was impossible because no matter that you said to him – no matter what line you gave to him, he took it in, processed it and then it flew out of his mouth, never the same way twice… You knew, Oh boy, you’re witnessing the beginning of something unbelievably special. He was electric — electrifying – and he was like, that no matter what he did, all the time…No matter what he did, he was that…It was just an amazing thing to witness.
21st Century Fox, where Williams was filming the third installment of Night At The Museum, expresses its regrets over his loss. In a statement:
There really are no words to describe the loss of Robin Williams. He was immensely talented, a cherished member of our community, and part of the Fox family. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fans. He will be deeply missed.
Dawber says that she can find few words to express her loss at the passing of her Mork & Mindy co-star. A statement:
I am completely and totally devastated. What more can be said?
Spielberg praises the actor he directed in the lead role of Peter Pan in Hook for his intense comedic performances:
Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.
Stiller, Williams’s co-star in Night at the Museum, says:
His kindness and generosity [are] what I think of. How kind he was to anyone who wanted to connect with him. And he could not help but be funny all the time. He would do something as long as it would keep you laughing. […] He made such a big impact on the world
Ben Stiller on the death of Robin Williams: pic.twitter.com/OCI3jOiZBD
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 12, 2014
Chase says that himself and Williams both suffered from depression, but that he could not have expected the death of his friend in an apparent suicide:
Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease – depression. I never could have expected this ending to his life and to ours with him. God bless him and God bless us all for his LIFE! I cannot believe this. I am overwhelmed with grief. What a wonderful man/boy and what a tremendous talent in the most important art of any time – comedy! I loved him.
Travolta reflects on working with Williams on Old Dogs, saying he worked hard for the people around him:
I’ve never known a sweeter, brighter, more considerate person than Robin. Robin’s commitment as an artist to lifting our mood and making us happy is compared to none. He loved us all and we loved him back
Obama pays his respects to Williams in a statement, referring to some of his most well-known characters and his often emotional body of work:
Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.
On his contributions to America:
He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.
Driver expresses her sadness over the death of her Good Will Hunting co-star:
My Heart's broken. Robin was a beautiful, kind soul. Can't bear that he's gone. So incredibly sorry for his family.
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) August 11, 2014
Affleck thanks Williams for his friendship and his role in Goodwill Hunting, which won Affleck and Matt Damon the Academy Award for Best Writing and launched their film careers:
Heartbroken. Thanks chief—for your friendship and for what you gave the world. Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made Matt and my dreams come true.
What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything.
May you find peace my friend. #RobinWilliams
O’Brien and co-host Andy Richter remembers the late Robin Williams by chatting about his various acts of kindness and generosity. They mention one moment where Williams gives O’Brien an outrageous bicycle to cheer him up during the Tonight Show debacle. They also proceed to show a montage of the guestings Williams did in O’Brien’s various late night shows.
I knew Robin just in show business, and we did a few projects, benefits and things together. And he had been a guest on the show. For my money, best talk show guest ever, brilliantly funny. That’s obvious to everyone what a brilliant talent he was. Just as a quick example of what he was like, a bunch of years ago, five years ago, I went through publicly kind of a bump in the road and I was feeling a little low. Out of the blue Robin Williams buys me a bicycle. And it sounds like a silly thing, you know? He was the first person to buy me a bicycle since my parents bought me a bicycle when I was 35.
A source says that Williams had been concerned over money and the financial security of his family prior to his death:
Robin was known for being so generous to his friends and family during the height of his success, and would help anyone out that needed it…All he could talk about were serious money troubles.
The person adds that Williams had been concerned over the availability of work:
There was also frustration that Robin expressed at having to take television and movie roles he didn’t want to take, but had to for the paycheck […] Doing sequels was never Robin’s thing, and he wasn’t that excited at having to reprise the role of Mrs. Doubtfire, which was scheduled to start filming later this year.
People close to Williams deny tabloid reports that he was suffering from money worries before his death. Charles J. Biederman, a Los Angeles lawyer who represented Williams in entertainment dealings, on reports of acute financial distress:
No, no, he was doing fine.
Film producer Stanley Wilson, who attended Juilliard with Williams and remained close friends, acknowledges that money had been an issue in 2013, when Williams spoke in a Parade magazine interview about taking roles for a paycheck, but says that after reportedly earning up to $4 million for The Crazy Ones:
He was not broke. He got highly paid for the series, and he just did two movies.
Several residents of Boston gather to create a memorial from the famous bench in the Boston Public Garden Williams and co-star Matt Damon appeared on during an emotional scene in the film Good Will Hunting.
— BostonTweet (@BostonTweet) August 12, 2014
Marin County’s assistant chief deputy coroner, Keith Boyd, reveals that Williams hanged himself in his California home and died by asphyxia and he suspended himself from a belt wedged between a door and a door frame in a seated position just off the ground. When found by his assistant, Williams’ right shoulder was pressed against the door, and rigor mortis indicated that Williams was dead for several hours before he was found
He was suspended, as I indicated, from the belt, which was wedged between the door and the door frame . . . in a seated position, slightly suspended off the ground.
Boyd also there was what appeared to be blood on the blade of a pocketknife found “in close proximity to Mr. Williams,” and that cuts on William’s wrist were superficial and recent. Boyd refused to discuss a suicide note.
Crystal tweets his feelings about the death of Williams, his Comic Relief co-star for 20 years from 1986 to 2006:
— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) August 12, 2014