Robin Williams Was In Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease, Says Wife

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Robin Williams had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and was also struggling with anxiety and depression, his wife Susan Schneider revealed on Thursday.

“Robin’s sobriety was intact,” she said in the new statement. “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.”

Williams was found dead Monday morning at his Northern California home. Police said the 63 year-old actor hanged himself.

“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,” she added.

“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.”

Williams had publicly acknowledged his struggles with substance abuse and had recently entered a rehabilitation program in Minnesota for what was described at the time as a way to “fine-tune and focus on his continuing commitment” to sobriety.

His wife insisted the actor was not using drugs or alcohol leading up to his death. Williams married Schneider, his third wife, in 2011.

The actor’s family has been eager to diffuse any rumors or media speculation since his death on Monday, working with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office to announce Williams’ suicide three hours after being found, as well as provide as many details as possible.

Results from the autopsy of the late Oscar-winner were announced on Tuesday. Toxicology results will be available in two to six weeks.