• BREAKING NEWS SJPD search prompts shelter-in-place of schools
  • BREAKING NEWS Track the rain with Live Doppler 7 HD radar

Comedian gives insight into Robin Williams' last days

A Bay Area comedian is giving insight into how Robin Williams had changed in the weeks leading up to his death.
As memorials grow around the Bay Area, a local comedian is giving insight into how he noticed Robin Williams had changed in the weeks leading up to his death.

Johnny Steele was a good friend of the late actor. He says they used to go bike riding nearly every week. Steele says Williams used to call the ride "mobile therapy."

During their last ride, 10 days ago, the comedian says Williams was not the same person that he'd grown to know.

RAW VIDEO: Johnny Steele gives insight into Robin Williams' last days


"Our last ride, 10 days ago, was very different," said Steele. "He barely spoke on the ride, he was very distracted and stressed. We didn't play around much before and we didn't play around much after and we didn't play around much on the ride. I mentioned it to his handlers and they, of course, were aware of it and doing everything they possibly could. But, yeah, that was the Robin Williams I had never seen before in all the years I'd known him and probably not too many people had seen. Skinny, lost a lot of weight, and just very distracted. And I was very concerned."

Steele added, "Look, I don't know. I don't know much about depression. But I'll tell you this, if it can get inside a guy that wonderful and that kind and that full of life and that vibrant, with so much to live for, it is a monstrous, hideous bug, man. I mean, people said oh, I can't believe Robin Williams killed himself. Robin Williams did not, I can tell you that. No, no. Some awful, awful thing got inside him."

PHOTOS: Robin Williams' life and career throughout the years


When asked if it's too early to define what Williams' legacy might be, Steele thought about it then said that it might be early, but if 30,000 Americans kill themselves due to depression every year, if Robin Williams can help make people aware of that then it's a pretty strong legacy.

Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide Monday in a bedroom of his Marin County home.

Sheriff defends release of Williams' death details

Sheriff's officials in the Bay Area are defending their decision to release details about how actor Robin Williams killed himself, saying state law requires they be disclosed to the public.

Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd said in an e-mail Wednesday that the agency would have liked to withhold some of the information, but could not under the California Public Records Act.

Boyd announced during a live, televised news conference Tuesday that Williams committed suicide by hanging himself. He described in detail how Williams carried out the suicide and the condition of the body. Some said the level of detail was too much.

Boyd said the sheriff's office will likely also have to release the 911 call it received from Williams' home reporting his death.

Daughter of Robin Williams faced online abuse

Robin Williams' daughter Zelda has signed off Twitter and Instagram indefinitely. She's upset over people making critical comments about her dad on social media.

But before closing her accounts, the 25-year-old may have channeled her late father in poking back at those who've made negative comments on social media"

She wrote: "Know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you've had it washed."

All of Williams' children have released statements about their loss, his oldest son said "I lost my father and best friend and the world got a little grayer and I will carry his heart with me." The younger son said: "There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect. The world will never be the same without him."

Zelda has also joined her brothers, Zak and Cody, in issuing statements expressing their grief over their father's suicide.

Bay Area tributes to Robin Williams continue to grow

A tribute to the late Robin Williams is taking place outside the San Francisco home made famous in "Mrs. Doubtfire." Several flowers have been placed on the home's steps, and on the sidewalk there are messages written in chalk of quotes from Williams. The owner of the home says he is if no hurry to clear the flowers, saying the tribute is well deserved and that it gives people a place to grieve.

The San Francisco Giants also honored him at AT&T Park in the game against the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night. Fans stood in a moment of silence and remembered him on the jumbotron before the game. Clips from his movies were also played between innings.

VIDEO: Robin Williams remembered at Giants game


On Tuesday night, the Rock Morton Theater canceled its long-standing "Comedy Night" out of respect for Williams. A memorial continues to grow there as well.

"He was so funny, so creative, a genius, but yet on top of all of that, he touched everybody," said Ross resident Nancy Hudson.

Williams often showed up on Tuesdays to do a comedy set and always took time to encourage young performers, one of the many reasons he was so loved.

A memorial outside Williams' former home in San Francisco's Sea Cliff neighborhood is also growing. Williams lived for many years in this mansion. He was a regular sight in the city's Outer Richmond neighborhood.

As a tribute, the Chinese Theater in Hollywood dimmed lights for a full minute. He was only the eighth person honored this way in the 87 years. Shirley Temple and Peter O'Toole were among the others.

There is no word yet on funeral arrangements for Williams. The Marin County Sheriff's Department revealed details about his suicide Tuesday, but would not say if he left a note. It will be weeks before the official autopsy and toxicology reports are done.

The Williams family is asking well-wishers to send contributions to charities close to the actor's heart in lieu of flowers. Suggested organizations include St. Jude's Research Hospital, Challenged Athletes, USO, the Muhammed Ali Parkinson Center, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
entertainment celebrity deaths marin county movie movie news celebrity television u.s. & world memorial suicide mental health robin williams Tiburon San Francisco
(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Load Comments