Robin Williams masked depression with veil of comedy – friends

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A woman looks at magazines just past newspapers announcing the death of comedian Robin Williams in New York

By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – From an eccentric alien to an animated blue genie, a loveable British nanny and a fatherly therapist, actor Robin Williams used his multi-layered brand of comedy to make people laugh. Zmuda, the founder of the charity Comic Relief for which the actor had helped raise more than $70 million, said that Williams had difficulty connecting with people off-stage and that even those who knew him well were unaware of how severe his depression was. “That was his life blood, that was his psychological imperative, and without that, he was pretty lost.” Budd Friedman, the founder of The Improv comedy clubs, last saw Williams about a year ago when the actor dropped by a club to perform a short routine. Friedman said in the 35 years he had known Williams, he had never seen any glimpse of his suffering.


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