Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin paid his respects to comedian Robin Williams today with a post on Facebook. The Oscar-winning actor was found dead of an apparent suicide in his home in California on Monday (Aug. 11). He was 63 years old.
"I regarded Robin Williams as a friend and fellow sufferer," Aldrin wrote on Facebook Tuesday (Aug. 12). "His passing is a great loss. 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. 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."
Williams made his own contribution to the United States space program by providing the wakeup call for astronauts onboard the space shuttle Discovery during a mission in 1988. The actor's recorded call to the shuttle made Mission Controllers on the ground break out in smiles, giggling as he yelled "G-o-o-d morning, Discovery" in reference to his 1987 role in the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam."