In one of the last known pictures taken of Robin Williams before he died, the actor looked thin and subdued, a shadow of his former self and a far cry from the animated character the world is used to.
The image was taken at Lindstrom Dairy Queen on June 29, when the 63-year-old was reportedly being treated at rehab clinic Minnesota’s Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center, just a short walk away.
Abby Albers, aged 15, was working at the DQ when Williams walked in. She said she initially didn't recognize him. “I didn’t think it was actually him (at first), because I didn’t understand why he would be in Lindstrom at the Dairy Queen,” she said.
She told CBS Minnesota the actor wasn’t the zany, utlra-hyper guy he usually comes across as on TV, but that he was gracious enough to pose for a photo with the teen and her co-worker.
After she posted the picture on Facebook, in which she described him as "friendly" and revealing he bought a small vanilla cone, she refused to speculate on what he was doing in the town. After someone suggested Williams was attending rehab at Hazeldon, she said, "If he is it's none of our business."
— Pioneer Press (@PioneerPress) July 2, 2014
Williams was clean and sober for 20 years before falling off the wagon in 2003. Speaking about the moment to Parade magazine just last year he said, "One day I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice — I call it the "lower power' — goes, 'Hey. Just a taste. Just one.'
"I drank it, and there was that brief moment of 'Oh, I’m okay!' But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street."
A few years later his family staged an intervention and forced him to check into rehab, with his rep saying at the time, "After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family."
He was found dead this morning at his California home from an apparent suicide. He leaves behind his wife and three children.