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Williams' death opens up dialogue about depression

The world lost an extraordinary talent on Aug. 11, a comic genius whose wit, insight and ability to connect transcended generations and genres both high and low, serious and comic.

Robin Williams taught us much about ourselves and our culture: As Mork, a goofy alien sent from the planet Ork to learn about human behavior; as an irreverent deejay questioning the Vietnam War; and as a divorced father who disguised himself as an elderly housekeeper so he could see his kids.

His death may carry still another lesson, one about the devastating costs of mental illness.