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Tag: robin williams

#EndorseThis: Robin Williams 'Savaged' Donald Trump -- Not Joe Biden

Last week Eric Trump – the presidential spud affectionately nicknamed "Fredo" – tweeted out a comedy clip about Joe Biden from a 2009 Robin Williams special. While that clip offered a funny take on Biden's gaffes, it didn't quite "savage" the former vice president as Trump's tweet blared.

Then the late great comedian's daughter Zelda leapt to uphold the family legacy, urging Eric to "look up what he said about your Dad." We don't know whether he took that advice, but we did. Was someone savaged by Robin Williams? Yes, as Zelda pointed out, that would be one Donald Trump, back in 2012 -- when the brilliant performer noticed his rise and sounded the alarm.

Robin Williams is still great. He would be proud of his daughter. And Eric Trump is still...Fredo.

Click and gaze upon comedy gold.


Endorse This: Billy Crystal’s Tribute To Robin Williams Was The Highlight Of The Emmys

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In the two weeks since Robin Williams’ tragic death, there have been countless tributes to the beloved comedian. But none has been more touching than Billy Crystal’s at last night’s 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Click above to see Crystal’s moving words about his departed friend, then share this video.

Video via NBC/YouTube

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Robin Williams’s Ashes Scattered In San Francisco Bay — Reports

Los Angeles (AFP) — The cremated remains of Hollywood actor Robin Williams, found dead on August 11 after an apparent suicide, were spread in San Francisco Bay, U.S. news media reports.

According to Williams’s death certificate, published by the celebrity gossip site Radar Online, Williams was cremated on August 12, one day after his personal assistant found him dead in his home in Marin County, near San Francisco.

A formal investigation is under way, but the local sheriff’s office said all the evidence points to Williams having taken his own life by hanging himself with his belt.

Under “Place of Final Disposition” of the remains the death certificate reads: “Scattering in San Francisco B off the coast of Marin.”

And under “Cause of Death” it says: “Pending investigation.”

His widow later said that Williams, a father of three, was suffering from depression and the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Williams, an Oscar-winner and veteran of movies, stand-up shows and hit television series, was one of Hollywood’s most popular entertainers and his death triggered an outpouring of emotion.

AFP Photo/Carl Court

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Ranting On Robin Williams, Limbaugh Exposed A Hole In His Own Soul

Having infuriated millions of Robin Williams fans with insensitive remarks on the late actor’s suicide, Rush Limbaugh now blames the “liberal media” and “despicable leftists” for distorting his innocent message.

This is an old dodge for Limbaugh. Yet however he parses his language, there can be no doubt that he sought to exploit a tragic event for what he likes to call “political education.”  His attempt to brand Williams’ suicide with “the leftist worldview” was perfectly plain. And as usual, his alibi is plainly false.

In his original commentary on Williams, Limbaugh quoted Fox News – hardly a “liberal media” source even by his elastic definition – about the great comic’s possible motivations for taking his own life:

I mean, right here there’s a story on the Fox News website.  Do you know, it says right here, that the real reasons that Robin Williams killed himself are he was embarrassed at having to take television roles after a sterling movie career….He’d had some divorces that ripped up his net worth, and he had a big ranch in Napa that he couldn’t afford any longer and had to put up for sale, and a house in Tiburon that he couldn’t afford anymore.  This is all what’s in the Fox News story.

He had it all, but he had nothing.  He made everybody else laugh but was miserable inside.  I mean, it fits a certain picture, or a certain image that the left has.

Pursuing this tendentious theme, Limbaugh went on to mention the “survivor’s guilt” that Williams reportedly suffered over the early deaths of three close show-business friends, Christopher Reeve, John Belushi, and Andy Kaufman. “He could never get over the guilt that they died and he didn’t. Well, that is a constant measurement that is made by political leftists in judging the country,” he harrumphed, concluding with a few incomprehensible sentences about “outcome-based education.” (Even more oddly, Limbaugh promoted a wonderful appreciation of Williams in the Guardian by Russell Brand — an actor with very strong left-wing opinions.)

Still, his point was unmistakable: If you’re concerned about life’s unfairness – as Robin Williams, a dedicated lifelong liberal, certainly was – then you probably suffer from a dark and pessimistic worldview that may very well lead you to kill yourself.

Insofar as Limbaugh pretends to be educating the public, let’s school him by turning around his exploitative blather and putting him in the place of his rhetorical victim. A decade ago, when the radio talker’s addictive dependency on prescription painkillers was first exposed, it would have been easy enough to lampoon his behavior as an expression of his right-wing worldview.

Popping mouthfuls of oxycontin? He thought he could get away with it because of his wealth and status, like so many other millionaire crooks. Violating the narcotics code? He hates government and thinks he can ignore laws that inconvenience him, just like the Bundy Ranch gang. Publicly urging criminal prosecution of drug addicts while indulging the same weakness? He is just another moral hypocrite, like so many of his cronies on the right, from William Bennett to Newt Gingrich to… Rush Limbaugh.

As America watched Limbaugh struggle with his own personal issues, nobody tried to claim that he became a junkie because of his political attitudes. Indeed, most liberal commentators wished him a full recovery, even while noting his frequent failures of empathy. A few even suggested that he seize the opportunity to contemplate his habitual cruelty to others — and try to change.

Sadly, that never happened. If it had, then Limbaugh might have come to understand depression and substance abuse, which evidently killed Robin Williams, as illnesses rather than political or moral failing – exactly like the addiction that harmed Rush’s hearing and could have claimed his life. He might even have experienced an emotion so often mocked as “liberal” and too often absent from conservative moralizing:

Compassion.

AFP Photo/Carl Court

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Robin Williams Was In Early Stages Of Parkinson’s Disease, Wife Says

By Veronica Rocha, Los Angeles Times

Robin Williams, who was found dead from an apparent suicide earlier this week, was battling the “early stages” of Parkinson’s disease at the time, his wife said in statement Thursday.

Susan Schneider also said Williams’ sobriety was intact 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,” she stated.

Williams was found dead by his personal assistant Monday inside his home in the San Francisco Bay Area community of Tiburon. Authorities said it appeared the cause of death was “asphyxia due to hanging,” although toxicology reports for a final report will take weeks.

The full statement reads as follows:

“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 for him 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.”

AFP Photo/Tiziana Fabi

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Officials Defend Release Of Graphic Robin Williams Suicide Details

Los Angeles Times

Marin County, Calif., officials are defending their decision to release graphic details about Robin Williams’ suicide.

They have faced some criticism on social media for a press conference Tuesday in which officials laid out how Williams died and how he was found.

An official with the sheriff’s office said the release of information was required under California public records laws.

“These kinds of cases, whether they garner national attention or not, are very difficult for everyone involved,” Marin County Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Lt. Keith Boyd said in an email to Fox News. “Frankly, it would have been our personal preference to withhold a lot of what we disclosed … but the California Public Records Act does not give us that kind of latitude.”

At a news conference, Boyd revealed that Williams, 63, used a belt to asphyxiate himself and may have also tried to cut his wrists with a pocket knife.

He then went on to reveal that rigor mortis had already set in by the time Williams’ personal assistant discovered the body in a slightly elevated position.

While the level of detail Boyd presented is routinely available on a coroner’s report for any member of the public to view upon request, it’s not often that authorities discuss them in front of cameras and a podium capped with microphones. The news conference was broadcast on several TV stations and live-tweeted by members of the media, all of which drew the ire of the public.

AFP Photo/Tiziana Fabi

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Robin Williams’ Death Makes Public The Usually Private Agony Of Suicide

By Mark Emmons, San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Anytime someone takes their own life, a circle of heartbroken family and friends are left struggling with a question of haunting simplicity: Why?

Now, in the wake of the news that comedian Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63, an entire world linked by social media has been left trying to process why a successful and widely admired man could become so overwhelmed by despair that he felt compelled to commit suicide.

Williams’ death undoubtedly has affected the public in such a profound way because of his ability to make us all feel as if we really knew him. And while mental health experts say the reasons for suicide are complex, the outpouring of raw emotion this week has made it easier to discuss a sensitive topic that has touched so many.

“More people die of suicide than in car accidents or of breast cancer each year,” said Julie Cerel, the board chair of the American Association of Suicidology. “Twice as many people die of suicides than homicides. But nobody talks about it. And whenever there is a loss close to us, we feel so alone, and that nobody wants to listen. So when somebody like this dies and is so beloved, it can bring up those feelings of our loss and get us talking.”

Starting late afternoon Monday, people have talked, Tweeted and posted on Facebook about little else. As the initial reports of Williams’ suicide at his Tiburon home surfaced, social media exploded — and in a deeply personal manner that went beyond our usual celebrity-driven culture.

“I know when I first heard, it was like ‘What?’ Who?” said Katrina Gay, spokesperson for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “I think everybody felt that way, and suddenly the faucet was opened. It became very easy to add your pour to the mix because everybody has some story to add to this tragedy, whether it’s the struggles of someone we know or even yourself.”

Sharing, Gay added, is comforting because there is a mystery to mental illness in general, and suicide in particular.

“There’s so much that we don’t know, and there are no easy solutions,” Gay said. “And that can lead to fear.”

Added Cerel: “There is a natural question where people wonder, ‘If it can happen to someone like this, who else can it happen to?'”

Williams was an Oscar-winning actor with unique brand of frenetic comedy as well as brooding intensity in dramatic roles. He essentially provided the laugh track for Baby Boomers and their children. His charitable endeavors and his common-man nature earned him admiration as someone who didn’t act the part of a Hollywood star, as his life-long affinity for the Bay Area showed.

But while he was in the business of making others smile, he also was willing to reveal the pain in his life — talking openly about troubles with drugs and alcohol. He recently had been seeking treatment for depression and had been in a rehabilitation center.

“Being wealthy and accomplished doesn’t inoculate you from having addictions and other problems,” said Dr. Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor of psychiatry. “You can look like you have everything in the world going for you, and at the same time you can consider yourself unworthy inside, and none of that outside stuff matters. That’s hard to fathom, but it’s also true.”

In fact, other have-it-all celebrities have taken their lives over the years, including musician Kurt Cobain in 1994.

But while he was a one-of-a-kind entertainer, Williams now sadly shares commonalities with others who commit suicide. Men are three-to-four times more likely to take their own lives than women. Also, suicides among middle-aged men are rising.

Overall, it is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 39,518 suicides in 2011 — or an average of 108 a day.

“Ten years ago, we were talking about 30,000 suicides a year and now we’re at 39,000,” said John McIntosh, an Indiana University South Bend psychology professor and leading suicide researcher. “That’s a steep climb. It’s always a tragedy when it happens to someone like this who is so widely liked. But the reality is that it happens every day, and affects so many people on a smaller scale.”

McIntosh said suicides in the United States had been decreasing for about 15 years until the mid-2000s. Then they started to climb again, with many experts linking the rise to the economic recession.

Another troubling trend is that military veterans are among the highest at-risk groups with an estimated 22 vets a day committing suicide. A recently released survey by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America found that nearly half of those who have served in those conflicts know someone who has attempted suicide, and 40 percent know someone who has died.

There rarely is a single root cause for a suicide, experts say.

“Suicide is a multi-cause behavior,” McIntosh said. “That’s why it’s so difficult to prevent.”

What they also stress that there is assistance available for anyone contemplating thoughts of harming themselves. If something positive can come from this, it’s that Williams — a man who did so much good in his life — may now play a role in lessening the stigma toward mental health struggles.

“This is a cultural moment,” Stanford’s Humphreys said. “Celebrity has that ability to break through the din and make people pay attention. If it can be used wisely, more people can be helped.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255. The free, 24-hour service provides people with suicidal thoughts or those around them with support, information and local resources.

AFP Photo/Tiziana Fabi

Robin Williams Hanged Himself In Bedroom With A Belt, Sheriff Says

By James Queally, Los Angeles Times

Actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide by hanging himself after first apparently trying to slash one of his wrists, authorities said Tuesday.

Marin County sheriff’s Lt. Keith Boyd said Williams hanged himself with a belt in his bedroom, where he was found by his personal assistant shortly before noon on Monday.

Williams was found “in a seated position” in his bedroom shortly after 11:45 a.m., Boyd said.

The 63-year-old actor was discovered with a pocket knife nearby, Boyd said, and had suffered several cuts to his wrist that may have been self-inflicted.

Williams was last seen at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area community of Tiburon at 10 p.m. Sunday. His body was discovered at about noon Monday, sheriff’s officials have said.

His wife left the couple’s home around 10:30 a.m., believing Williams was still sleeping, according to Boyd. Williams’ personal assistant became concerned when Williams failed to answer several knocks to his bedroom door at 11:45 a.m., and discovered his body moments later.

While officials are awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the cause of the actor’s death, investigators said Monday that they believe Williams appeared to have committed suicide and died of asphyxiation.

Williams, whose career took off after he appeared as an alien in the sitcom “Mork & Mindy” and rose to prominence through a mixture of comedic and maudlin roles, had long struggled with depression as well as alcohol and cocaine abuse. He had recently entered a rehabilitation program.

Boyd declined to say whether Williams left a suicide note, and said the results of a toxicology screen would not be available for several weeks.

Photo: Los Angeles Times/MCT/Ricardo DeAratanha

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