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Man Who Met ‘Considerate’ Robin Williams During Minnesota Rehab Stint Recalls How Actor Looked To Be ‘Hurting’

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Aug. 22 2014, Published 7:00 a.m. ET

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Before Robin Williams hanged himself in his Tiburon, Calif. home last week, the actor made a last ditch effort to battle his demons at Minnesota’s Hazelden facility, where one local observed the actor’s inner turmoil and pain.

Ronald Backes, leader of a Christian ministry, said that the Patch Adams star’s misery wasn’t hard to pick up on when he randomly ran into him at a local coffee shop June 30.

“He looked like he was hurting,” Backes told The National ENQUIRER. “What happened to him is a real tragedy.

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“I wish I could have had a more in-depth conversation with him about faith.”

Despite Williams' despair, Backes recalled that the actor was obliging when he complimented him and asked him for a snapshot.

“I told him that I liked his work, and he said, ‘Thanks!’” Ronald, 51, told the ENQUIRER. “Then I asked if he’d take a picture with me, and he said, ‘Sure!’

“He was a considerate man.”

The ENQUIRER also spoke with Hazelden patients who recalled the tight security the facility took with the presence of the A-lister.

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“Some guys tried to sneak over there, but they were caught and told not to do it again.”

In another run-in at a Mill Valley, Calif. eatery, onlookers said the actor “seemed down and he had his hand clutching his chest” while in a tense discussion dining with his wife, Susan.

“It’s very hard to believe that just a few days later he was dead,” the source said.

For more on this story and the late Robin Williams, please pick up this week’s edition of the ENQUIRER.

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