Oscar winner Robin Williams dies, aged 63

Posted on 12 August 2014
By Mark Langshaw
  • Share:

Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams has been found dead at his home in Tiburon, California.

The 63-year-old is believed to have committed suicide by asphyxiation, according to the Marin County Coroner’s office.

Williams, who has battled depression, alcohol and drug addiction in the past, checked into rehab this summer in an attempt to remain clean and sober.

Tributes for the comedian have flooded in following the news of his passing, with his wife Susan Schneider, Mrs Doubtfire director Chris Columbus and US President Barack Obama among those issuing statements.

“I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief,” said Schneider.

“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.”

Columbus added: “We have lost one of our most inspired and gifted comic minds, as well as one of this generation’s greatest actors.

“His performances were unlike anything any of us had ever seen, they came from some spiritual and otherworldly place. He truly was one of the few people who deserved the title of “genius”.

“We were friends for 21 years. Our children grew up together, he inspired us to spend our lives in San Francisco and I loved him like a brother.

“The world was a better place with Robin in it. And his beautiful legacy will live on forever.”

President Obama said: “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between.

“But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.

“He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalised on our own streets.

“The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”

Williams, who won an academy award for his role in Good Will Hunting, is known for his performances in Mrs Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Hook, TV series Mork & Mindy and many more.

A forensic examination must take place before the cause of death is formally confirmed.