News / Arts & Entertainment

Actor Robin Williams Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

  • Actor Robin Williams participates in the "The Crazy Ones" panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, July 29, 2013.
  • Robin Williams presents a tribute to Jonathan Winters on stage at the 65th Emmy Awards at Nokia Theater, Sept. 22, 2013, in Los Angeles.
  • Robin Williams gestures during a panel discussion for his HBO show "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self-Destruction" at the Television Critics Association Cable summer press tour in Pasadena, California, July 30, 2009.
  • Actor Robin Williams arrives at the premiere of the film "World's Greatest Dad" during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Jan. 18, 2009.
  • U.S. comedian Robin Williams, third from left, poses for photographs with U.S. soldiers at a U.S. base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 20, 2007.
  • Actor Robin Williams (right) gets slimed by show host Jack Black at the 19th annual Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, April 1, 2006.
  • Comedian Robin Williams, wearing a camouflage jacket, entertains a cheering crowd of U.S. Army troops at Baghdad airport, Iraq, Dec. 16, 2003.
  • Comedian Robin Williams holds his Grammy Award to his ear as he poses for photographers at the 45th annual Grammy Awards at New York's Madison Square Garden, Feb. 23, 2003. Williams won the Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy Album for "Robin Williams Live 2002."
  • Actor and comedian Robin Williams (center) shares a laugh with rescue workers near the site of the World Trade Center collapse in lower Manhattan, Oct. 17, 2001. Williams spent time with rescue workers as well as surprising their wives with phone calls.
  • Robin Williams (C) sings the nominated song "Blame Canada" from the movie "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" during the Academy Awards, March 26, 2000.
  • Oscar winners (left to right) Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck hold their Oscars for their work on the film "Good Will Hunting" at the 70th Annual Academy Awards, March 23, 1998, in Los Angeles. Damon and Affleck won for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen and Williams won for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Actress Pam Dawber (L) shares a laugh with actor Robin Williams as they pose for photographers before the annual American Museum of the Moving Image Tribute dinner, Feb. 23, 1995, in New York.
  • Academy Award-winning actor Robin Williams, wearing a prop from his new film "Patch Adams" places his handprints in cement during ceremonies to honor him at Mann's Chinese Theater, in Hollywood, Dec. 22, 1998.
  • Comedians Robin Williams (R), Billy Crystal (L) and Whoopi Goldberg share a hug on the stage of New York's Radio City Music Hall at the end of HBO's "Comic Relief 8" show, June 14, 1998.
  • Comedian Robin Williams, who starred in "The World According to Garp," is shown, July 21, 1982, in Los Angeles.

Robin Williams, 1951-2014

Reuters

Robin Williams, the versatile actor whose madcap comic style made him one of television and film's biggest stars, was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in northern California.

He was 63.

The Marin County Sheriff's coroner's division said it suspected Williams committed suicide by asphyxia, but the cause of death is still under investigation and an autopsy will be conducted Tuesday.

“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,” Williams's wife Susan Schneider said in a statement.

Williams, who won an Academy Award for his supporting role as a fatherly therapist in the 1997 drama “Good Will Hunting,” had been suffering from severe depression recently, his publicist Mara Buxbaum said.

Williams had struggled with addiction in the past and had entered a Minnesota rehabilitation center this summer to help him maintain sobriety.

His representatives at the time said Williams was not using drugs or alcohol but had gone to the center to “fine-tune and focus” his sobriety after working a longer-than-usual schedule.

The death of Williams, who had introduced his frenetic and physical style as the quirky alien in the late 1970s TV comedy “Mork & Mindy”, shook Hollywood, and fellow actors mourned the loss of what many called a big-hearted man and one of the most inventive comedians of his time.

Fellow comedian Steve Martin said in a tweet: “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”

The Much-loved 'Mrs. Doubtfire'

The Marin County Sheriff's office said it received an emergency call about noon local time on Monday, saying that Williams was unconscious and not breathing at his home near Tiburon, north of San Francisco.

Williams was scheduled to appear in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” on Dec. 19, 2014, playing the statue of Teddy Roosevelt who comes to life at night. Twentieth Century Fox, which will distribute the film, had no immediate comment.

In April, the Hollywood Reporter said that Fox's Fox 2000 division was developing a sequel to his 1993 hit “Mrs. Doubtfire” that would reunite Williams and director Chris Columbus.

In the film, Williams played one of his most enduring roles as a struggling actor and divorced father who assumes the identity of a British nanny to be closer to his children.

The actor was most recently in the CBS television comedy “The Crazy Ones,” which was canceled in May after one season.

Williams, who was born in Chicago in 1951 and grew up in suburban Detroit, was as skilled at comedic riffing as he was as a dramatic actor, earning four Academy Award nominations, the first for his portrayal of U.S. Army deejay Adrian Cronauer during the Vietnam War in “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

He also earned nominations for the 1990 coming-of-age prep school drama “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fisher King” in 1991 in which he plays a homeless man who helps save a suicidal radio host.

Williams' final tweet was posted on July 31. He wished his daughter Zelda a happy 25th birthday.   

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitcheni
X
September 22, 2014 11:42 AM
With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Trumpeter, percussionist and bandleader Etienne Charles was born in Trinidad and blends island rhythms with modern jazz. He and his stellar band perform a rich gumbo of jazz, calypso, reggae, and rock-steady that Charles calls “Creole Soul” on "The Hamilton Live."