Tragic news for movie and TV fans in Fresno and all over the world today as iconic actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his residence Monday afternoon by emergency personnel.
According to AOL.com, a 911 call was recorded at 11:55 a.m., reporting a male adult had been found unconscious and unresponsive at his residence in Tiburon, Calif. The subject was pronounced deceased at 12:02 P.M. and has been identified as Robin Williams, age 63.
A statement made by the Marin County Coroner said, "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.
"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."
According to Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times, Williams' publicist has confirmed his death, and Williams' wife has released the following 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. 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 million." - Susan Schneider, wife.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Williams' publicist would not confirm that his death was a suicide, but did issue this statement: "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."
UPDATE: At a press conference on August 12, 2014, the Coroner Division of the Marin County Sheriff's Office had disclosed, as reported by SFGate.com, that Williams had apparently hanged himself with a belt, and that the cause of death, based on preliminary autopsy results, was "asphyxia due to hanging." The results from toxicology tests are expected in two to six weeks.
This is certainly tragic news as Robin Williams has been on of the most cherished actors of our generation. As outlined by his Wikipedia page, Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he was a student at the Detroit Country Day School, and later moved to Woodacre, Marin County, California, where he attended the public Redwood High School. Williams studied at Claremont McKenna College (then called Claremont Men's College). In-between Claremont and Juilliard, he attended the College of Marin for theatre. In 1973, Williams was one of 20 students accepted into the freshman class at the Juilliard School, and one of only two students to be accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year, the other being Christopher Reeve. Williams left Juilliard in 1976.
Williams's film and television career is lengthy and impressive, but he got his big break and rose to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978-1982), a role he reprized from appearances on the series Happy Days. Williams went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. His film career included such acclaimed films as Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), Patch Adams (1998) and Bicentennial Man (1999). He also starred in several financial successes such as Popeye (1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Flubber (1997), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006). He also appeared in the music video to Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
Williams was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times over the course of his career, winning award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.
Known for his uniquely energized style of comedic genius, Williams won the love and devotion of many fans all over the world, this examiner included, and new of his tragic death has no doubt sent shock waves through all of them. This examiner would like to sent his personal condolences to Mr. Williams's family, friends and fans, we have truly lost one of the greats today.
Rest in peace Robin Williams, you will certainly be missed.