This week's list is dominated by the death of Robin Williams (#1), the famous and unique American comedian and actor. Over 9 million views in a week, an extremely high number. This week no fewer than five of the top 10 articles, and nine of the top 25, are related to Williams. On August 12, when his death was announced, the article had just over 6.5 million views in one day. As far as the Report is aware, the only death to ever exceed that one-day total to date has been Steve Jobs on October 6, 2011, with 7.3 million views. And though you can't rely only on Wikipedia view counts as a measure of popularity, Williams' one-day total also exceeds those of Whitney Houston (February 12, 2012; with 5.97 million) and Michael Jackson (June 26, 2009; 5.88 million).
Perhaps more importantly, Wikipedia view counts surely have far less correlation with a subject's happiness. Did Williams know how universally he was loved? Does it matter? Williams was reportedly suffering from severe depression before his death from asphyxia (#3), and had recently been diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson's disease (#25). A tribute to Williams will be presented at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25—no doubt one of many. In the 1989 film Dead Poets Society (#14), Williams' character's insistence that his students "carpe diem" (seize the day) is something worth keeping in mind; as Horace originally popularized the phrase in 23 BC: "carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero", or "seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the next." This also translates as YOLO in 2014, but the Latin sounds much cooler.
The unexpected death by suicide of this iconic comic on August 11 led to worldwide tributes. This article was viewed more than 9 million times this week, which is a phenomenal number—the most viewed article of the week is more normally in the range of 1–2 million views.
Unfortunately this article comes in at #3, as the cause of death of Robin Williams. The vast majority of these views came on August 12, when news of his death spread. A few attempts by inexperienced editors to add specific mention of Williams in the article were quickly reverted. These readers would be well served to note the extensive categories we have regarding cause of death. Williams has already been added to Category:Comedians who committed suicide, and will likely soon be added to Category:Suicides by asphyxiation.
This popular and sultry American actress, best known for her movie performances in the 1940s and 1950s, and as the leading lady to Humphrey Bogart (whom she married in 1945), died on August 12. As her New York Times obituary remarked, her "lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach."
The daughter of Robin Williams and Marsha Garces, Zelda was made the subject of abuse by trolls on Twitter sending her photoshopped images of her father's body among other evil missives, and then decided to take a break from (anti)social media. Before she left, she shared a post on tumblr that noted: "While I'll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there's minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions."
Power Girl is a DC Comics heroine. She has all the powers and abilities of Superman. This article enjoyed a burst of popularity on August 11 and 12, probably in advance of the August 13 release of Worlds' Finest issue number 26, which finally substituted the male fantasy version of Power Girl with someone a bit more 21st century; a hoodie-clad African American woman named Tanya Spears.
The former wife of Robin Williams, and the mother of Zelda (#5). On August 16, the article was moved to Marsha Garces Williams, which was a redirect at the time and garnered almost 90,000 views itself on August 12. If we added those to the view count totals, #9 and #10 would switch places.