Robin Williams‘ daughter Zelda opened up for the first time about her father’s sudden, tragic suicide this summer, telling Today, “There’s no point questioning it and no point blaming anyone for it and there’s no point blaming yourself or the world or whatever the case may be because it happened and you have to continue to move and you have to continue to live and manage.”
Williams offered a similar response when asked about whether she questioned why her father took his own life — “I don’t think there’s a point,” she said — but added that she believed he would love that, despite the circumstances, his death helped raise awareness of mental health issues. While Williams was glad that people were now more willing to talk about “illnesses [they] can’t immediately see,” she noted there’s still plenty of work left to be done.
“If you have things that make you sad, I do take from him, that you should turn them into something that you can express to other people, or in his case make jokes out of it, because it helped him not hide it,” Williams added, noting her father’s openness about his struggle with alcoholism. “He didn’t like people feeling like the things that were hard for them they should go through alone, and I think that’s the big legacy for him. He somehow had an enormous number of people in this world who made them feel a little less alone.”
Williams also spoke about doing her best to move on with her own life, while working to keep her father’s memory alive in a positive way. On Friday, she’ll receive a “Noble Award,” which honors the late Williams’ work with charities that help disabled athletes like the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Williams also spoke about holding on to her own memories of her father, tattooing a hummingbird on her hand, saying they are “fun and flighty and strange. It’s hard to keep them in one place and dad was a bit like that.” And while her personal memories of her father may differ from the public’s perception of him, she hoped the comic actor’s countless fans would continue to remember him for the work they knew him through.
“The side of him that people know and love and that is attached to their childhood is the characters that he had so much fun being,” Williams said. “And that’s what’s important, and I do think that’s what a lot of people will hold on to and that’s not going anywhere.”