Sam Neill says Robin Williams was the 'saddest, loneliest person I've ever met'
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Actor Sam Neill has revealed the late Robin Williams was the ‘loneliest man on a lonely planet’.
In his memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?, the New Zealand actor recalled his experience working with the legendary comedian on the 1999 film Bicentennial Man.
Neill said he developed a close friendship with Williams during filming and quickly realized his co-star was the ‘funniest’ and ‘saddest’ man he had ever met.
In excerpts obtained by People, Neill writes in his book: "We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do.”
He adds that Williams ‘was irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny’.
And while the comedian often had people in fits of laughter, Neill says that Williams had noticeable underlying mental health issues.
"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 said.
"He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet."
He remembers that Williams was ‘inconsolably solitary, and deeply depressed’.
Neill said he could almost always sense a ‘dark space inside from the minute he flung open the door’.
Williams died by suicide on 11 August 2014, which shocked the world.
After an outpouring of tributes, it was later discovered the actor had Lewy body dementia, the second-most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's disease.
Lewy body dementia is a disease associated with abnormal deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the brain.
These deposits, called Lewy bodies, impact chemicals in the brain, leading to problems with thinking, movement, behavior, and mood.
The 2020 documentary Robin's Wish explored the actor’s final days and his debilitating disease.
Susan Schneider Williams, who married the comedian in 2011, said of his illness: “Nearly every region of his brain was under attack. He experienced himself disintegrating.”
She added: “A disease for which there is no cure.
"The devastation on Robin’s brain from Lewy bodies was one of the worst cases medical professionals have ever seen, yet throughout all of this his heart remained strong.”
Shawn Levy, who directed Williams’ final movie, Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb, also explained how he and other crew members had noticed ‘something was going on with Robin’ during production.
Levy said: “I remember him saying to me, ‘I don’t know what’s going on. I’m not me anymore.”
Topics: Celebrity, News, Health, Mental Health, Robin Williams, Film and TV