Vale: Robin Williams
Gifted US comedian Robin Williams 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.
This post updates.