In the days leading up to the death of beloved actor and comic Robin Williams, neighbors in the star’s Marin County, California, neighborhood became alarmed at his deteriorating appearance, while friends close to Williams said that he was overwhelmed by money worries and disappointment that at age 63, his career seemed to have taken a downward turn.
On Tuesday, a waitress at a Dairy Queen ice cream shop in Minnesota posted a Facebook photo taken on June 29, showing herself posing with Robin Williams. Though Abby Alders said she did not know or inquire why the world-famous star was in Lindstrom, Minnesota in June, calling Williams’ personal affairs “none of my business.” Williams was reported to be staying at a substance abuse rehab facility nearby there at that time.
Alders said that while Robin Williams appeared “subdued” in his stop at the Dairy Queen where he purchased a small vanilla ice cream cone, he was “friendly” and willingly posed for the photo.
But in the Facebook photo, Williams appears pale and unhealthy, and seems to have already lost a significant amount of weight.
According to Britain’s Mirror newspaper which interviewed an unnamed neighbor of Williams near his home in Marin County, the star only grew more unhealthy over the following month, and appeared distant and downcast.
“Robin looked terrible,” the neighbor said. “He had lost all his weight and look exceptionally gaunt. It was as though there was nothing behind his eyes, just a shell.”
Another neighbor, who said he did not know Robin Williams personally but often saw him around the neighborhood, said the comedian’s suicide was shocking because Williams “seemed like a happy guy on the surface.”
“It wasn’t like having a celebrity in the neighborhood, he was always very down to earth and very friendly to everyone,” the neighbor said. “He wasn’t an active member of the community, he wasn’t in the local yacht club or anything, but he was always happy to say hello.”
According to some reports, the two divorces that Robin Williams had already endured cost him over $30 million. His net worth was most recently estimated at about $50 million. But he had recently placed his California ranch and vineyard on the market in an effort to keep up with payments from his divorce settlements, the Mirror reported.
Sources close to Robin Williams said that he was discouraged at being forced to return to a TV series for the first time since 1982 in order to maintain his finances, but he was crushed when his show, The Crazy Ones, was axed by CBS after just one season.
“Robin slipped into a deep depression. He felt embarrassed and humiliated the show was a failure,” an unnamed “insider” said to be close to Robin Williams told the Mirror. “It was very hard for Robin to accept. Here he was in his 60s, and forced to take a role on television for the money. It’s just not where he thought he would be at this point in his life.”