Sam Neill says Robin Williams was the ‘saddest person’ he ever met
The late great Robin Williams was, according to Sam Neill, the “saddest person” he had ever met.The 75-year-old New Zealand actor, best known for playing Dr. Grant in the Jurassic Park films, had previously collaborated with Williams on the 1999 film Bicentennial Man.
Williams sadly died by suicide in 2014 aged 63, and was part of many childhood favorites, including Mrs. Doubtfire, the Night At The Museum trilogy, and Flubber. He struggled with depression and had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease several months before his passing.
Clearly, Neill had a special bond with the late comic, as he discussed their friendship in his upcoming memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?
Neill reminisces on the “great chats” he and Williams would have in their trailers on the set of Bicentennial Man, with Neill writing (via People): “We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do,” adding that Williams “was irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny.”
Though, Williams evidently had a darker side, as Neill also described him as being “the saddest person I ever met.””He had fame, he was rich, people loved him, great kids – the world was his oyster. And yet I felt more sorry for him than I can express. He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet,” Neill said, stating that he remembers Williams seeming “inconsolably solitary, and deeply depressed.”
While he could sense the darkness Williams kept inside, he apparently changed to a happier version of himself “once he swung open the door” of his trailer.
Williams’ son Zak has spoken openly about his late father’s struggles with mental health, telling Dr. Oz in 2020 (via People): “I was acutely aware of my dad’s struggles with depression, it manifested in addiction at times, and he took great lengths to support his well-being and mental health, especially when he was challenged. It was something that was a daily consideration for him.
“The main thing for me was noticing how he went to great lengths to support himself while he could show up for others,” Zak added. “It was clear that he prioritized his mental health throughout most of his life, at least that I experienced with him.”
Earlier this year, Williams’ Mrs. Doubtfire co-star Sally Field remembered him while discussing her past role in the movie on the SAG Awards red carpet, telling reporters: “What you think about immediately is Robin. There isn’t a moment of it that’s not filled with my love and joy at being in his presence. I mean, Robin was Robin. He was everything he seemed to be: a generous, loving, sweet, geniously talented man.”
She then added that she missed him, and that he should have been there with her that night, saying: “We all miss him. He should be growing old like me, for God’s sakes. I hate it that he isn’t here.”
Neill sadly reveals in his memoir that he is living with stage three blood cancer, writing in the first chapter: “The thing is, I’m crook. Possibly dying. I may have to speed this up.” With line endorsements from famous faces like Stephen Fry and Meryl Streep, the book is slated to be a heartwarming and enjoyable read.