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Robin Williams 'changed' while shooting Night at the Museum sequel just months before he passed away

Jess Battison

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Robin Williams 'changed' while shooting Night at the Museum sequel just months before he passed away

Featured Image Credit: Abby Brack/WireImage / 20th Century Studios

This week marks the ninth anniversary of Robin Williams’ death, with love pouring from Hollywood and fans of the actor since.

The star, known for a whole string of movies including Mrs Doubtfire, Jumanji, Dead Poets Society and Hook, died by suicide on 11 August 2014.

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In the 2020 documentary, Robin’s Wish, his final days were covered – exploring the neurodegenerative disorder he struggled with.

A few months before his death, the comedian had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. People with this may experience tremors, slowness, limb stiffness and balance problems.

However, an autopsy later found Williams had undiagnosed Lewy body dementia.

Williams starred in the Night at the Museum movies. Credit: Abby Brack/WireImage/Getty Images
Williams starred in the Night at the Museum movies. Credit: Abby Brack/WireImage/Getty Images
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And despite his suffering, the 63-year-old continued working in film.

At the height of his illness, he shot the third movie, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, in which he played Theodore Roosevelt and voiced Garuda.

Williams starred alongside the likes of Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Rami Malek in the Shawn Levy-directed movie.

But it was a difficult filming process.

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Dave Itzkoff’s 2018 biography of the star, Robin, also outlines that the actor’s deterioration really took hold of him during the filming of the third Night at the Museum movie.

Williams’ makeup artist on the set Cheri Minns recalled in Robin that the star would end every day ‘sobbing in my arms’.

Williams' son marked the ninth anniversary of his death with a humorous throwback. Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Williams' son marked the ninth anniversary of his death with a humorous throwback. Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

She described the period as ‘horrible’ and recalled telling his team: “I’m a makeup artist. I don’t have the capacity to deal with what’s happening to him.”

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Minns also added that she suggested to the star he tried returning to stand-up to get out of his rut and get his confidence back.

But she explained: “He just cried and said, ‘I can’t, Cheri. I don’t know how anymore. I don’t know how to be funny’.”

In the Robin’s Wish documentary, his widow Susan Schneider Williams explains he had been battling to find answers to his health issues before his death.

She tells filmmaker Tylor Norwood: “My husband had unknowingly been battling a deadly disease. Nearly every region of his brain was under attack – he experienced himself disintegrating.”

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Williams’ son Zak marked the ninth anniversary of his dad’s death in a post on X (you know, Twitter).

Accompanied by a humorous snap of Williams at a celebrity tennis match back in 1999, he wrote: “Dad, on the 9th anniversary of your passing, I'm remembering you for your most excellent fashion choices.

“These days are always hard and I love remembering you for being so very, very YOU. Love you so much!”

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, Robin Williams, Health

Jess Battison
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