Vale: Robin Williams

Gifted US comedian Robin Williams has died, aged 63.

2014-08-12_0928Gifted US comedian Robin Williams, best known for films including Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire and the sitcom Mork and Mindy, has died aged 63.

LA Times reports he died of an apparent suicide.

Marin County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed around 11:55 am a 911 call came in about a man who was unresponsive in his home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Williams’ publicist Mara Buxbaum told The Hollywood Reporter: “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.”

His wife, Susan 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.”

Dubbed “the funniest man alive” by Entertainment Weekly in 1997, Williams brought audiences hours of laughter, putting his imaginative spin on characters in film and television. He was lauded for his serious roles as well, winning a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance as Sean Maguire, the therapist who counsels Matt Damon’s math genius in Good Will Hunting (1997), and receiving nominations for The Fisher King (1991), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987).

Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams was accepted into John Houseman’s prestigious acting program at Julliard in 1973, along with Christopher Reeve, who became a lifelong friend.

Williams gained fame as Mork, the bizarre, suspenders-sporting alien on the sitcom Mork & Mindy, a spinoff from Happy Days. Williams departed from the script so often that producers intentionally left blank moments on page for Williams to have space to indulge his ad-libbing genius.

His other television credits included Laugh-In, Eight is Enough, Homicide: Life on the Street, The Larry Sanders Show, Friends, Life with Bonnie, Law & Order: SVU and Wilfred.

He recently returned to television in the comedy series The Crazy Ones. His most recent credit is the yet to be released movie Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

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25 Responses

  1. I wondered which station would be showing a Robin Williams film tonight.

    It was a shock when I heard the news on a breakfast show this morning. I guess it shows that depression doesnt discriminate.

    I remember watching dead poets society at school and thinking what a powerful movie it is and of course laughed along at mrs doubtfire.

  2. I totally agree with all the comments @Jduder exactly the same for me re-watching the eps on my IQ last week and thought the exact same thing. @Beckala couldn’t have said it better. 63 too young too young.

  3. Robin Williams gave me my epiphany with dealing with who I am.
    In his seminal Live At the Met performance, he spoke of the anticipation of awaiting his then baby daughter Zelda’s first words.
    At Disneyworld, the Williams’ took a tour bus on which some obnoxious teenager yelled “F*** it!”. Very loudly.
    Zelda’s first words thus came forth. “F*** it!” She cheerily piped. Robin and his wife stared. The expletive came again. And again.
    Robin pondered on how wonderful would it be if all your stresses could be dissolved by just one moment in which “F*** it” is your only focus?
    This simple tool struck a chord with me and helped me stop stressing about my sexuality, about a job I hated and so forth. I cherish his superbly executed roles in Good Morning Vietnam and What Dreams May Come (an under rated gem that deals with love and suicide – check it out!) and countless more. But he crucially helped me simply accept myself.

  4. Ah crap. I was aware that he’d been fighting the black dog for a while but I assumed that he had a sufficiently large and close network of family, friends, and colleagues that would see him through.

    Small correction in para 7 above – Williams and Reeve were the only students accepted into the Drama Division Advanced Program for that year (1973), not ever.

  5. Quite sad news to hear that such a wonderful comedian who made others laugh died in such a sad way. I was only watching The Crazy Ones the other day and was laughing so much that I was quite sad it didn’t get renewed. RIP Robin, you surely will be missed.

  6. It would be sad enough, but when you remind yourself of the amazing roll-call of fine film and television projects he was involved with in his career, the scale of Robin Williams’ loss hits home even more…
    There are suggestions on various (normally credible) internet news reports (and comments his press rep.) that he had been suffering from ‘severe depression’ for a while. If true, perhaps this may serve to bring home to people that depression impacts people of all ages, professions and income groups… it just doesn’t discriminate.
    As American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has tweeted “…If you’re sad, please tell someone.”
    Farewell and RIP Robin Williams. There was still so much more to come.

  7. Extremely sad news. Robin Williams kept reinventing himself before our eyes over the decades. I was mesmerized by his scene stealing, manic performance as Mork on Happy Days back in the 70’s (although I got a bit tired of the character during Mork and Mindy).
    I wore out the album of his live stand-up work, reciting verbatim all the lines for years and years.
    But the standout moment for me was World According to Garp. This was the film that proved his Julliard credentials -he could act! And, apart from a few misses, his dramatic roles were always a delight to watch and savour.

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