June 10, 2023

Sam Neill has special memories of Robin Williams, who worked with him in 1999’s Bicentennial Man. Neill, 75, looked back on their time together in his new March 21-released memoir, Did I Ever Tell You This?

Neill recalled their “great chats” throughout their visits to each other’s trailers.

“We would talk about this and that, sometimes even about the work we were about to do,” he said, calling Williams “irresistibly, outrageously, irrepressibly, gigantically funny.”

But even during those good times, Neill could sense something was wrong, calling Williams, “The saddest person I ever met.”

Williams died by suicide at the age of 63 on Aug. 11, 2014.

“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 wrote.Williams seemed “inconsolably solitary and deeply depressed.”

Williams used humor as a form of self-medication, Neill theorized, saying “funny stuff just poured out of him.”

“And everybody was in stitches, and when everybody was in stitches, you could see Robin was happy,” Neill said.

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