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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”