Robin Williams: Look Back at His Life, Legacy and Career on the 1-Year Anniversary of His Tragic Death

Robin Williams

Robin WilliamsLester Cohen/

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year without Robin Williams.

On Aug. 11, 2014, the beloved Oscar winner took his own life at the age of 63, leaving behind his family, friends and an incredible body of both comedic and dramatic work. His sudden, tragic death was met with an outpouring of grief, and fan memorials for the Good Will Hunting star popped up all over the world. One of the most memorable tributes, perhaps, was delivered by Billy Crystal, Williams’ longtime friend and frequent collaborator, at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

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Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Emmy Awards 2014 ShowMark Davis/NBC

“He made us laugh, hard, any time you saw him,” Crystal said. “As genius as he was onstage, he was the greatest friend you could ever imagine—supportive, protective, loving. It’s very hard to talk about him in the past because he’s so present in all of our lives.”

“For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in the comedy galaxy, but though some of the brightest stars are extinct now,” he continued.. “They float in the heavens, so far away form us now, their beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever…[and sometimes] you’ll think to yourselves, ‘Robin Williams, what a concept.'”

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Nothing can bring Williams back, but his family has hope that his death can raise awareness and help others. On World Mental Health Day, the actor’s daughter Zelda Williams urged her Twitter followers to “end the stigma” surrounding mental illness. She shared the names of several mental health charities, including Barrow Neurological Foundation and Hope for the Warriors, and ended with a personal note.

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Robin WilliamsTwentieth Century Fox Corporation

“…my dad openly fought depression his whole life, both in general and his own,” she wrote. “No matter what anyone says, it is a FIGHT. Fight on.”

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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