updated 08/12/2014 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/13/2014 AT 8:00 AM ET
A brilliant comic mind with a soulful spirit, Robin Williams battled addiction and depression for much of his life, even as he kept millions laughing.
The Oscar winner, who committed suicide on Monday at age 63, was candid about many of his struggles, which began soon after his rise to fame in 1978 on the ABC hit Mork and Mindy.
“I used to go to two or three clubs a night and then go to four or five people’s houses, just keep going, going,” Williams told PEOPLE in 1982. “The myth of living fast, dying young affected me, but I’ve come out on the other side of it.”
And yet he would continue to struggle and experience deep bouts of sadness, which he hinted was a far more personal side of him than the one he displayed onstage.
“Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes,” Williams told NPR in 2006. “Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”