Legendary comic and actor Robin Williams was found not breathing in his home in Tiburon, California this morning and was pronounced dead by 9-1-1 emergency responders just after noon. The Oscar-winning actor was 63. The cause of death has not been announced, but according to the police report, “the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide.” Williams’ agent confirmed his death, adding that Williams “has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss.”
Williams is of course best known for his comic roles, which began in earnest in 1978 with the TV show Mork & Mindy, which saw Williams play extraterrestrial visitor Mork from Ork. The show’s success quickly led to Williams’ big screen career, where he headlined a live-action Popeye in 1980. Memorable roles undoubtedly include his voicework as Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and any number of comedies such as Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, and (more recently) supporting roles in the Night at the Museum series, the third of which is due in theaters this December. But it is perhaps his more dramatic roles that have cemented his legacy as more than a passing funnyman. Williams was thrice nominated for a Best Actor Oscar (for Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King) before finally winning a trophy for his role in Good Will Hunting.
Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, also issued 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.”