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Robin Williams dead at 63 from suspected suicide

Actor/comedian Robin Williams dead at 63
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Actor and beloved comedian Robin Williams died Monday at the age of 63 of an apparent suicide due to asphyxia, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office in Tiburon, CA.

Williams’ spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum said that the actor/comedian had recently been “battling severe depression” and that his death is a “tragic and sudden loss”.

Buxbaum asked that the family’s privacy be respected as “they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, added that she was “utterly heartbroken”, but hoped that the “the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."

The Chicago-born comedian first became famous in the 70’s for his role on the TV series, “Mork and Mindy”, a spinoff from “Happy Days”. He then parlayed his comedic genius to more serious roles on the big screen, winning an Academy Award in 1998 for best supporting actor in the film “Good Will Hunting”. He also enjoyed box office success in other movies, including “Good Morning, Vietnam”, “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fisher King”.

Williams’ most recent role was starring in the TV comedy “The Crazy Ones” on CBS.

This past July, Williams was reported to have entered into rehab at the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota for an alleged “tune-up” in an effort to maintain his sobriety, which he had successfully managed to do for years after previously battling problems with substance abuse and addiction for decades.

The following statement regarding the actor’s death was released by the Marin County Coroner Division:

“On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, 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 Divisions 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.”

Robin Williams is survived by his third wife, who he married in 2011, as well as his three children: son Zachary, 31; daughter Zelda, 25; and son Cody, 22.

In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked suicide as the 10th leading cause of death among Americans aged 10 years and older, accounting for 36,891 deaths.