News / Arts & Entertainment

Broadway Pays Tribute to Robin Williams

Actor and comedian Robin Williams arrives at the Broadhurst Theater in Times Square. NY, for the opening of Billy Crystal's new show titled '700 Sundays', Dec. 5, 2004.
Actor and comedian Robin Williams arrives at the Broadhurst Theater in Times Square. NY, for the opening of Billy Crystal's new show titled '700 Sundays', Dec. 5, 2004.
VOA News

The bright lights that welcome people to New York's Broadway theater district will dim Wednesday to pay tribute to American actor-comedian Robin Williams.

The marquees of the Great White Way - as Broadway is often called - will go dark for one minute at 7:45 PM local time (23:45 GMT).

Williams performed in a one-man show on Broadway titled Robin Williams - Live on Broadway in 2002.

Law enforcement authorities say the 63-year-old entertainer committed suicide by hanging himself at his California home this week. Williams' personal assistant found him dead in his home on Monday.

His publicist said Williams had been battling depression.  

Williams' longtime struggle with drugs and alcohol was well-known.  Just last month, he admitted himself into a rehabilitation facility to help maintain his sobriety.

Williams started as a stand-up comedian and went on to entertain fans of all ages during his decades-long career in television and movies. He won acclaim for numerous films, including "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Good Morning, Vietnam" and "Good Will Hunting," which earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998.

Williams acted on Broadway and continued performing stand-up comedy even after becoming a movie star, delighting audiences with his rapid-fire, improvisational routines.  

U.S. President Barack Obama has praised Williams as a "one of a kind" performer who touched "every element of the human spirit."

Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams made his television debut in the late 1970s, playing an alien in the situation comedy "Mork and Mindy."

Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, who directed Williams in the 1991 film "Hook," described the comedian as "a lightning storm of comic genius."

Outside Williams' home in the town of Tiburon, north of San Francisco, people left flowers, with the entertainer's neighbors praising him for his niceness.

The late actor's wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement saying, "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."

Williams is survived by his three adult children.

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