Inside Robin Williams’ final days: His forgiving wife reveals a heartbreaking truth

Although it has been more than seven years since the untimely death of Robin Williams, his spirit and legacy live on in our hearts.

Williams’ death shocked the globe; many speculated that he committed suicide due to depression and drug misuse.

But it turns out that something else was to blame for Robin Williams’ terrible death. Susan Schneider Williams, Robin’s widow, decided to tell the truth about her husband’s death.

Flickr / John Mathew Smith

When famous comedian Robin Williams died in 2014, the world lost one of its finest comic brains. Robin had a reputation for being a genuinely lovely guy, a family man, and a great comedian. Fans worldwide admired his talent after seeing him in Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs Doubtfire, and Aladdin films.

Those who knew him in real life recognised that he was just as funny off-camera as he was on-camera and could utilise his ability to provide joy to those who needed it most.

Marriage and children

The well-known actor married three times and had three children.

In June 1976, Williams met his first wife, Valeria Velardi. Williams was not well-known at the time, and he worked as a bartender in San Francisco.

“He worked as a bartender.” In 2018, Valeria recalled, “He had a French accent, offered me a drink, talked me up, and was simply charming.”

“He requested a ride home.” We kissed while he was speaking French, and I was taunting him. And I knew I’d run into him again.”

The pair married in 1978 and had a son named Zack in 1983.

Robin Williams and wife Valerie Velardi circa 1984 in New York / Getty Images

Williams and Valeria divorced in 1988. There have been reports that the actor had an affair with Marsha Garces, his son’s nanny, although Valeria has denied this. Regardless, Williams married Marsha after the divorce.

The couple married in 1989 when she was still pregnant.

Zelda (born in 1989) and Cody (born in 1990) was Robin and Marsha’s children (born in 1991). Robin’s second marriage, however, was likewise doomed to fail. Marsha filed for divorce in 2008, alleging irreconcilable differences.

Susan Schneider and Robin Williams

Robin found his soulmate, Susan Schneider, three years after his second divorce. She first spotted the famed comedian in late 2007 at a local Apple store, where they had a brief interaction.

“When I came in, I saw this man and thought to myself, ‘I believe that’s Robin Williams.’ Then, as I was leaving, I glanced back at him and noticed that he was smiling at me, and something inside me whispered, ‘Oh, just walk over and say hello,’ Susan recounted.

In 2011, they tied the knot. The wedding took place in Napa Valley, California, at the Meadowood luxury resort.


The wedding was attended by about 120 people, including family, close friends, and neighbours.

Robin and Susan had a clear vision of how they wanted their wedding day to turn out. There were no vast names in attendance, and it was a far cry from the glitz and splendour generally associated with celebrity weddings in Hollywood.

Robin and Susan wrote their vows as well. During the ceremony, Robin made sure that his brother and mother, who had died away by this point, were remembered. The actor requested that the pastor read the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi aloud.

“They were very much in love and reticent on their wedding day, which was wonderful.” The minister who married the lovebirds told the Daily Mail in 2014 that “both Robin and Susan were very actively involved in the preparation of the ceremony.”


Robin and Susan were residents of San Francisco’s upscale Sea Cliff area. The 7,170-square-foot Mediterranean contemporary mansion offered a spectacular view of the ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands.

From the outside, Robin and Susan appeared to be entirely happy and to have everything – but we now know that their love was put to the test as Robin battled his inner demons.

His worsening health had an impact on his work life as well. Williams, for example, struggled to remember single lines during filming Night at the Museum 3 in 2014, his final on-screen performance. Robin, famed for memorising hundreds of bars and putting on incredible performances, couldn’t understand why he couldn’t learn primary lines.

Getty Images

Schneider Williams claimed in 2016 that “Robin was losing his mind, and he was aware of it.”

“Can you imagine the agony he felt as he watched himself deteriorate? And it wasn’t from something he’d ever heard of or understood? He, or anyone else, couldn’t stop it — no amount of wisdom or love could stop it.”

Despite Robin’s problems, Susan was always there for him, and the two were quite open with each other. Their relationship and love grew stronger with each passing year as they revealed their achievements, setbacks, and worst concerns.

Susan, unfortunately, did not know all of the details and did not fully get why her soulmate was having difficulties. Susan was powerless in many ways, yet the pair still managed to experience some bright and beautiful moments during Robin’s final months.


The struggling actor was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s disease shortly before his death, which raised further concerns, frustrations, and opposing ideas in Robin’s mind.

Robin’s doctors had given her only three years to live.

“What he was going through didn’t match many Parkinson’s patients’ experiences.” “I think that was difficult for him,” Zak Williams, Robin Williams’ son, remarked in Max Lugavere’s podcast “The Genius Life.”

“There was a focus issue that irritated him; there were concerns with how he felt, and he didn’t feel well from a neurological standpoint.” He seemed pretty uneasy.”

Zachary Williams and Robin Williams / Getty Images

The whole truth would not be revealed until after his death, and the world would see what Robin was up against. The coroner’s findings were revealed three months after the famed comic died.

According to the study, before his death in August 2014, Robin had had dementia known as Lewy body dementia.

Robin’s widow chose to stand forward and tell the public about what killed her husband in her first interview since his death.


“Lewy body dementia took Robin’s life. It was the cause of his death. Depression was only a minor part of what was going on… Anxiety, rather than depression, was the dominant factor. “And the anxiety was enormous,” she added.

Doctors have highlighted how the late actor must have suffered through agony in his final months. One of the most terrible instances of Lewy body dementia specialists had ever encountered was his.

TV Show Mork and Mindy. Actor Robin Williams and actress Pam Dawber.

“Lewy body dementia is a terrible disease. It’s lethal. Dr Bruce Miller, director of Memory and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, told Today, “It’s quick, it’s progressive.”

Susan could piece together many missing parts and better understand why Robin responded the way he did after learning of her husband’s health.

“It was good to know it had a name.” Robin and I had shared this terrifying sensation of being pursued by an unseen creature. And the symptoms were like a game of whack-a-mole. “I left there with the condition’s name, which Robin and I had been looking for,” she explained.


Cause of Death for Robin Williams

Robin Williams was discovered dead in his bedroom at his home in Paradise Cay, California, on August 11, 2014. According to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the cause of death was suffocation by hanging.

In 2015, tears streamed down Susan’s face as she recounted her last discussion with her spouse during an emotional interview as she recounted her previous debate.

Robin had scheduled to check into a facility for neuropsychological testing a week before his death.

Robin asked Susan if she wanted a foot massage the night before he died. Susan, understandably, couldn’t have predicted what was about to happen and turned down the offer.

His sad eyes and stares will stay with her forever.

He then walked away. He entered the room several times and said, “Good night, my love,” Susan responded, “Good night, my love.”

They were his and her final words to each other.

Robin Williams at “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” / ImageDirect

In later interviews, Susan explained that she has forgiven Robin and doesn’t blame him for murdering him. She knew he didn’t have much longer, and those years would be difficult.

She was by her husband’s side when first responders came to the house and attempted to save him that terrible day.

“And all I wanted to do was see my husband.” And I was able to see him… I also had the opportunity to pray with him. ‘I forgive you 50 billion per cent, with all my heart,’ I got to tell him. You’re the most courageous man I’ve ever met.’ Susan explained, “You know, we were living a nightmare.”

Funeral for Robin Williams

We don’t know if Robin had a private funeral, but we do know that his body was cremated at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Anselmo.

His ashes were sprinkled over San Francisco Bay on August 21. The actor had lived in the neighbourhood for nearly 50 years and adored it; it was there that he felt most at ease.

When someone takes their own life, it is always tragic. Although I believe people should never go that far, I understand why.

It’s a shame that no one realised what was going on with Robin. He was not just one of the best actors and comedians of all time, but he was also a wonderful person!

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