'He was battling severe depression': Comedian and actor Robin Williams dead at 63 in apparent suicide
Robin Williams death was believed 'to be a suicide due to asphyxia'.By Dave Lancaster |
17:58 12 August 2014
Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society star Robin Williams has been found dead, aged 63.
While an official cause of death has not been established for the Oscar winner, his publicist stated that he had been "battling severe depression", leading many to believe that he had taken his own life.
Local police released a brief statement: "At this time, the Sheriff's Office 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"
Williams had been candid about his own battles with drugs and alcohol in the past, even working the topic into his stand-up routines. Sober for decades, he recently went back to rehab to "fine tune" his sobriety.
Williams was last seen alive by his wife at 10 p.m. on Sunday. The Marin County Sheriff's Office received an emergency call from his home on Monday at 11:55am. Paramedics arrived within five minutes and pronounced him dead at 12:02 pm.
Williams' wife led the tributes and expressed her own grief: "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 stated: "Williams 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 marginalised on our own streets."
Ellen de Generes tweeted: "I can't believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I'm heartbroken.
Steve Martin said: "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."
While best known for his work in comedy in hits such as Mrs Doubtfire, Aladdin, Patch Adams, Hook, Jumanji The Birdcage and Mork and Mindy, Williams found respect and accolades when veering into drama: He was Oscar nominated for The Fisher King, Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society and won the Oscar for his work as a therapist in Good Will Hunting. In addition, he won two Emmys, four Golden Globes, five Grammys and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.