Robin Williams’ longtime friends have recalled his heavy drug use, saying his addition to cocaine made him a “monster.”
The beloved Hollywood sweetheart died by suicide in 2014 at the age of 63.
But before his acting career blew up, Williams was a stand-up comedian who struggled with a severe addiction to drugs in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In fact, Williams’ pal Allen Stephan reveals in Vice’s “The Dark Side of Comedy” documentary series that the “Mrs. Doubtfire” actor couldn’t go on stage and perform without cocaine.
Revealing one conversation he had with the late actor at the time, Stephan remembered, “He said, ‘Know anyone with any blow? I have to go on and I can’t go on without any blow.’ And I sat down and said, ‘I’m going to help you.’”
“He goes, ‘You have blow?’ I go, ‘No, are you out of your f–king mind? You’re Robin Williams!’ And then I think after that he wouldn’t get high when he had to perform.”
The late actor’s longtime friend, Mike Binder, remembered Williams’ reaction to “a gram of coke” during the pair’s outing in Hollywood in the ’80s.
“Robin said, ‘Let me take that. Do you mind if I grab a hit off that in the bathroom?’” Binder said in the doc. “He came back, and it was empty. It was like, ‘Whoa.’ It was like 8:15 at night.”
“It was an accident, I’m sorry,” Williams said, according to Binder. “With drugs, he was a monster.”
Williams’ “Mork and Mindy” co-star Gina Hecht said the late actor’s “highs were so high and his lows were often low.”
“When you did have that kind of fame, drugs were just given to you,” Hecht added.
Comedian Howie Mandel recalled how Williams would begin to include cocaine jokes in his stand-up material.
“I can’t tell you how many times Robin came onstage at The Comedy Store and a big part of his routine was cocaine and the drugs that he had done,” Mandel shared.
“And even though everybody was laughing, and it was really funny, he was really doing a lot of cocaine. He found the funny side of it, but ultimately it was real and really, it’s not funny, but that’s who he is.”
It wasn’t until John Belushi’s death in 1982, along with the birth of Williams’ first son in 1983, that Williams quit drugs “cold turkey,” according to his longtime friend Stanley Wilson.
“He knew what an amazing instrument that he had, and that it is all related to his mind and his imagination and his wit,” Wilson said. “The more stuff you do to deaden that, the more you’re going to burn some more brain cells. Robin didn’t want to do that.”
After getting clean, Williams went on to land roles in blockbusters, including “Good Will Hunting,” “Jumanji,” and “Night at the Museum.”