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It’s been nine years since Robin Williams tragically committed suicide at the age of 63, but he is still dearly missed by millions of fans to this day. In a new interview, one of Williams’ former co-stars is speaking out to give some insight into what the late comedic genius was like behind the scenes.

Sam Neill Remembers Williams 

In his new memoir “Did I Ever Tell You This?,” the Hollywood star Sam Neill opens up about working with Williams on the 1999 film Bicentennial Man. As he promoted the book, Neill told Deadline about the “great chats” that he and Williams would have in their trailers. 

“We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do,” he said, describing Williams as being “irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny.”

Despite all the laughter, however, Neill could sense that there was something wrong.

“The saddest person I ever met,” he said of Williams. 

“He had fame, he was rich, people loved him, great kids—the world was his oyster. And yet I felt more sorry for him than I can express. He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet,” Neill wrote in his book, adding that Williams was “inconsolably solitary and deeply depressed.”

Neill believed that Williams used humor as a form of self-medication, saying “funny stuff just poured out of him.”

“And everybody was in stitches, and when everybody was in stitches, you could see Robin was happy,” Neill continued. 

Related: Sally Field Honors Late ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Co-Star Robin Williams 9 Years After His Suicide

Williams’ Suicide

Yahoo News reported that Williams was 63 years-old when he took his own life on August 11, 2014. It was only after his death that doctors discovered that he was suffering from Lewy body dementia, which is the second-most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. Williams’ widow Susan Schneider Williams has since become an advocate for LBD research.

“A few months before he passed, he was given a Parkinson’s (disease) diagnosis,” Schneider Williams told CNN last year. “But that was just the tip of the iceberg.”

This misdiagnosis occurred three months before Williams’ death after he began experiencing severe memory, movement, personality, reasoning, sleep and mood changes. Schneider Williams hadn’t ever heard of LBD until after her husband had died. 

“None of the doctors knew that there was this ghost disease underlying all of this,” Schneider Williams recalled “When that was revealed, that was like essentially finding out the name of my husband’s killer.”

“That’s when my own healing started to begin,” she added. “We had this experience with something that was invisible and terrifying, truly. And then on the other side of it, I’m left to find out the science underneath it that helped explain this experience. Robin wasn’t crazy. That was one of his biggest fears.”

Related: Robin Williams’ Widow Recalls His Final Days – He Had An ‘Invisible Monster’ Chasing Him

Schneider Williams Raises Awareness

Schneider Williams immediately became determined to make sure that no other families had to go through what hers did.

“I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t tell this story,” Schneider Williams said. “I had no idea the journey I was about to begin on. But I had to go there.”

Williams’ suicide continues to serve as a brutal reminder that you never really know what someone is going through behind the scenes. Thankfully, Williams will live on forever through the hilarious roles he played onscreen, and he will continue to bring joy to millions of us for many years to come. 

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