UPDATE: Williams' cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging, the Marin County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday. He was last seen by his wife around 10:30 p.m. Aug.10. His personal assistant found him in his bedroom around 11:45 a.m. Aug. 11 with a belt around his neck, according to a press release.
Legendary American actor and comedian Robin Williams has died at 63.
Paramedics found Williams unconscious and not breathing inside his Tiburon, Calif. home on Monday, according to a Marin County Sheriff’s Office press release. The coroner’s office suspects the cause of death to be “suicide due to asphyxia.”
According to his publicist Mara Buxbaum, the Oscar-winning actor was recently battling “severe depression.”
Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, released a brief 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.
The pair were married in a Napa Valley, Calif. ceremony in 2011.
Though the coroner's office believes Williams died of an apparent suicide, an investigation will determine the actor's official cause of death. An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Widely regarded as one of his generation’s most gifted artists, Williams’ career began after he left his theatre studies at The Julliard School in New York City when he snagged an opportunity to play the alien Mork from Ork on “Happy Days.”
Former co-star Harry Winkler took to Twitter to share the “privilege” he had in witnessing Williams' improvisation talent and creativity on the "Happy Days" set.
“I've worked with a lot of people and there is and was no one quite like him,” Winkler told The Hollywood Reporter.
Williams shows off his improv skills on Bravo's "Inside The Actors Studio"
Williams’ sudden death caught Hollywood by surprise, and news of the comedy legend's passing prompted waves of heartfelt condolences from friends and fans.
“I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul,” said comedian Steve Martin.
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Williams' daughter, Zelda also weighed in, sharing an image on Instagram, which showed a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s children’s story ‘The Little Prince.'
It read: “You - you alone will have the stars as no one else has them... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing.
Robin Williams and his daughter, Zelda
"And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night... You - only you - will have the stars that can laugh."
Beneath the quote, she added a personal message: “I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up. Z”
Through the course of a career that spanned four decades, Williams was best known for his ability to play colourful, outlandish characters in comedies including “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Jumanji,” and the voice of Genie in “Aladdin.”
But it was Williams’ performance in dramatic roles that earned him three Academy Award nominations. In 1998, he won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role as psychotherapist Dr. Sean Maguire in “Good Will Hunting.”
Actor Robin Williams holds his Oscar after winning in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category during the 70th Academy Awards for his role in "Good Will Hunting." (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
Recently, Williams made headlines after he checked himself into a Minnesota rehab facility to remain sober.
The Chicago-born Williams was open about his struggle with alcoholism and cocaine addiction throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He decided to clean up his act shortly before the birth of his first son.
He stayed sober for 20 years before he relapsed in Alaska while filming “Insomnia” in 2003.
“I was in a small town where it's not the edge of the world, but you can see it from there, and then I thought: drinking. I just thought, hey, maybe drinking will help. Because I felt alone and afraid. It was that thing of working so much, and going fuck, maybe that will help,” Williams told The Guardian in a 2010 interview. “And it was the worst thing in the world.”
Last year, his TV comedy series “The Crazy Ones” was cancelled by CBS after one season.
Still working at the time of his death, the beloved actor was signed up for a “Mrs. Doubtfire” sequel, which would have reunited Williams and original director Chris Columbus.
He is expected to appear posthumously in four completed films to be released in the next year, according to The Wrap.
Williams is survived by his wife Susan and three adult children: sons Zachary Pym, 31, and Cody Alan, 22; and daughter Zelda Rae, 25.
Are you in crisis? Need help? In Canada, find links and numbers to 24-hour suicide crisis lines in your province here.
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