• November 22, 2014

Manic comedy star Robin Williams dead of apparent suicide

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Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:30 am

SAN FRANCISCO — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, 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.

The Marin County coroner’s office said Williams was last seen alive at home about 10 p.m. Sunday. An emergency call from his house in Tiburon was placed to the sheriff’s department shortly before noon Monday.

“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. Just last month, he announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.

From his breakthrough in the late 1970s as the alien in the hit TV show “Mork and Mindy,” through his standup act and such films as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” the short, barrel-chested Williams ranted and shouted as if just sprung from solitary confinement. Loud, fast, manic, he parodied everyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards, impersonating a Russian immigrant as easily as a pack of Nazi attack dogs.

He was a riot in drag in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” or as a cartoon genie in “Aladdin.” He won his Academy Award in a rare, but equally intense dramatic role, as a teacher in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting.”

Williams also won three Golden Globes, for “Good Morning, Vietnam,” ‘‘Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Fisher King.”

His personal life was often short on laughter. He had acknowledged drug and alcohol problems in the 1970s and ’80s and was among the last to see John Belushi before the “Saturday Night Live” star died of a drug overdose in 1982.

Williams announced in 2006 that he was drinking again but rebounded well enough to joke about it during his recent tour. “I went to rehab in wine country,” he said, “to keep my options open.”

The following year, he told the AP that people were surprised he was no longer clean.

“I fell off the wagon after 20 years and people are like, ‘Really?’ Well, yeah. It only kicks in when you really want to change,” he said.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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2 comments:

  • Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er posted at 12:04 pm on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er Posts: 238

    Nanu nanu, Robin,
    May you finally find peace.
    God Bless your family and friends...

     
  • Eliza posted at 6:32 am on Tue, Aug 12, 2014.

    Eliza Posts: 859

    The mans family have asked for the public to allow them privacy in their time of grief...
    Hopefully the news media will award them that.

    After hours of coverage of the same subject pertaining to Robin William's by all the news medias ,
    There's not much more that can be told ,he was a very funny man who made others laugh, a good quality, but now he's chosen to be able to RIP.