Williams' death made headlines and led TV newscasts. His comedic genius diverted us from stories about terrorism and other sadness in the world. That's what comedy does. It makes us forget our troubles -- national, international and personal -- and for a moment, embrace happiness.
Williams, who seemed full of joy on the outside, was apparently tormented on the inside. He suffered from clinical depression. An estimated 19 million Americans suffer from depression, according to the
Many people misunderstand clinical depression. They think because someone has wealth and fame, or circumstances better than others, they should be happy, or at least content.
President Obama referred to Williams' numerous and diverse film roles: "
Rolling Stone magazine reported; "Last month, Williams checked himself into a rehab facility to 'fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud,' his rep said at the time."
"I once brought my two young children to "The Tonight Show" to meet Robin. They had watched the video of "Hook" many times, and were mesmerized by his performance as Peter Pan in the 1991 film. When Robin came out of his dressing room, and saw my 3-year-old son David and my 7-year-old daughter Melissa, he immediately crouched down, so he could be eye level with them. David asked Robin how he was able to fly in the film. Without missing a beat, Robin answered: 'A little magic and very tight pants.' Both the kids and the adults laughed, but for different reasons because Robin was playing to both audiences. That's true comedic genius."
In one of his most profound roles, that of poetry teacher
It's sad to see someone who could make so many people laugh suffer from depression. Worse, his death and the loss of his talent add to the general gloominess that hangs over much of the world.