This story discusses suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
The world was stunned when Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014, and a new trailer for the documentary “Robin’s Wish” promises to shed some light on what the Oscar winner may have been going through in his final days.
The video opens with clips and photos of Williams performing stand-up comedy.
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“The human brain is an extraordinary 3 1/2-pound gland,” he says in an interview. “The moment you think you understand it, it comes out with something else.”
The trailer then shows reports about Williams’ death and the rumors about his health and financial concerns prior to his passing.
“I was called in to go over the coroner’s report,” his widow, Susan Schneider Williams, says. “It was the beginning of understanding what had really gone on.”
“My husband had unknowingly been battling a deadly disease,” she says.
In 2016, Schneider Williams wrote an essay for the American Academy of Neurology about how the actor suffered from Lewy body dementia, a neurological disease that “can lead to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood,” according to the National Institute on Aging. Lewy body dementia is the second-most common form of degenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
“Robin was losing his mind and he was aware of it,” Schneider Williams wrote in her piece called “The terrorist inside my husband’s brain.” “Can you imagine the pain he felt as he experienced himself disintegrating? And not from something he would ever know the name of, or understand?”
The trailer also features several images of Williams working on the “Night at the Museum” franchise while those who knew him discuss the troubles he was having before he died.
“He was blessed with what his heart was capable of in the midst of fear,” Schneider Williams says. “He wanted to help people be less afraid.”
The trailer ends with photos of the comedian with various people splashed across the screen.
“The thing that matters are others, that’s what life is about,” he says.
“Robin’s Wish” will be available through on demand and digital platforms on Sept. 1.