Susan Schneider Williams who is the widow of the late Robin Williams, has spoken in a rare interview to clear up the number of “misunderstandings” about her late husband’s death.
Williams, a veteran actor, took his own life in 2014 when he was 63.
Soon after his death, it was revealed the star was battling a degenerative condition, Lewy Body Dementia.
Susan revealed she had only learnt about her husband’s diagnosis after his death.
Speaking to the Guardian, she said: “The doctors said to me after the autopsy: ‘Are you surprised that your husband had Lewy bodies throughout his entire brain and brain stem?’
“I didn’t even know what Lewy bodies were, but I said: ‘No, I’m not surprised.’ The fact that something had infiltrated every part of my husband’s brain? That made perfect sense.”
Susan is to be a part of the new documentary, Robin’s Wish, which will follow the actor’s last few days before his death, as well as his disease.
“If my husband weren’t famous I would not have put myself through this,” she said.
“But there were so many misunderstandings out there about what had happened to him, and about Lewy bodies. So this felt like the right thing to do.”
In another conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Susan revealed how working on the film that honoured her husband, helped her understand the condition that took over him towards the end of his life.
“Armed with the name of a brain disease I’d never heard of, I set out on a mission to understand it, and that led me down my unchosen path of advocacy.
“With invaluable help from leading medical experts, I saw that what Robin and I had gone through, finally made sense — our experience matched up with the science.”
Robin’s Wish documents the actor’s final days as his worsening condition alarmed loved ones and colleagues.
Friends and family say Williams’ behaviour began to deteriorate two years before his death.
“I would say a month into the shoot (of Night at the Museum 3), it was clear to me — it was clear to all of us — that something was going on with Robin,” director Shawn Levy said in the doco.
“That’s an experience I’ve not spoken about publicly ever. We saw that Robin was struggling in a way that he hadn’t before to remember lines and to combine the right words with the performance.”
Comedian and close friend to Robin Rick Overton says that Williams began to skip his regular stand-up gigs at his regular venue of choice, the Throckmorton Theatre.
“There were a couple of shows where I was expecting Robin to be there and he didn’t make it, for one reason or another,” Overton says.
His neighbour John Hepper says he would see Williams out on walks with his dog and became concerned about the actor’s rapidly changing physique.
“His ribs were actually showing (through his T-shirt),” Hepper says in Robin’s Wish. “I grabbed his skin. ‘Robin, you’re really getting thin.’
“He said, ‘Yeah, boss, I’ve gone to the doctor, but they don’t know what it is.’”
The night of Williams’ death, his neighbour Hepper spotted him outside with his dog.
“Boss, I really need a hug,” he remembers Williams saying.
“So, I gave him a hug, and he started to cry.” Hepper put his arm around the actor’s shoulder and spoke in depth with him for 15 minutes.
“He talked about family, and what was going on in his life and some things I think he felt that I would keep private,” he says.
It was revealed that on the beloved star’s last night before his death, he had told his wife “Goodnight, my love” before shuffling to his office with his iPad in hand.
Susan recalled being thrilled that her husband had seemed to pick up reading again.
The next morning, when Williams’ assistant tried to enter his office, she found the door was locked and quickly texted Susan: “He’s not up. What should I do?”
Susan knew he was gone.
The police would later find Williams – a loving husband, a devoted father, a faithful friend and one of the world’s most critically acclaimed actors – dead with no note.
He left behind three children, Zachary, 37, Zelda, 31, and Cody, 29.
This article originally appeared on Over60.