MENLO PARK (KPIX 5) — Robin Williams, who was found dead from an apparent suicide Monday, has struggled with alcohol and other addictions for decades. A man who knew Williams from a support group describes the actor’s demeanor and how he reached out to him last month.
KPIX 5 news photographer Dean Kendrick met Robin Williams while working for the “Bay Area Backroads” travel show more than ten years ago, and ran into him periodically over the years.
Kendrick was surprised to see the comedian in Mill Valley.
“He was very slow in his movements and his demeanor was also very low,” Kendrick said. “He really, really needed support at that time.”
ROBIN WILLIAMS (1951-2014)
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Kendrick said he was impressed at the entertainer’s willingness to reach out to others for help.
“He was one of the very first to raise his hand and open his self to vulnerability to anyone about his own personal situation,” Kendrick recalled.
The comic was open about his battle with drug and alcohol addiction, his return to rehab in 2006 after being sober for 20 years. Williams’ publicist said he was “fine tuning” his commitment to sobriety last month at a Minnesota treatment center. Nearby, the Oscar winner posed for a Facebook photo with a Dairy Queen employee.
Williams reflected on his sobriety before the starring in the CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones” last fall.
“I have done the research on playing an alcoholic, having sobriety now for seven years, they have these things when you are drinking called blackouts. They are not really blackouts. It’s more like sleepwalking with activities, but it is the idea that I am more focused and I am present,” he said in the interview.
Kendrick said he will remember how Williams touched his own life.
“He was wanting to help people, but he himself needed more help than he could give,” he said.
Kendrick said after seeing Williams, he gave the actor his phone number for support. He only wishes he could have done more.