SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — Oscar-winner Robin Williams, whose free-form comedy and adept impressions dazzled audiences for decades, has died in an apparent suicide. He was 63.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office says Williams was pronounced dead at his home in California on Monday. The sheriff’s office says a preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.
Williams shot to fame in the late ’70s as the alien in TV’s “Mork and Mindy.” He conquered the big screen in comic films such as “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.” But he won his Academy Award in a serious role — as the therapist in “Good Will Hunting.”
His performing style was at its purest in his standup act, as he impersonated a Russian immigrant or parodied anyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards.
Willams’ wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement today that read:
“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 that the focus will not be on Robin’s death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
The full press release from the Marin Country police department can be read here.
Tweets poured in from celebrity fans, actors and colleagues in response to Williams’ passing.