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Comedian/actor Robin Williams found dead at 63 in apparent suicide

: Robin Williams attends the CW, CBS And Showtime 2013 Summer TCA Party on July 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

: Robin Williams attends the CW, CBS And Showtime 2013 Summer TCA Party on July 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in an apparent suicide at his Northern California home Monday, law enforcement officials said. He was 63.

“He has been battling severe depression of late,” his media representative Mara Buxbaum said. “This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Coroner investigators suspect “the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia,” according to a statement from the Marin County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office.

Williams married graphic designer Susan Schneider in Napa Valley ceremony in October 2011.

Schneider issued this statement:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken.

“On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Word of Williams’ death stunned the entertainment community and beyond Monday.

President Barack Obama’s statement sent from the White House summed it up:

“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between.  But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.  He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”

Comedian Steve Martin tweeted, “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”

Former CNN host Larry King said he would remember Williams as “a genuine caring guy.  Not just a funny man, but a guy who cared about people.”

Marin County deputies responded to an emergency call from Williams’ home in unincorporated Tiburon, California, at 11:55 a.m., reporting “a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing,” the release from the sheriff said.

Williams was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m., it said.

Williams was last seen alive at his home, where he lives with his wife, at about 10 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s statement said.

“An investigation into the cause, manner and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office,” the sheriff’s statement said.

“Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.”

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, the sheriff said.

Williams made at least two trips to rehab for drug treatment, including a visit this summer, and he underwent heart surgery in 2009.

Williams, born in Chicago on July 21, 1951, studied theater at Juilliard School before taking his stand up act to nightclubs. He was cast as Mork, an alien visitor to Earth, for a 1974 episode of television’s “Happy Days.”

“Happy Days” star Henry Winkler said it was “unimaginable that this is the reality today, that this incredible human being, incredible, delicate, funny, dramatic human being is gone.”

Winkler said he “realized I was in the presence of greatness” at Williams’ first rehearsal as Mork.

“I just realized my only job is to keep a straight face,” said Winkler, who played “The Fonz.” “And it was impossible. Because no matter what you said to him, no matter what line you gave to him, he took it in, processed it, and then it flew out of his mouth, never the same way twice. And it was incredibly funny every time.”

The role led to the spin-off show “Mork & Mindy,” which showcased Williams’ usual comic improvisation talents.

He proved his dramatic acting skills in “Good Will Hunting,” a 1997 film that earned him a best supporting actor Oscar.

His memorable movies over the past three decades includes “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Birdcage.” The list is much longer.

Williams credited the influence of Jonathan Winters’ comic irreverence and quirky characters as a great influence on his comedy. The connection between the two was completed when Winters was cast as Williams’ son on “Mork & Mindy.”

When Winters died in 2013, Williams said he was “my idol, then he was my mentor and amazing friend.” He tweeted that Winters was his “Comedy Buddha.”

“Mork & Mindy” co-star Pam Dawber simply said “I am completely and totally devastated. What more can be said?”

WIlliams and Dawber reunited on TV earlier this year on an episode of the CBS comedy “The Crazy Ones.” 

Williams’ fans can look forward to four more movie appearances coming to theaters, including another installment in the “Night at the Museum” franchise.

The film, set for a December release, has Williams reprising the Teddy Roosevelt role he delivered in the first two comedies.

Share your memories of Robin Williams

 

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23 comments

  • Tommy Davies

    Where in this article does it state “Suspected Homicide” as what it stated in the alert bar up top. Hey, I have an idea Q13. Let report on actual facts.

  • Shawn

    Good actor but can’t feel sorry just another drug addict that can’t handle money and everything at there disposal when is society gonna stop caring about drug addict

      • Shawn

        Yeah depression is a sign of mental disorder and he had it cause he was a coke addict for years did u grow up with drug addict cause I did they r useless people

        • kate

          Depression is not a sign of a mental disorder, is IS a mental disorder. You should probably get your facts straight before trying to post your opinions for anyone to see. It makes you look like a moron. No one should deserve to die, even if they are an addict. He was a beautiful, extremely talented soul that had issues, as do many human beings. Here’s a thought, if you want to downgrade others because you have nothing better to do with your life but be hurtful and rude, AT LEAST know proper grammer and get educated on mental disabilities. We all have our issues and it is incredibly sad that he felt there was no light at the end of the tunnel. He will surely be remembered for the good he did for others, for those less fortunate, and the smiles he brought to our faces for many years. His memory will live on.

    • Melissa

      It’s people like you who with attitudes like yours who have given our country a bad rep. It is NOT THE ADDICT NOR THE PERSON WHO COMMITS SUICIDE “PROBABLY CAUSE OF IGNORANCE LIKE URS ” The “ADDICT” N THE “SUICIDE VICTIMS” AT LEAST HAVE HEARTS N FOR WHATEVER REASON JUST CAN’T BEAT THEIR ADDICTION/DEPRESSION but someone like U just has NO RESPECT/HEART PERIOD!! I’D RATHER BE AN ADDICT MYSELF…. MY GOD MAN….

      • Shawn

        Addict r not victims they just create victims and I give America a bad name well have ancestors in America since 1612 Iam a real American that has been a victim of drug addicts

        • meli224mel

          Look I agree with Courtney 100%!!! Shawn we’re all sorry that ur obviously a child of drug addicts, n ur right ppl who r addicted to drugs should have the sence to give their kids to a family that can give them a chance at a real life but that does NOT GIVE U THE RIGHT TO BAD MOUTH THIS MAN N PRESUME TO KNOW WHAT HE WAS GOING THROUGH NOR DOES IT GIVE U ANY KNOLEDGE ON HIS ADDICTION.. I AM ALSO DONE RESPONDING TO UR SUFFERING HEART’S STUPIDITY..

  • Michelle

    Gee, Shawn…
    Here’s hoping you never wind up with a case of clinical depression… & if you do, & something like self-medicating with alcohol (sorry to burst your bubble, but this wasn’t a case of “just another celebrity with more money than brains… The man was suffering)… Let’s just hope people aren’t as hateful about your problem as you are others… *smh*

    • Shawn

      Wow nothing but a bunch of anti America liberals and yes just another case of a celebrity that had more dollars then sense sorry can’t respect anyone who would kill themselves even if ur depressed get over it like people have done for thousands of years

  • visu

    The world has lost one of the greatest funny men of all time. And I think we all felt like we knew him; he was a friend. So now we will all have to wish that we could have been a friend to him when he needed HIS spirits lifted! There are simply no words … We will have to honor him by finding ways to bring joy and laughter to others which was his amazing gift.

    My advice? Life is short, enjoy it. Live each day as if it were your last and do your best to make an impact on this world. Keep healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually. Be prepared financially in case your time comes sooner than later. You don’t want to leave your family a financial burden. Life insurance is only $15 a month (Life Ant and Silver Rock are both super cheap). I know it sounds tacky, but life is fragile.

    I can just hear him saying that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. RIP Robin, we loved the characters you portrayed. You brought us such joy.

  • Daniel Burgan

    This is tragic. Robin Williams was a prodigy. He had such brilliant talent from a very young age. He was loved by everyone I know. His comedy, his poetic acting skills, his dramatic roles, he was a genius. He will be missed and never forgotten.

  • courtney

    Wow Shawn im so glad u knew him so personally. It sounds to me like your just another dumbass closed minded moron that lives in America and believes they know anything and everything. Nobody cares for your mindless words of stupidity of stuff you CANT EVER UNDERSTAND because you are not that person in THEIR SITUATION. Just give up on trying to prove yourself out to be something your so very obviously not. Which would be “smart”. This isn’t about you anyway so im going quit wasting my time replying to so ignorant person trash talk. R.I.P. ROBIN WILLIAMS. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN AND ALWAYS MISSED. THIS IS A TRAGEDY OF A GREAT PERSON AND ARTIST OF MANY TALENTS. MY SORROWS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE TRULY IMPORTANT PEOPLE DURING THIS HIS FAMILY. WISHING THEM ALL THE BEST THAT THERE CAN BE FOR THEM ALL.

  • Joe

    He was okay at Centennial man, but if thinks this is going to make him go down in history as great but misunderstood actor that’s lives in fame like Marilyn Monroe; then he thought wrong.

  • Paul

    Robin Williams was great in Mrs. Doubtfire and as Mork. Shawn though some of your points may be valid there is a time and place to make them This is not the time or place. Robin Williams rest in peace

  • Jim

    Robin Williams was actually diagnosed as Bipolar years ago. The alcohol and drugs were likely abused trying to escape the pain.

    He was a good man, I remember all the years that he Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg did their stand up event for charity and I know that was the real man.

    I remember Mork as a kid and his first appearance on Happy Days, then watching Moscow on the Hudson, Garp, Good Morning Vietnam, Patch Adams, Dead Poet’s Society, and a whole host of his other great works.

    Recently he toasted Deniro at his lifetime achievement award ceremony and I have no doubt that Robin Williams was just as deserving of such an award.

    I know he was just an actor but, he did something that heals so many people.

    He made us laugh, even at times when we might not have felt like laughing.