Sam Neill has reflected on his friendship with Robin Williams, describing him as the “loneliest man on a lonely planet”.
In Neill’s new memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?, the actor recalls how they had “great chats” together while visiting each other’s trailers on the set of 1999 film Bicentennial Man.
“We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do,” Neill wrote (via People), adding that Williams was “irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny”.
Neill describes the late actor as simultaneously the “funniest person” he ever worked with and “the saddest person I ever met”.
He added: “He had fame, he was rich, people loved him, great kids – the world was his oyster. And yet I felt more sorry for him than I can express. He was the loneliest man on a lonely planet.”
Neill said “he could sense the dark space inside” during their chats, but “as soon as he flung open the door, he was on”.
“Funny stuff just poured out of him,” Neill added. “And everybody was in stitches, and when everybody was in stitches, you could see Robin was happy.”
Williams died by suicide aged 63 on August 11, 2014. It was later revealed that Williams had been battling degenerative disease, Lewy Body Dementia.
A documentary about the late actor’s final months was released in 2021, titled Robin’s Wish, which featured interviews with his wife Susan Schneider Williams.
Elsewhere in Neill’s memoir, the Jurassic Park actor shared that he’s been receiving treatment for stage three blood cancer and is now in remission.