Robin Williams Was Battling “Early Stages of Parkinson’s,” Wife Susan Schneider Says

Robin Williams and Susan Schneider
Robin Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, released a new statement on Aug. 14, encouraging people with depression to seek help and revealing her late husband had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease   Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Robin Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, has issued another statement following his suicide at age 63 on Aug. 11. In it, she encourages others fighting personal battles to seek help; she also reveals that the comedian was struggling with "the early stages of Parkinson's Disease." Read her statement, released on Thursday, Aug. 14, in its entirety: 

"Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film, or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety, as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid."

Schneider, who married the Oscar-winning actor in October 2011, previously addressed Williams' death in a statement on Aug. 11. "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings," the graphic designer said. "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." Read touching statements from his children.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Counselors are available 24/7.

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