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Robin Williams 'stood up for me,' recalls 'Mrs. Doubtfire' co-star

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'Mrs. Doubtfire' co-star bids farewell to Robin Williams in online 'thank you' note

Among the reactions to the death of Robin Williams this week, a note posted online by one of his co-stars is gaining attention for its insight into the late comedian's loyalty.

Lisa Jakub, a former child actor who starred alongside Williams in the 1993 classic "Mrs. Doubtfire" as Lydia Hillard, said in a note published online that his death was "incomprehensible" and that he had taught her to "stand up for the things that matter."

In the note she posted on her blog, she thanked Williams for sticking up for her when she was kicked out of high school during the filming of the family comedy.

"Robin stood up for me," she wrote. "He was in my corner. I was only 14, but I had already seen that I was in an industry that was full of back-stabbing. And it was entirely clear that Robin had my back."

The film, which was set in San Francisco, starred Williams as a father who, struggling to keep his family together, poses as a nanny in an attempt to win them back.

Jakub recalled explaining to Williams that she had been kicked out of school after he noticed she was upset on the movie set.

The next day, she said that Williams gave her a letter addressed to the school, asking officials to reconsider their decision while she worked on set because she was "bright" and shouldn't be denied the opportunity that came with "high school and being a teenager."

"When I told him I still didn’t think they would take me back, he said, 'It’s kinda like Amnesty International. That school just needs to know that people know the truth,'" she wrote.

Although the school did not ask her to return, school officials framed the letter, which she said was hung the principal's office.

Jakub said she hadn't talked to Williams for quite some time but thought she would one day have a chance to thank him for the letter, which "changed her life."

"It taught me that you stand up for the things that matter," she wrote. "And even if your attempts fail, you tried. You told the truth. You took care of your friends. You fought back."

Williams was found dead by his personal assistant Monday inside his Tiburon, Calif., home. Authorities said it appeared the cause of death was "asphyxia due to hanging," although toxicology reports for a final report will take weeks.

On Thursday, his wife, Susan Schneider, said in a statement Williams' sobriety was intact as "he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson’s disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly."

Depression, Jakub said, was something she also struggled with.

"It’s real and it’s not shameful and there is help available," she said.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin also posted in a message on his Facebook page Tuesday, sharing his personal struggle with depression and referring to Williams as "a friend and fellow sufferer."

"The torment of depression and the complications of addiction that accompany it affect millions, including myself and family members before me -- my grandfather committed suicide before I was born and my mother the year before I went to the moon -- along with hundreds of veterans who come to a similar fate each year," Aldrin wrote. "As individuals and as a nation we need to be compassionate and supportive of all who suffer and give them the resources to face life."

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

 

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