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Running on empty, and ran out of laughs: Robin Williams

Robin Williams, an avid biker
Arnaldo Magnani/ Getty Images

Robin Williams left his spirit and a legacy of entertainment artifacts as a comedic genius would do as if he couldn’t help it. That is what he did. I saw him once riding his bicycle in San Francisco and it was a rainy day. I wondered why an enormously successful actor would take to his bike to ride the hills of San Francisco on a day like that? Maybe it was just because he could. He had it in him, energy and drive to live the world and to feel it.

He was born in a house of plenty, but having it all isn’t enough when your capacity to give is greater than material surroundings. He was a performer whose gift was to create.

While the high performance human machine was still running at fast speed, a part of Robin Williams snapped. His mind began an internal conflict. His conversations became confusing, and things weren’t right and he knew it. Surely he sought medical help, and had been through bouts like this before. Yet, when a man gets older, and life gets old, for a creative genius to come to grips with mortality, doing a part one more time may be too much. Geniuses have vision. Steve Jobs didn’t run out of vision, he ran out of life. Robin Williams didn’t run out of life, he ran from it.

Voices may have said, “Stay off the stage”. It’s the last act. Let them remember the laughs, and don’t let them see you cry.

“Williams and his family were Cook's neighbors before they moved two blocks down the way. She called him "brilliant," as well as "really quiet and private." An avid cyclist, he was often seen riding the Paradise loop, which hugs the Tiburon peninsula.

Cook's children called him "the funny man" and would greet him as such when he was out walking his pug, Lenny (after another famous comedian). He joked around easily with them, Cook said, "because they were kids."

Cook's voice cracked Monday as she walked toward Williams' home with her labradoodle named Mac, carrying the vivid flowers she'd selected because "I thought the color would be uplifting."
"It's just so sad when depression takes someone like that," she said, sharing that her good friend had also committed suicide.

The single-story home with a Spanish tile roof backs onto stunning views of San Francisco Bay. On Monday, a Land Rover and Lexus SUV sat parked in front of the three-car garage.

Megan Thorpe, 25, of Mill Valley, worked all night as a nanny Sunday, and was asleep when her phone started bleeping. A dozen texts flooded in from friends, all sharing the news. Thorpe threw on some clothes, bought three red roses and arrived just after Cook.

She had fallen in love with Williams as a girl watching "Aladdin." When she moved to the Bay Area a year ago, one of the first things she did was pay a visit to the "Doubtfire house" in San Francisco.

"He was a great man," she said Monday, as news crews began to crowd the quiet street not far from the Tiburon Yacht Club. Even with fame and riches, she said, he "was appreciative of what he had" and did so much for "so many charities." Yet none of those riches helped him with the darkness.”

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