Before his death at age 63 on Monday, Robin Williams had been battling the early stages of Parkinson's disease, his wife has revealed in a new statement, according to People.
Although the actor had been candid about his battles with addiction and depression through the years, at the time of his suicide, “Robin’s sobriety was intact,” his widow, Susan Schneider, said. “He was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, often with a small tremor or general stiffness and slowing of movement. There is no cure for the disease but medication can help improve symptoms. Actor Michael J. Fox has famously fought the disease since 1991.
The remainder of Schneider’s statement follows:
“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the front lines or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.
“Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
“It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”
Williams is survived by his wife and three children from previous marriages: Zak Williams, 31, Zelda Williams, 25, and Cody Williams, 22.
NBC has named Chuck Todd, the network’s chief White House correspondent, the new host of “Meet the Press,” ending the six-year tenure of David Gregory as moderator.
Todd will start Sept. 7. Andrea Mitchell will anchor the program Sunday.
In a Twitter message Thursday, Gregory wrote: “I leave NBC as I came — humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of ‘MTP’ was the highest honor there is.”
Ratings for “Meet the Press” have been in steady decline over the past three years and the program trails its competitors, CBS’s “Face the Nation” and ABC’s “This Week.”
Today is looking bright for Savannah Guthrie: She’s a mom!
The “Today” morning show co-host and her husband, Michael Feldman, welcomed their first child — a girl — early Wednesday, People reports.
Daughter Vale Guthrie Feldman weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 19.5 inches long.
Her baby girl “has blue eyes, a little bit of blondish hair and the chubbiest cheeks you’ve ever seen,” Guthrie, who will be calling in to the show on Friday, told friends of the program. “Mike and I are so overcome with happiness, gratitude and joy.”
Guthrie, 42, began her leave from the show Monday, where she was sent off in style with gifts from her colleagues.
“It has been so much fun,” Guthrie joked of her nationally broadcasted pregnancy. “It’s been so surreal to go through this on TV.”
Derek Hough is going country!
People has learned that the “Dancing With the Stars” pro will join ABC’s “Nashville” this season for a multi-episode arc.
Hough will play Noah West, a 20-something movie star who will cross paths with the “Nashville” characters when he’s tapped for a leading role in the biopic of a famous country singer.
ABC says the role requires Hough to play a “beguiling and disarming” guy. Not so much of a stretch for the 29-year-old hoofer, eh?
His episodes are expected to air in October.
Earlier this week, ABC announced that Hough will return to the ballroom for season 19 of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Hough has booked acting gigs before, such as starring in the dancing movie “Make Your Move” and in a stage production of “Footloose: The Musical.” He also had a way-back-when uncredited gig as a Hogwarts school boy in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
“Nashville” returns Sept. 24 on ABC. “Dancing With the Stars” will premiere on Sept. 15.