Legendary comedian and Academy Award-winning Robin Williams died on Monday at his home in Tiburon, California. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office said the apparent cause of his death was “suicide by asphyxiation.” The investigation is still on. Williams’ zany comic persona made him one of the most celebrated movie stars in Hollywood.
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Robin Williams had been battling severe depression
He was always the funniest guy in the room. His high energy and endless good humor masked his personal struggle with drug and alcohol addiction that pushed him to suicide. Emergency personnel found him inside his residence after a 911 call. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he was last seen alive at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Born in Chicago on July 21, 1951, Robin Williams studied theater at Juilliard School. He started his career as a stand-up comedian before coming into the limelight with the hit TV comedy Mork & Mindy in 1978. He gained further popularity with Mrs Doubtfire, The Birdcage. Awakenings and Insomnia. Williams was nominated for four Oscars. He won the Academy Award for the best supporting actor in Good Will Hunting, released in 1997.
In 19986, he teamed up with fellow comedians Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg to start a charity named Comic Relief Inc. to help the homeless. They hosted annual comedy fundraiser events for more than a decade. But little did his fans and friends know about his personal woes. A representative for Robin Williams said Monday that the actor had been battling severe depression lately. He underwent a heart surgery in 2009, and made two trips to the rehabilitation center for drug treatment.
Family, friends, fans, colleagues mourn Robin Williams’ death
After the reports of his death, many of Williams’ friends, colleagues and fans took to social media to express their grief and shock. The legendary comedian himself was an avid user of social media. He had recently posted on Instagram, wishing his daughter Zelda a happy 25 birthday.
The Monty Python star Eric Idle tweeted, “I’m sick with grief. I can’t believe my lovely friend is gone. My heart goes out to his wife and his beloved children. He brought us so much joy and laughter.” Eric shared the big-screen with Williams in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen in 1988.
Mara Wilson tweeted, “Very sad, very upset, very glad I did not have to hear about this though Twitter. Probably going to be taking some time off it for a while.”
Danny DeVito said, “Hard to speak. Hard to say. Hard to take. All I can think about is what a joy he was to be with. I’m devastated.” DeVito directed Robin Williams in the film Death to Smoochy.
Hollywood director Steven Spielberg reacted to the tragic event, “Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him.”