The Associated Press
Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.
Williams was pronounced dead at his home in California on Monday, according to the sheriff’s office in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The sheriff’s office said a preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.
“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,” said Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider. “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,”
Williams had been battling severe depression recently, said Mara Buxbaum, his press representative.
Reaction to the news
An outpouring of support for Williams began on social media shortly after the news broke:
I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 11, 2014
I can’t believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I’m heartbroken.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 11, 2014
— Joel McHale (@joelmchale) August 11, 2014
NOW WATCHING: a Robin Williams SNL monologue from 1988 that my parents wouldn't let me see then because it was "too dirty."
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) August 11, 2014
Robin Williams one of the greats at lighting up room or screens w laughter but this his most memorable role to me RIP http://t.co/c53k9V2KJz
— Prometheus Brown (@prometheusbrown) August 11, 2014
My Heart's broken. Robin was a beautiful, kind soul. Can't bear that he's gone. So incredibly sorry for his family.
— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) August 11, 2014
Robin Williams was like no other ..To watch him create on the spot was a privilege to behold.. Robin you are an angel now !!! REST IN PEACE
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) August 11, 2014
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." — Robin Williams
— George RR Martin (@GeorgeRRMartin_) August 11, 2014
Devastating finding out about @robinwilliams today. He was an amazing talent and incredibly sweet. So sad.
— Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) August 11, 2014
His heart was as big as his genius. So sad. Rest in Peace Robin Williams.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) August 11, 2014
Suicide prevention helplines
In King County call the Crisis Clinic at 866-4CRISIS (866-427-4747)
If you are outside of King County, please call 9-1-1 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) for immediate assistance.