Robin Williams: Did Lifelong Addiction Contribute To His Death?

Tue, August 12, 2014 12:20am EST by 15 Comments

Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams was found dead on Aug. 11. It’s been reported that suicide may be the cause of his death. Did Robin’s longtime addiction lead to this tragic event?

Robin Williams reportedly struggled with depression and addiction for much of his Hollywood career. The actor tragically died at his home in Tiburon, Calif. at just 63 years old on Aug. 11. While fans of the actor grieve this loss, many wonder what caused the gifted actor’s tragic passing.

Robin Williams’ Death: Did Addiction Contribute To His Tragic Passing?

Robin spoke out publicly about many of his struggles throughout his life and career. The actor was very open and honest about his tough times. Here are some of the candid struggles Robin shared before his death.

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His Struggles With Alcohol

Robin was open that he once abused alcohol, but said he quit before his oldest son was born in 1983. Robin admitted to The Guardian that he fell off the wagon (after 20 years of sobriety) while on a movie set in Alaska in 2003.

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“I was in a small town where it’s not the edge of the world, but you can see it from there, and then I thought: drinking. I just thought, hey, maybe drinking will help. Because I felt alone and afraid. It was that thing of working so much, and going f*ck, maybe that will help. And it was the worst thing in the world.” He said that after his first drink, he felt “warm” and wonderful,” but then “the next thing you know, it’s a problem, and you’re isolated,” he told The Guardian.

Robin re-entered rehab for alcoholism in August 2006. He reportedly visited rehab once again in July 2014 to focus on his sobriety.

Robin’s Addiction To Cocaine

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Robin was vocal about his addiction to cocaine during the late ’70s and early ’80s. The talented actor credited the death of his friend John Belushi (who reportedly died from cocaine and heroine) and the birth of son with helping him get off the drug. In 1988, Rob opened up to People magazine.

“Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down,” he admitted. He said he quit cocaine cold turkey after John died. “The Belushi tragedy was frightening. His death scared a whole group of show-business people. It caused a big exodus from drugs. And for me, there was the baby coming. I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life,” he told People at the time.

His Health Problems 

Three years after entering rehab for alcohol addiction, Robin had a major heart health scare. During his Weapons Of Self Destruction tour, Robin was admitted to the hospital and underwent surgery to replace an aortic valve.

Robin told the New York Times he had “a bit of fear” that the surgery would kill him and also told the magazine the health scare changed him forever.

“I think, literally, because you have cracked the chest, you are vulnerable, totally, for the first time since birth. It’s like, oh, don’t get weepy now. My children! My babies,” he told the publication.

His Battle With Depression

After Robin’s death, his publicist Mara Buxbaum issued the following statement, according to our sister site Variety:

“Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

It is so devastating that someone who brought SO much joy and talent to this world also struggled so much in private. The world has lost a comic genius.

Our thoughts are with Robin’s loved ones as they grieve during this very difficult time.

WATCH: Robin Williams Talks About His Struggles With Addiction

— Megan Ross

More Robin Williams News:

  1. Robin Williams’ Wife ‘Utterly Heartbroken’ Over Tragic Death — See Statement
  2. Robin Williams Found Dead At 63
  3. Robin Williams, 62, Checks Into Rehab To Maintain His Sobriety