Robin Williams takes up drinking after 20 years, then goes into rehab

By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles 
Published: 10 August 2006

The irrepressible comic actor Robin Williams has gone
into rehab for alcohol abuse, his publicist confirmed
last night. 

The 56-year-old Hollywood actor fell off the wagon
during a typically busy year in which he has already
released two films, with three more scheduled for
release before Christmas.

"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," his
publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said in a brief statement.
"He asks that you respect his and his family's privacy
during this time.

"He looks forward to returning to work this fall to
support his upcoming film releases."

No further details were available, although one
celebrity television show, Entertainment Tonight,
reported that Williams entered rehab sometime during

When Williams was first making his mark as a stand-up
comedian in the 1970s, he would make regular allusions
to his drinking habits, and to the lure of addiction
in general. "Cocaine," he once joked, "is God's way of
telling you you are making too much money." He appears
to have sworn off the booze around the time of the
birth of his children in the 1980s. (He has three
children, one from his first wife, Valerie Velardi,
and two from his second wife, Marsha Garces Williams.)

His personal demons seem to have done little to halt
his glittering career, which progressed from stand-up
comedian, to prominence on the television comedy show
Mork and Mindy, to a reputation as one of Hollywood's
most reliable funny men, both on the screen and off.
Earlier this year, he appeared in RV, a comedy about a
family holiday in a camper van gone wrong. Another
film, The Night Listener, in which he plays a radio
host drawn to a listener who claims to be a victim of
child abuse, was released in the United States last

Later in the year he is scheduled to be seen in Man of
the Year, as a talk show host who runs for president;
in Happy Feet, an animated feature in which he
provides the voice of a penguin; and Night in the
Museum, a fantasy film about animals and insects
coming to life at a natural history museum.

No fewer than four other Williams films set for
release in 2007 are already in production, including a
sequel to Mrs Doubtfire, the 1993 hit comedy in which
Williams' character donned women's clothing and
secured himself a job as nanny to his estranged


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