TIBURON, CA—Beloved Hollywood actor and comedian, Robin McLaurin Williams, who recently celebrated his 63rd birthday, was pronounced dead in his Northern California home on August 11 at 12: 02 p.m.
According to a press release from the Marin County Police Department, police received a call at 11:55 a.m. about an adult male being found unconscious and not breathing. Most were surprised to find out about the actor’s passing, but were more surprised to discover that his death was the result of suicide. Williams was last seen by his wife Susan Schneider, whom he lived with, on August 10 before 10:00 p.m.
The release stated the “Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. 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. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.”
Many took to Twitter to express their grief, surprise and personal input on news. Actress and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres tweeted “I can’t believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I’m heartbroken.”
Perez Hilton also tweeted his reaction writing, “Can’t stop thinking on Robin Williams and the reaction to his loss. We’re lucky if we made a few people feel the way he made millions feel!”
The Daily Strength tweeted, “Rest in peace Robin Williams, we will always remember you for the light you brought into the world.”
Disney recalled his work as Genie in 1992 film, Aladdin, tweeting “He was a true Disney Legend, a beloved member of our family, and he will be sorely missed.”
Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. Williams rose to fame for his role as the alien Mork in the 1978 TV series “Mork and Mindy.” The series ran till 1982. Williams then expanded his audience with his infectious comedy acts on HBO comedy specials throughout the 80s.
Williams reached more audiences with his heartwarming performance on theater screens as well, his first film being “Can I Do It ‘Til I Need Glasses?” in 1977 and received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the 1987 film, “Good Morning, Vietnam.”
His notable film roles include “Dead Poet’s Society” (1989), “Aladdin” (1992), “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993), “Good Will Hunting” (1997), “Jumanji” (1995), “Patch Adams” (1998), Bicentennial Man (1999), and “Night at the Museum” (2006).
He appeared in many television programs primarily as himself from 1980-2014, which recently included “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (2008) where he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest actor in a Drama Series, “Wilfred” (2012), “Louie”(2012), and “The Crazy Ones”(2014) where he was nominated for the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy series.
Williams battled with substance abuse since the late 1970s. Though he managed to remain sober for 20 years, he returned to alcohol in 2003 before checking into rehab in 2006. NBC New York reported that Williams began to suffer through depression in the months leading up to his death. Susan Schneider released in a 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.”
Williams is survived by his wife, Susan Schneider and children, Zachary Pym Williams from his first marriage to Valerie Veraldi, and Zelda Rae Williams and Cody Alan Williams from his second marriage to Marsha Garces.
By Irena Taylor