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TIBURON (CBS SF) — Oscar winning actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide in his Tiburon home Monday, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities responded to a report of an unconscious man in a residence on Paradise Drive in Tiburon shortly before noon Monday. Deputies found the 63-year old actor unconscious inside the home shortly after arriving. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials believed Williams took his own life via some form of asphyxiation. A news conference will be held Tuesday, and streamed live on CBSSF.
Williams was last seen alive Sunday evening around 10 p.m. in the home, where he resided with his wife.
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Mara Buxbaum, the actor’s press representative released a statement Monday, saying “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.”
Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider was devastated.
“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 millions.”
Williams struggled with alcoholism and checked himself into rehab earlier this year.
He first moved to the Bay Area when he was a teen and attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later the College of Marin for theater.
Williams was a longtime resident of San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood.
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He had a long career as a stand-up comedian and appeared in numerous film and television roles including the late 1970s sitcom “Mork and Mindy,” his Academy Award-winning performance in “Good Will Hunting” and nominations for “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fisher King.”
CBS issued a statement on Williams’ passing Monday. He starred in the CBS sitcom “The Crazy Ones”
“Our world has lost a comic genius, a gifted actor and a beautiful man. We will remember Robin Williams as one of the unique talents of his time who was loved by many, but also as a kind, caring soul, who treated his colleagues and co-workers with great affection and respect. Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies go out to his family, loved ones and friends.”
“Mrs. Doubtfire” director Chris Columbus spoke fondly of Williams. The two were friends for over two decades.
“We have lost one of our most inspired and gifted comic minds, as well as one of this generation’s greatest actors. To watch Robin work, was a magical and special privilege. 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”,” he said.
Even President Obama offered his thoughts on Williams’ career.
“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 marginalized 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.”
Film critic Leonard Maltin offered his take on Williams’ special brand of comedy.
“His comedy was different; his comedy was so manic, so spontaneous, so quicksilver in its timing and its ability to change directions on a breath, at a moment’s notice. That it’s unusual to see somebody who does that on stage leaves you in hysterics, then turn around and explore a dark or serious character as well as he could,” Maltin told KCBS.
An official investigation into the cause is being conducted, but some details are expected to be announced at the 11 a.m. news conference on Tuesday.
Williams’ last Instagram post featured a photo of a younger Williams holding his daughter, now 25 in a Throwback Thursday photo, saying, “Happy Birthday to Ms. Zelda Rae Williams! Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl. Happy Birthday @zeldawilliams Love you!”