I woke up this morning to some very sad news. The legendary stand-up comedian and actor Robin Williams has passed away, aged 63.
He was found dead in his home from apparent suicide (The Guardian, BBC). Tributes have been pouring in all day for the comic genius, from a huge range of people, from those who had the pleasure and opportunity to know and work with Robin Williams, to those of us who were just fans of his comedy and films. Here is a small selection of the tributes, ranging from those who knew the man (BBC, TED, Richard Dawkins) to his memorable quotes and jokes (BBC, Total Film). The image that really got to me was the one shown here, from Robin Williams’ performance as The Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, with the quote “Genie, you’re free”. It’s a beautiful expression of love for the great man.
Robin Williams’ death is suspected suicide. Here are a few informative links about suicide and depression, and what it means to suffer from depression. First up is an excellent piece by Dean Burnett over at The Guardian, on how suicide and depression are not selfish. Ashley James Pryce has a good piece on depression and weakness and social media sharing, which is well worth reading and thinking about. The always excellent Letters of Note show a letter written by Stephen Fry to a fan, where he describes depression like the weather, which seems very apt. The Bloggess suffers from depression, and blogs about it to help herself and to help others in the same situation. Finally, Hyperbole and a Half have chronicled their “Adventures in Depression” and “Depression Part Two“. I’m sure it’ll hit home with many people.
If you feel you suffer from depression, and want help, Mind is a great place to start.
Today we lost a legend, who will be missed by many. Genie, you’re free. Onwards.