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Robin Williams Was Diagnosed With Parkinson's Prior To His Death

Since Robin Williams’ shocking and tragic death earlier this week, many of the comedian’s biggest fans have been waiting for an a-ha moment that would suddenly explain why he took his own life. In truth, that moment will likely never fully come. None of us will ever be able to feel what he was feeling at the end, but today, his wife revealed a very important puzzle piece. Prior to his death, Robin Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

In a four paragraph statement, Williams’ wife Susan Schneider thanked fans for their outpouring of support and let everyone know her husband was sober at the end. In addition, she dropped the Parkinson’s diagnosis very tastefully and tactfully, helping all of us who loved him to learn one more layer about the larger than life personality.

You can read the full statement below, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

“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.”

Parkinson’s is a ”progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement”. Typically, it’s thought of by non-medical professionals as the disease that makes the afflicted’s hands shake. Michael J Fox was diagnosed with the disorder in ’91 and has been a very vocal advocate since ’98. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali has also long battled against the disorder. He was diagnosed in ’84.

Robin Williams used his body like a whirlwind. He was willing to manipulate it in any direction in order to get a laugh or a smile. As such, the diagnosis likely hit him even harder than most. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t able to share it with the world. Maybe not. Either way, it was definitely a burdon and I’m sure carrying it was hard.

Cinema Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to the entire Williams family, as well as everyone who was touched by his life. He will be missed for generations to come.

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.