Robin Williams has been found dead at his home in California. He was 63. The actor, best known for turns in Dead Poet's Society, Good Will Hunting and Good Morning Vietnam, is reported to have taken his own life.
A statement released by the Marin County Sheriff's Office said: "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." An investigation into the exact circumstances of the actor’s death is currently underway, including forensic and toxicology tests.
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Police were alerted late on Monday evening, called to a home in Tiburon for a man who was unconscious and not breathing. Police arrived at the house shortly after, but Williams was pronounced dead just after midnight. The actor, who lived with his wife Susan Schneider, was seen alive at his home earlier that night.
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Williams shot to fame in the late 1970s as an alien in the American TV comedy series Mork And Mindy. But he won his Academy Award in a serious role, as the therapist in Good Will Hunting.
Mara Buxbaum, Williams' press representative, said: "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."
In a statement Ms Schneider said: "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."
Stars spoke of their shock at Williams' death. Steve Martin, who appeared alongside Williams in a 1988 theatre production of Waiting for Godot, said: "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul." Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: "I can't believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I'm heartbroken."
Police are expected to release more information about his death at a press conference scheduled for 7pm British time on Tuesday.
I can’t believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I’m heartbroken.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 11, 2014
I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 11, 2014
Thank you to the beautifully original + brave artist that is #RobinWilliams. You taught us how to stand on the edge, fearless, + shine.
— JARED LETO (@JaredLeto) August 11, 2014
Famously kind, ferociously funny, a genius and a gentle soul. What a loss. #RobinWilliams
— Michael J. Fox (@realmikefox) August 12, 2014
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