Robin Williams dead: Legendary actor dies in apparent suicide

MARIN COUNTY, Calif — Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams apparently took his own life at his Northern California home Monday, law enforcement officials said. Williams was 63.

“He has been battling severe depression of late,” his media representative Mara Buxbaum told CNN. “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, California, Sheriff’s office.

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Williams married graphic designer Susan Schneider in Napa Valley, California, ceremony in October 2011. Schneider sent a written statement to CNN through the representative.

“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.”

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.”

Word of Williams’ death stunned the entertainment community Monday.

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.

Hanging with my pal, Crystal, on the set of NATM3.

A photo posted by therobinwilliams (@therobinwilliams) on

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

 

21 comments

  • Renee'

    RIP! You will forever be remembered for all the laughter you brought us through your shows and movies. Thank you for all the smiles and laughter you left behind. Plain and Simple: Mr. Robin Williams may be Gone but will never ever be Forgotten Ever. He was pure talent and human too. I am sorry he suffered, considering all the love and laughed he gave us his fans, which we could have helped him, now all we can do his pray for his soul and that he now had found the peace he has been searching for, we lost a wonderful, talented, loving man to soon. God be with him and ma he RIP.

      • athynz

        By nearly everyone you insensitive jerk. Why don’t you slither back under that rock you came out of? IOW just go away Timmay – no one likes you.

      • David

        athynz …. you are irrationally stalking, insulting, and attempting to silence Timmy. Maybe “Timmy” is really you and you reply for attention. Maybe “Troll” is also another name for yourself. Split personality, or none at all?

      • athynz

        “DAVID
        athynz …. you are irrationally stalking, insulting, and attempting to silence Timmy.”

        Not irrationally and not stalking. Insulting and attempting to silence him as you try to insult and silence me yes. You act like that’s an issue – perhaps it’s because you support his views on women and minorities – or Timmay is yet another one of your personalities.

        “Maybe “Timmy” is really you and you reply for attention.”

        Nope, unlike you David/Troll I stick with the one name.

        “Maybe “Troll” is also another name for yourself. Split personality, or none at all?”

        You are Troll.

  • Patrick

    A part of my life that can’t be forgotton, even if I tried. that will stick with me forever…… comedy genius!

  • athynz

    I remember when he was on Happy Days as Mork, loved his work in Good Morning Vietnam, Jumanji, Dead Poet’s Society, the Night at the Museum movies, and his voice work in Aladdin. R.I..P. Mr. Williams and I hope you found the peace you were seeking.

  • Magenta

    Such a huge and lively character on the big screen, yet all the personal demons he was constantly battling with just snatched him away from the world. It’s such sad situation for anyone to deal with, especially when he was actively trying to overcome his depression. His family is in my prayers during this rough time.

  • Timmy McFadden

    Sheeple, get over it. He was funny in the 80s and now he’s gone. None of you knew him anyway. Geez…talk about star-worship.

    • athynz

      “TIMMY MCFADDEN
      Sheeple, get over it. He was funny in the 80s and now he’s gone. None of you knew him anyway. Geez…talk about star-worship.”

      Timmay get over it. You weren’t funny or witty at all. No one likes you anyway. Geez… talk about a bitter, bitter jerk with small man’s syndrome.

      • David

        athynz …. you don’t need to keep proving you know how to copy & paste. Can you tie your shoes yet? Have you stopped threatening people you do not know with physical violence? Do you still lie to people a lot of the time?

  • athynz

    “TIMMY MCFADDEN
    Athynz, you are a dried out, post-menopausal hag. I don’t care if you like my opinions or not. Shut up.”

    Awwwww, did I hurt little Timmay’s feelings? Good. I find it highly amusing that you seem to think I’m female… I’m a guy who quite frankly finds you and your posts to be idiotic. Face it Timmay, NO ONE here likes you, your posts, or your “opinions”… no one. You want me to shut up – then take your bitter, bitter self and go away. Trust me no one here will miss you.

    • David

      athynz …. if Timmy did shut up, you wouldn’t go away; you are simply a liar. If Timmy disappeared then you would invent another repugnant cartoon-like character to take his place. Regardless of your unfounded self esteem, you do not speak for everyone as you often claim. You are sick, but too stupid to know it.

      • athynz

        Wow David/Troll – you are stalking me. How many other posts of mine did you comment on that WordPress didn’t notify me on? Oh yes, every time I log in here I see that you posted back to me in one of your personalities.

        “DAVID
        athynz …. you don’t need to keep proving you know how to copy & paste. Can you tie your shoes yet? Have you stopped threatening people you do not know with physical violence? Do you still lie to people a lot of the time?

        AUGUST 18, 2014 AT 1:01 PM”

        If the mods would not delete Timmay’s posts I would not have to. The bonus is that my copy and paste seems to irritate you so let the copy/paste roll! And David/Troll I never threatened you with violence – I invited you to say to my face what you say on here. And you have yet to prove I’ve ever lied.

        “DAVID
        athynz …. if Timmy did shut up, you wouldn’t go away; you are simply a liar. If Timmy disappeared then you would invent another repugnant cartoon-like character to take his place. Regardless of your unfounded self esteem, you do not speak for everyone as you often claim. You are sick, but too stupid to know it.

        AUGUST 18, 2014 AT 12:56 PM REPLY REPORT COMMENT”

        I’m not Timmay idiot. And it’s quite obvious that the ONLY one to defend Timmay is you either as David or as Troll depending on which personality is dominant. Therefore in this I can say I speak for almost everyone. You are the sick one if all you can do is follow me and comment on everything I post. Now go back to your fryer boy – the people are waiting for their fries.

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