Robin Williams Had "Early Stages of Parkinson's Disease," Wife Says

Robin Williams HBO Panel - H 2014
AP Images/Invision

Robin Williams HBO Panel - H 2014

Susan Schneider discloses that her husband had not yet made a public statement about the diagnosis

Susan Schneider, the wife of Robin Williams, has disclosed that her late husband was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease at the time of his death earlier this week. Schneider stated that her husband had not yet made a public comment about this diagnosis.

Williams, 63, died of a suspected suicide at his Tiburon, Calif., home on Aug. 11, local authorities said. The beloved comedian and actor had been candid about his battles with substance abuse through the years. In early July, the actor's rep confirmed that he had checked himself in to a renewal center.

Michael J. Fox, one of the most prominent celebrities with Parkinson's, weighed in on the disclosure on Thursday afternoon. "Stunned to learn Robin had PD. Pretty sure his support for our Fdn predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace," the actor wrote on Twitter. 

Schneider's full statement on Thursday: 

Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, 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.

Robin's sobriety was intact and 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.

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.

Aug 14, 3:00 pm Updated With Michael J. Fox tweet.