In what has come as a shock to many, Oscar winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has died, with the initial assumption being that he committed suicide (as reported by the police, who need to complete their investigation in order to confirm that).
Williams’ publicist Mara Buxbaum has already told THR, “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
His wife, Susan Schneider, has also released a statement, saying, “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 statement on Williams death from Marin County Police reads: ‘On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 a.m, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. 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. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63-year-old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.
‘An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Division s of the Sheriff’s Office. Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00 pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1 call was placed to Marin County Communications. 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.’
Although Williams is well known for his fast-paced comedy, he long battled demons including depression and substance dependence (he had issues with both drugs and alcohol dependence). However he has given many people a lot of joy over the years in films from Good Morning Vietnam and Jumanji to his Academy Award winning turn in Good Will Hunting. Williams was also a long-time supporter of LGBT rights, who was never afraid to stand up for equal rights.