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Robin Williams’ co-star claims he’d still be alive if close friend hadn’t died in 2004

Robin Williams’ co-star claims he’d still be alive if close friend hadn’t died in 2004

Williams took his own life back in 2014

Robin Williams, regarded as one of the greatest comedic minds of all time, would still be alive if his close friend hadn't died a decade earlier, it has been claimed in a new documentary.

Williams was a legend of stage, TV and film, with his breakthrough role coming in Mork & Mindy.

Other legendary performances include Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting. Williams then became a family favourite through Jumanji, Hook, Flubber and Mrs Doubtfire.

Aged 63, Williams died by suicide in 2014, suffering from a period of intense depression before passing away.

It came a decade after the death of his close friend, Superman actor Christopher Reeve, in 2004.

Reeve was left paralysed in 1995 after a horse riding accident and his health declined ever since.

A new documentary, titled Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story, looks at different parts of Reeve’s life.

This has included his friendship with comedian Williams, whose death followed his struggles with a neurodegenerative disorder that was misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s.

Reeve and Williams in 1979.
Fotos International / Getty

In reality, Williams had been suffering from Lewy body dementia, an incurable brain disease that was only found when his autopsy was conducted.

Symptoms include hallucinations, confusion, depression, anxiety and memory problems.

Actor and co-star Glenn Close believes that Williams might not have died when he did if Reeve had never passed away.

In the documentary, Close says: "I always felt that if Chris was still around, Robin would still be alive."

It's a belief she's stuck to for years, and back in 2017 she praised the pair's 'connection' as the 'stuff of legend'.

Reeve and Williams in 2004, just months before Reeve died.
New York Daily News Archive / Getty

Close said: "It not only endured, but became a life-giving force sustaining them both."

She said that during the filming of The World According to Garp, Reeve 'would literally swoop in, piloting his own plane, scoop Robin up, and away they would fly for the weekend'.

The relationship between Reeve and Williams is well documented.

After his accident in 1995, Reeve was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.

Following the accident Reeve was faced a life or death situation as he prepared to undergo an operation at the University of Virginia Medical Center to reattach his skull to his spine.

With his chances of survival rated at just 50/50, Reeve later told US broadcaster Barbara Walters that he had 'wanted to die'. But that all changed thanks to Williams.

Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire.
20th Century Fox

Ahead of the operation, alone during the night, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, appearing to speak in a Russian accent.

The man announced that he was a proctologist and was going to perform a rectal exam.

This was, of course, Williams reprising his character from film Nine Months.

Reeves later wrote of the incident: "For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay."

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story does not have a release date as of yet but has been acquired by Warner Bros.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.

Featured Image Credit: San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Peter Kramer/Getty

Topics: Robin Williams, TV and Film, Health, US News, Celebrity, Mental Health