When they tied the knot after 4 years together, it was Robin's third marriage and Susan's second.
Actor Robin Williams was 63 years old when he took his own life. His death left many predicting and speculating the reason for his death. Seven years later, his widow Susan Schneider Williams is opening up about the final days of her husband in the new documentary Robin's Wish.
Until now, the discussion has only been about the actor's demise in 2014 and the circumstances surrounding it. Susan is now revealing the details of how the pair met. Talking to the Guardian, Susan divulged that the two met in 2007 in the most unexpected place, a local Apple Store. “I walked in and saw this man and I thought, ‘I think that’s Robin Williams.’ Then on my way out I happened to look at him again and he was smiling at me and something inside me said, ‘Oh, just go over and say hi.’”
Robin was wearing camouflage printed clothes so Susan went and asked him,"‘How’s that camo working out for you?’ And he said, ‘Not too good – you found me.’” That's all it took for the couple to fall for each other. Just four years later, the couple got married. While it was Robin's third marriage, for Susan it was her second. Together with her sons from her previous relationship, she moved in with Robin to Marin County.
The documentary stresses on the actor's struggle with the neurodegenerative disorder, Lewy Body Dementia (LBD). It is believed that he was aware of his condition. In the 2018 documentary Come Inside My Mind, Robin vocalized his fear in an old interview where he said, “I guess I fear my consciousness becoming, not just dull, but a rock. I couldn’t spark.” That's exactly what he suffered from due to LBD.
Talking about how much the media and people speculated about Robin's death, Susan told Today, “Robin and I knew there was so much more going on. Robin was right when he said to me, ‘I just want to reboot my brain.’ In that moment I promised him that we would get to the bottom of this and I just didn't know that would be after he passed.”
It was after the actor took his life that the doctors diagnosed he was suffering from LBD. “I was called in to sit down to go over the coroner’s report. They sat me and down and said he essentially, Robin, died of diffused Lewy body dementia. They started to talk about the neurodegeneration. He wasn’t in his right mind,” the 57-year-old revealed.
She was finally relieved to find what exactly took the Night at the Museum actor away from her. "Robin and I had gone through this experience together, really being chased by an invisible monster. And it was like whack-a-mole with the symptoms. I left there with a name of the disease, the thing that Robin and I had been searching for,” she said.
As the actor's condition deteriorated, the couple was advised to sleep in separate beds which left Robin asking Susan, "‘Does this mean we're separated?’ And that was a really shocking moment." She added, “When your best friend, your partner, your love, you realize that there's a giant chasm somewhere, and you can't see where it is. But that's just not based in reality. That was a hard moment."
Mourning her husband's death, Susan wrote an essay on Robin's struggle for the American Academy of Neurology in 2016, where she said that she wished to help people like him because that was "Robin's wish."
“I asked him, ‘When we get to the end of our lives and we're looking back, what is it we want to have done?’ Without missing a beat, he said, ‘I want to help people be less afraid.’ I thought it was beautiful. And I said, ‘Honey, you're already doing that. That's what you do.’ And that is pretty great,” she said.
Dr. Bruce Miller, director of Memory and Aging at the University of California San Francisco revealed that “Lewy body dementia is a devastating illness. It's a killer. It is fast, it's progressive. This was about as devastating a form of Lewy body dementia as I had ever seen. It really amazed me that Robin could walk or move at all.”
Robin's Wish is now available to watch in the UK on different digital and on-demand platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Sky Store.