Actor Sam Neill opened up about his relationship with late comedy icon Robin Williams in his memoir released Tuesday.
Neill, 79, worked with the late Williams in the 1999 movie “Bicentennial Man,” a sci-fi romance about an android that gradually develops emotional capabilities. During filming, Neill says in his new book “Did I Ever Tell You This?” he and Williams had “great chats.”
“We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do,” Neill wrote of his experience, referring to Williams as “irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny.”
Despite that humor, Neill could tell something was wrong with Williams. He went so far as to call him “the saddest person I ever met.”
Launch day ! Here’s the trailer. And while I’m here – many heartfelt thanks for all the warmth and support and lovely messages I’ve had from everywhere – I cannot tell you how much this means . #DidIEverTellYouThis? https://t.co/qVnBVGWm0S pic.twitter.com/O85VRnAtTe
— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) March 20, 2023
“He had fame, he was rich, people loved him, great kids—the world was his oyster. And yet I felt more sorry for him than I can express. He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet,” Neill wrote of his former co-star. He described Williams as “inconsolably solitary and deeply depressed.”
Neill suggested that Williams’ comedic ability was a form of self-medication. “Funny stuff just poured out of him,” Neill noted. “And everybody was in stitches, and when everybody was in stitches, you could see Robin was happy.” (RELATED: Is This Robin Williams’ Final Talk Show Appearance? [VIDEO])
Williams committed suicide at the age of 63, in August 2014. A year after his death, his widow revealed that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was given three years of a fairly unhappy, painful life with the disease before he would succumb to it.