Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Jewish Business News


Downsizing: Robin Williams’ Declining Spiritual, Emotional and Financial Affairs before Suicide


Parade magazine interviewed the late Robin Williams a year ago, on his launch of a new sitcom for CBS, The Crazy Ones, about a madcap ad agency in Chicago.

Please help us out :
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at
Thank you.

Like his breakout sitcom 30 years ago, Mork and Mindy, his last one was basically a vehicle for the now familiar Williams irrepressible comedic energy. As always, all his producers had to do was stand him up facing a set, turn on the red light on the studio camera, and Williams would instantaneously fill up the room with his stuff.

The Crazy Ones

But why would a world class talent like Robin Williams, the equal of giants like Jonathan Winters and Danny Kay, do shitty sitcoms like The Crazy Ones? Parade was asking, although more politely.

“The idea of having a steady job is appealing. I have two [other] choices: go on the road doing stand-up, or do small, independent movies working almost for scale [minimum union pay], ” the tiny giant Williams answered honestly, then elaborated: “The movies are good, but a lot of times they don’t even have distribution. There are bills to pay. My life has downsized, in a good way. I’m selling the ranch up in Napa. I just can’t afford it anymore.”

Villa Sorriso

We’re not sure how much he actually received in the end, but Robin Williams offered Villa Sorriso, his 653-acre secluded vineyard estate, about 80 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, in the Mayacama Mountains near Napa, CA, with the asking price of $35 million. It had 20, 000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 full and 6 half bathrooms. Besides the vineyards, the estate was in the rolling mountains, had a solar farm, a natural lake and hiking and horse riding paths that connected to thousands of acres of protected open space.

He gave that up to pay for two bad marriages and a third, new one. “Divorce is expensive, ” Williams told Parade. “I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money, ’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’ It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet. Are things good with my exes? Yes. But do I need that lifestyle? No.”

They asked him if he felt betrayed by his friend, cyclist Lance Armstrong.

“It wasn’t just Lance. [Most of the] team was doping. I haven’t seen him since one of the last Livestrong benefits, I think just before the Oprah interview. Armstrong, 41, admitted that his decade-long dominance of cycling and seven wins in the Tour de France were owed, in part, to performance-enhancing drugs and oxygen-boosting blood transfusions. Then ABC News quoted investigators who said today that Armstrong blatantly lied about when he stopped doping, saying the last time he used the drugs and transfusions was the 2005 race.

“It was literally like a wake for someone who was still alive, this overall feeling that the dream was over, ” Williams told Parade.

And then, of course, there was Williams’ own doping. He relapsed into drinking, after 20 years of sobriety, while filming The Big White.

“One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice—I call it the ‘lower power’—goes, ‘Hey. Just a taste. Just one.’ I drank it, and there was that brief moment of ‘Oh, I’m okay!’ But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street. I knew it was really bad one Thanksgiving when I was so drunk they had to take me upstairs.”

His family intervened, and forced Williams into rehab in 2006. “It was not an intervention so much as an ultimatum, ” he told Parade. “Everyone kind of said, ‘You’ve got to do this.’ And I went, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’”

Williams’ third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, released this statement following her husband’s death:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division released this statement:

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 a m, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.

An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Division s of the Sheriff’s Office. Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00 pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1
call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.

Asphyxia or asphyxiation is a condition of severely deficient supply of oxygen to the body, usually from choking. There are many circumstances that can induce asphyxia, all of which are characterized by an inability of an individual to acquire sufficient oxygen through breathing for an extended period of time, resulting in coma or death. Hanging, specifically suspension or short drop hanging, is a suicide method that results in asphyxia.

Erotic asphyxiation or breath control play is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal.

In World’s Greatest Dad, a 2009 black comedy written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and starring Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, and Alexie Gilmore, Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) discovers in horror that his son Kyle (Sabara) has accidentally strangled himself in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident in his bedroom, looking at a picture of Claire (Gilmore)’s underwear. To avoid embarrassing his son and himself, the Williams character stages his son’s death as an intentional suicide.



You May Also Like

World News

In the 15th Nov 2015 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:   ·         A new Israeli treatment brings hope to relapsed leukemia...


The Movie The Professional is what made Natalie Portman a Lolita.


After two decades without a rating system in Israel, at the end of 2012 an international tender for hotel rating was published.  Invited to place bids...

VC, Investments

You may not become a millionaire, but there is a lot to learn from George Soros.

Copyright © 2021 Jewish Business News