Courtesy Hilary Lewis from The Hollywood Reporter
Robin Williams’ unexpected death on August 11, 2014 brought to an end the comedian’s long battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction.
Williams checked himself in to a renewal center, but his battle with addiction dated back more than 30 years. He struggled with cocaine and alcohol abuse in the early ’80s, after his rise to fame on Mork & Mindy.
“Cocaine for me was a place to hide. Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down,” Williams told People in 1988.
Williams was even with John Belushi during the Saturday Night Live star’s all-night cocaine and heroin binge that led to his fatal overdose.
Belushi’s death and Williams’ then-wife Valerie’s pregnancy with the couple’s son, Zak, forced the comedian to quit cocaine and alcohol cold turkey.
“The Belushi tragedy was frightening,” Williams told People. “His death scared a whole group of show-business people. It caused a big exodus from drugs. And for me, there was the baby coming. I knew I couldn’t be a father and live that sort of life.”
Williams even joked about the dangers of cocaine addiction in his Live at the Met stand-up performance (video below).