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Wednesday
Apr202011

Actor's Double Tragedy an Experience Shared by Many

BananaStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor-director Tim Robbins is coping with the double heartache of his mother's death Sunday, 12 days after his father died, a shared experience that is supported by medical and anecdotal evidence.

Mary Robbins, 78, suffered a heart arrhythmia, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Her husband of 59 years, Gil Robbins, 80, died of prostate cancer April 5, the Los Angeles Times reported. Both died at their home in Esteban Cantu, Mexico.

The phenomenon among longtime couples of dying so close to one another is well documented.

A 2007 study at the University of Glasgow that followed more than 4,000 couples found that, on average, widows and widowers were at least 30 percent more likely to die within the first six months of a spouse's death than those who hadn't lost a partner. Another large study in Jerusalem found that the grieving spouse's risk of death during those first six months went up by 50 percent.

The Robbins were professional musicians in the 1950s and '60s. Gil Robbins was a member of the folk band the Highwaymen.

Of his father, The Shawshank Redemption star told the Los Angeles Times: "He was very charming, open and funny. He had a real strong moral center; he spoke up for what he believed in."

Like his father, Robbins is known as much for his outspoken liberal views, shared with former partner Susan Sarandon, as he is for his acting and directing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio