Sarah Michelle Gellar took a break from acting after Robin Williams died

August 11th was the eighth anniversary of the passing of Robin Williams. There’s always someone’s death that hits you differently than most. I can remember where I was standing when I heard Robin died. So when Twitter or some headline reminds me of this anniversary, my mind puts me in that exact spot and it feels a little like I’m hearing the news all over again. Sarah Michelle Gellar was working with Robin shortly before his death. They were playing father-daughter in a sitcom called The Crazy Ones. After the show ended following his death in 2014, Sarah took a break from on-camera work. She mostly did voice work until her role in 2016’s Cruel Intentions. Even after Intentions, Sarah stuck mostly to voice acting until her currently role in Wolf Pack. In an interview with People, she said the break was intentional for her mental health and for the health of her kids after being profoundly impacted by losing Robin.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is opening up about her much-needed career hiatus following the death of her friend and former co-star, Robin Williams.

While discussing her work with one of her favorite charities, This Is About Humanity, ahead of their big Aug. 27 gala in Los Angeles, Gellar reflected on the time she took a step back from her career to process the death of Williams.

“I’ve been working my entire life,” she told PEOPLE exclusively. “When I had kids — and it was right after Robin passed away — there was just so much going on in my life and I just said, ‘I need to take a break.'”

The 45-year-old actress played Williams’ on screen daughter in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones from 2013-2014.

The series marked Williams’ final television role before the actor died by suicide at age 63 on Aug. 11, 2014. It was later discovered Williams had Lewy body dementia, the second-most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.

Although their time on screen together was short lived, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star shared an incredibly special bond with her TV dad — inspiring her to take some time to be home with her own children, daughter Charlotte Grace, 12, and son Rocky James, 9.
“I need to be here for these early formative years of my kids’ life,” shared the mom of two. “I needed that break to be the parent that I wanted to be.”

[From People]

We talked yesterday about how Sarah Hyland saw Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen as parental figures after all their years on Modern Family. Kaley Cuoco talks about losing her ‘dad’ John Ritter and how it’s still raw 18 years later. Sometimes bonds are instantaneous and when you work that closely together, they become unbreakable. I’m sorry that Sarah had to experience of losing someone so dear to her. I’m glad she had the wherewithal to know what she needed for herself and her family to get through it. She said she did start to miss acting on screen but was still held out for the right projects. She’s not only starring in Wolf Pack, she’s an executive producer as well. And she has her Foodstirs baking company, so she really does get to dictate her career on her terms, which is the dream. It’s impressive that Sarah was able to take such a sad and tragic situation and become stronger from it by doing the work she needed to. I’m not going to bright-side the tragedy, but I’m glad Sarah was able to come out the other end of it.

I found Robin incredibly talented and for that alone I miss him. I met him once; he was a riot and encouraged me to continue my path when I was a teen. But we knew people in common and he was so incredibly kind and generous to them that I hold him in very high regard for it. I learned of a few of his additional kindnesses after he passed. It made me want to be better.

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16 Responses to “Sarah Michelle Gellar took a break from acting after Robin Williams died”

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  1. Emmi says:

    He was one of the really really good ones, I’ve never read anything even slightly not-great about Robin. And Sarah deserved a break, she has always been described as an incredibly hard worker. I cannot believe he’s been gone that long.

  2. girl_ninja says:

    I didn’t even work with Mr. Williams but his death really rocked me, so I can’t imagine the way it affected those who knew him. He was great and I watched him from the time a little girl on Mork & Mindy to his great film work.

    It’s good that she took the time she did for herself after his death. It’s too bad that it didn’t seem to help her reflect deeply enough. She was one of the many celebrities that piled on and encouraged Gary Janetti when his instagram was relentlessly cruel to Duchess Meghan. I’ve not like Sarah since then and still side eye her and all those folks who were so very nasty.

  3. Sasha says:

    His friendly face was my childhood! He just seemed born to entertain and it’s so desperately sad he met such a tragic end. At least.. I guess.. he died on his own terms? I don’t know. Maybe that’s not right. But he was one of the most beloved people and I think his death shook people more than most.

  4. manda says:

    I did not know about the lewy body thing, I thought he suffered from depression and that was why he committed suicide. Honestly, there’s a part of me that understands why he might have been driven to it. Dementia is probably my number one fear in life

    • girl_ninja says:

      My dad had dementia and though I love him very much he wasn’t a good father or husband to my mom. It’s heartbreaking to know that he’s dealing with this. And selfishly I too am afraid of developing dementia.

      I remember when the news broke that Mr. Williams had died a Twitter mutual was furious. She went on a rant about how mad she was at him, how selfish he was and how he should have fought harder. I sub-tweeted that we had to be very careful as to how we react to news like this. How we never now what the person is actually dealing with. How if one takes their life and they had such love for their people, their family that SOMETHING must have been so wrong that they could not bear it. She responded with such a tweet, I think she thought she was being gracious but it was condescending.

      Then we found out some time later about the type of dementia that he had and the pain of Lewy Body syndrome. All this to say, that we just never know what is really going on unless we are in it.

      • Doodle says:

        The only thing I can say is, maybe she had been touched by suicide previously? In recent years two people I know have died by suicide and the feelings I have about it range from sadness to anger. I kind of get where that woman is coming from while I totally understand where you are coming from as well.

    • Ocho says:

      My mother had Lewy Body Disease. For her, it was similar to Parkinson’s, but imagine those symptoms applied to everything about a person: not just her body, but intellect and personality were all affected. Her interests, sense of humor. Everything that made her “her” was gone. Even her face physically looked different.

      She was replaced by something else who did not know who they were so would mimic those around them. Like a mask around an empty shell. I thought of it as the “invasion of the body snatchers” disease bc she seemed like a totally different person.

      I want to be careful here. But I will say, if Robin knew what was in store for him, I think people would have been less confused by his decision.

      • SusieQ says:

        Dementia is a frightening monster. My late father had vascular dementia. It was genetic, so he always feared it was coming for him, and then it did. It changed everything about my bright, kind, musical father. He was well-known regionally back in the 1960s as a theater organ player, and when he got dementia, he started hating music. He had also been a fire chief, so his memories of being in fires invaded his waking thoughts, and he constantly thought he was in a fire.

      • Dara says:

        My mom suffered from vascular dementia. When she passed away late last year, I felt more relief than grief. In a way, I had been mourning her loss for years, piece by piece. The person whose hand I held in the hospital as she slipped away was no longer the woman who raised me.

  5. TikiChica says:

    And John Ritter <3 oh, my heart.

    • VoominVava says:

      Still hurts. I loved John Ritter so much, he would have been doing some amazing things I just know it. My brother named his son Jack after Three’s Company, and he wasn’t even a year old when John Ritter died. My brother and I bawled together on the phone when we heard. We watched Three’s Company (reruns) every day after school)
      Robin affected me, too. I was deep into his show with SMG at the time, it was so good! I was so disappointed when it was cancelled, and then he died shortly after. I am sure that didn’t help. It was such a funny show and SMG, Robin as well as James Wolk (who I loved in Mad Men) were so good in it. (from Wikipedia: CBS canceled the series on May 10, 2014,[6] marking Williams’ final television role nearly three months before his death on August 11, 2014.)

  6. Fuzzy Crocodile says:

    I was devastated and never met him. His body of work was so integral to my childhood. I can only imagine what it would be like if you worked closely with him. He seemed to have such a positive reputation and influence.

  7. Julia K says:

    The other face of comedy is tragedy.

  8. JackieJacks says:

    You can tell from SMG and Williams’ photos together that she completely treasures him. It’s so adorable. So terrible that’s he’s gone now. I love 80s/90s The Birdcage with him and watch it whenever it comes on. Also that movie still holds up today.

  9. TwinFalls says:

    I never met him and also miss him so yeah he definitely touched many lives.

    It was a quote by David Foster Wallace that made me understand the mentality behind suicide. If you’ve never felt the flames, you can’t understand the terror. After that, the thought of being angry at someone who took their own life went away.