Robin Williams Found Dead in Possible Suicide

Veteran film and television comedic actor Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Tiburon, Calif. on Monday. He was 63.

The cause of death is believed to be suicide via asphyxiation, according to the Tiburon coroner’s office.

According to his publicist, who confirmed the news, the actor had been battling depression of late and recently entered 12-step rehab for drug abuse.

His wife Susan Schneider said in a statement: “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.”

Robin Williams Death: Most Memorable Moments of His Career

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Williams’ residence on Monday at 11:55 a.m. reporting the actor had been found unconscious and was not breathing. The paramedics arrived shortly thereafter at 12 p.m. and pronounced him dead at 12:02 p.m.

Williams was last seen alive by his wife at 10 p.m. on Sunday.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the Marin County Coroner’s Office.

At ease in roles that emphasized on drama as well as comedy, he won a best supporting actor Oscar in 1997 for “Good Will Hunting.” In addition, he won two Emmys, four Golden Globes, five Grammys and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

SEE ALSO: Robin Williams Joins Comedy Greats Who Died Too Soon

His showbiz career was bookended by TV roles: his breakout performance as an alien on ABC sitcom “Mork & Mindy” in 1978 and his return to TV last season on CBS’ “The Crazy Ones” opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar, though the comedy was cancelled after one season.

His most recent film was “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn”; other recent roles included President Dwight D. Eisenhower in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”  will be released December 19.

Williams often spoke publicly about his decades-long bout with substance abuse.

“It’s (addiction) — not caused by anything, it’s just there,” he told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2011. “It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.'”

Born in Chicago to a former model and an auto-industry executive, Robin McLaurin Williams attended high school and community college in Marin Country before graduating from the Juilliard School in 1973. His career exploded in the late 1970s on the strength of both his stand-up comedy act and “Happy Days” spin-off “Mork & Mindy,” which channeled his antic stream-of-consciousness style into the role of an alien on Earth.

While “Mork & Mindy” was still on the air, he starred in Robert Altman’s unusual adaptation of “Popeye.” He next feature roles came as the title character in John Irving adaptation “The World According to Garp” and as Russian on the loose in Manhattan in Paul Mazursky’s “Moscow on the Hudson.”

He took his career to the next level with a bevy of lead parts in critically acclaimed movies beginning in the late 1980s, including “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fisher King,” all of which garnered him Oscar nominations. But it wasn’t until his performance in “Hunting,” from a screenplay by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, that he earned his only win, for supporting actor, in 1998.

For all his success as a comedy star, Williams’ performance as a nurturing psychotherapist in “Good Will Hunting” proved he had a flair for dramatic roles as well. Williams also scored in another dramatic role as a man of medicine, playing a character based on neuroscientist Oliver Sacks in the 1990 movie “Awakenings.” (In a film with a very different tone, he also played a doctor — one who’ll do anything to cheer up his patients — in hit comedy “Patch Adams.”) Francis Ford Coppola’s “Jack” posed an interesting challenge for the actor, as he was essentially playing a boy trapped in a man’s body.

But Williams will be remembered best for the parts that exhibited his improvisational comedy, which he delivered with near-manic intensity. His genius for over-the-top characters was displayed in the early 1990s everywhere from the cross-dressing nanny in “Mrs. Doubtfire” to animated roles like the genie in “Aladdin.” There was also the hilarity of “La Cage Aux Folles” remake “The Birdcage.”

During the ’90s he also starred in boardgame fantasy “Jumanji,” played an adult Peter Pan opposite Dustin Hoffman in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook” and showed a wistfully romantic side in 1998’s “What Dreams May Come.”

More recently, he played a secretly twisted murderer in Christopher Nolan’s Alaska-set thriller “Insomnia” alongside Al Pacino as well as Theodore Roosevelt in the very successful Ben Stiller comedy “Night at the Museum” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.” The “Happy Feet” animated penguin comedy allowed him to let loose his delightfully manic side, while Bobcat Goldthwait’s 2009 “World’s Greatest Dad” was far more interesting than the title would suggest.

A longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area where he grew up, Williams owned houses at various times in San Francisco, Tiburon and Napa and was a strong supporter of Bay Area arts and entertainment. He served as co-host of televised fundraiser Comic Relief since its 1986 debut alongside Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

UPDATE: Autopsy results confirm that Williams died of suicide by hanging.

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  1. sex shop says:

    He is a great man <3 R.I.P. :((

  2. Adazae jones says:

    Such a great lost. Our prayers are with the family

  3. DeAnna Tracy says:

    I grew up on Robin Williams, I was born in 1976 and one of my first memories was being 3 and wearing a pair of rainbow suspenders. Williams could never do wrong when it came to movies and tv in my eyes, if he played in it I watched it. Every time a celebrity has died in the past I always responded to with “oh that’s sad” or something to that effect as if it had no true bearings on my life. I heard about Mr. Williams and my heart broke, I felt I lost a distant uncle that you was just crazy about and loved spending holidays with. Much like those that you only see once or twice a year, You seem to only see the good moments; you never really see the bad and as a result you never grasp fully the pain behind the person. Thank you Mr. Williams you have and will always be one of my all time favorite actors.

  4. This is hitting me harder than I would have ever though. I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised as from my teens forward Robin Williams has always been on my go-to list when things just got too dark, grim or plain evil. Whenever I needed help recharging a battered sense of humour Robin William’s maniacally intelligent stand up from “Reality – What A Concept” on would inject a little much-needed joy and laughter into a sometimes very depleted landscape. For that I can never say thank you enough, and I truly hope that wherever he is the pain is no more, and he can hear the out-pouring of loving reminiscences being shared by millions of people around the world who’s lives he touched and for a brief magical moment made a little less dark.

  5. So very sorry,May he rip. He is a great man.

  6. Very sadden,he was a great performer,actor. I grew up watching him in Mork & Mindy, nano nano, I enjoyed all his movies,n shows,.I hope he is in a better place where he will be at peace,n one day we will laugh with him again.for now we just have his memories ,he will be missed by so many ,my prayers to his family ,Peace be with you Robin Williams RIP.

  7. Angela says:

    Truly saddened of the loss of my favorite comedian and my heart goes out to his family and his close friends i recently just lost my husband 2 months ago just take it one day at a time or one hour at a time. May God bless your family. I know how hard it is. I am only 32 years old and we have three kids. I don’t know how i get thew each day but I do somehow thanks to my wonderfull friends. And some of my family. And once again. I am truly heartbroken for you and your loved ones.

  8. Barbara Young says:

    Robin was a human being first, someone I always looked up to as a mentor figure..He taught me to laugh in my early years of life..as “Mork” in Mindy. I grew up watching out for him..in what role he would play next..but to my content..he always..never played his next role without making a statement in who he was..he saw the fork in the road and chose his right path;-) That’s how I want to live my life..always happy and full of the life we all have a right to keep making choices on😊I am truly saddened that he came to a fork in the road with no choice😪

  9. Vera says:

    Very nicely written. You did forget his role as Batty on the animated film Fern Gulley though.

  10. Dee Urban says:

    It is so horrible what major depression can do. We will miss you Robin hopefully you are resting peacefully now

  11. sheila brunner says:

    Such a tragedy! You were an amazing man Mr. Williams. My deepest sympathy to all of your loved ones. The whole world mourns you!

  12. Charles welch says:

    A man who will be in our minds forevermore. How can we ever forget him when he have so much fun just watching him at work in films and on tv. R I P

  13. Carl says:

    Seems to me he came home intoxicated and forgot to turn off his motor. No suicide at all.

  14. Stacy Patten Hanak says:

    So sorry for your loss,
    He will be missed.

  15. Stacy Patten Hanak says:

    Oh my god, So sad. I remember how funny he was, i know depression can be a very difficult thing and my heart goes out to the family.

  16. reva miller says:

    I loved to watch his shows starting in the 70 till now. He will be missed.may the family find peace. Your in my Prayers.

  17. Wendy tankard says:

    My prayers goes out to the family. Rest In Peace Robin Williams We will miss you

  18. Elaine Gilbert says:

    so sorry for your loss R.I.P.

  19. JBrown says:

    This is a nice story, but are there no proof readers any more? There are so many errors/typos that it seems unprofessional

  20. Asimwe Kagya says:

    It’s hard to say goodbye to the happy face you always love to see but when God’s Time comes, there’s nothing we can do about it.. goodbye Robin Williams.

  21. Asimwe Kagya says:

    May your soul rest in eternal peace!

  22. Elcapitanvaldes says:

    Just very very sad, part of me died with him.

  23. Scott says:

    I have had depression. I know what it is.It can be treated and if you have a ton of money it can be treated easily.

  24. Scott says:

    If money can’t buy you happiness you don’t know where to shop.

  25. Janice Rankin says:

    Thanks for the laughter. God bless.

  26. Chris says:

    …sad…

  27. susan says:

    So sad to hear about Robin Williams. A brilliant actor. And much loved by family.
    from the united kingdom. We feel your grief…. Rest in peace….

  28. chris whiting says:

    What a Terrible Tragedy!! One Heck of an Actor n Commedian! !! Did this Comment plus Numerous others via My Email!! May he Rest in Peace!!!

  29. chris whiting says:

    I’m Shocked and Deeply Very Sad about his Dealth!! He was one of a kind!! A Great Commedian!! One of the Best Ever!!

  30. celine says:

    I luved him. His movie Mrs dought fire da best

  31. Rick Dack says:

    Robin Williams was probably his funniest on Happy Days and early Mork and Mindy except for the final season with Jonathan Winters which topped them all. I’m sure the overused term “genius” will probably enter the vernacular of Williams devotees. Fox News erected a media idol last night with its hours of coverage (failing to fill the time) of this depressed and in my opinion embarrassingly obnoxious comedian on tv. I too am a sufferer with depression but meds and weekly counseling help greatly. Fox News never talked about Williams mockery of God/Christianity given their largely conservative viewership in which Williams compared Jesus to a groundhog and said, “maybe there is no Devil its just God when he’s drunk” (Paramount Pictures) now Williams knows Gods current “supposed” state of alcoholism and will answer for it. Rick Dack, Defending the Bible Intl.

    • Eric Moore says:

      Do you feel better now? I guess with your relation to your deity insures that everything that you say, think and do will be just washed away like surf unto the sand. I am always leery about people like you..careful young one…that you may not open your mouth too wide lest a huge bone might fall.

    • Etta Godard says:

      I thought the Bible taught forgiveness and love above all other values. Not what I am reading here… Take care.

  32. elizabeth skelton says:

    He will b missed by a lot of people he was a great actor/comedian love him I am praying for his family God Bless

  33. Mary T. Newman says:

    Entirely a delighted actor & comdiene……I loved his role in Mrs. Doubtfire probably because bought back
    Such memorable thoughts of my Grandmother whom I Loved with all my He♡RT…… HE will be truly
    MISSED for years to come, noone will ever to take his place in quite the same way as he was indeed a
    Rare Unigue indivual. God Bless his Soul………its’s so sad to think he was afflicted with major Deppresion & Alcholism. My prayers go out to his family.

  34. Louis Georges |Chiapello says:

    It is very.,very sad for a human been to self terminated his own life! I do not think Robin was selfish, to the contrary.He gave us so much of himself ,but specials persons have a special soul and brain therefore we cannot follow them in any way.So his brain crash!My own experience about the passing of love one,is not to be selfish,I transmit my sinceres condoleances to his familly .And may I had that he , only he ,decided at that particular moment what was best for his soul.Only time will heal the pain and no word can help only FEELINGS.WE miss you allready Robin!LOVE FOR EVER !

  35. Christine Caldwell says:

    Robin williams genius is the best way to discribe his humour and everything about him so sad that his depression could not be helped. Suicide is the worst thing a family can ever deal with my husband did the same thing 5 years ago and to be honest people always blame everyone else on what the individual has done when infact it is there choice to do this my heart goes out to his family especially his children my children were only 1 and 10 when there father died so i know how difficult it is for children sure they may be older but he was still there father and they will always have the burden of his actions hanging over them sad as it may be i pray that in time they will b able to come to terms with this and also that they will realise no one is to blame for the actions that ended there fathers life Rest In Peace Mr Williams xxx

  36. shawnsshorts says:

    So sad. He should’ve won an Oscar for ONE-HOUR PHOTO. Great film. I would like to dedicate this poem to him… http://wp.me/phhxW-s

  37. Don says:

    I’m always going to love this guy.

  38. Sincerest condolences to his wife and children.

  39. shri says:

    This was exactly my thoughts when I heard the news. But then there is no way out n we are all doomed !!

  40. Philip Roche says:

    I was saddened to hear and then read of the death of Robin Williams. He was a tour de force of a comedian, a comic genius. I recently saw him talking Golf and the hilarity that came from his discourse was stunning. I did not know the man. I can only base my sadness on what he gave to people and that was painful belly laughs, so much so that you cried with laughter. Very few people make me laugh because they can be a little pretentious, I never felt his humour was forced, he was a natural, funny, brilliant man. Depression is an illness that can be forgotten and hidden and therefore is a curse. I hope his untimely death will raise its profile. He will truly be missed. My deep felt condolences to his wife and family, my prayers are with you.

  41. I had the honour of seeing a compassionate side of Mr Williams……..walking in downtown Vancouver he generously gave a female panhandler a 100$ bill.with Just a smile he walked off .

  42. monique says:

    robin always made me laugh he was one of the best!!!!

  43. Ra says:

    Thanks for all the happiness you brought me through the years! You will surely be missed, but never forgotten!

  44. Clara Lloyd says:

    I grew up watching Robin Williams and saw just about every movie he made. His stand-up comedy and interviews were what I loved most about him. He was one of the most honest, real and loveable stars I have ever seen. He didn’t hide his weaknesses and let people know that he had many. The joy and laughter he gave to us all will be how he is remembered forever.

  45. Sorwen says:

    RIP. You will be missed. Thank you for all the joy you brought us while you were here. Best wishes to his family.

  46. mark eastman says:

    You will be greatly missed

  47. Ereh Htur says:

    Williams was very open about his addictions and even depression for many years. I never read where his career suffered because of. I thought it was interesting too that within a very short time after his death, a statement came from his wife/family and emphasized, “it is our hope that the focus will not be on Robin’s death”. Which is why, I wonder what type of asphyxiation he died from?

  48. I could not believe the news. He was one of my favorite, always a smile on his face. And an ecologist. Life was totally unfair with this wondweful, wonderful comedian.

  49. Dan Addis says:

    So sad to hear of Robin Williams death. I remember him from “Mork & Mindy,” to “Dead Poet’s Society” “One Hour Photo” “Good Will Hunting” and others, a true talent had been forever lost. I know what it’s like to lose someone; it’s happened one too many times in my life. Rest in peace Robin Williams and may your comedic genius resonate forever.

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