The great actor, comedians and all-around person sadly passed Monday at the age of 63.
Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams died at his northern California home Monday at the age of 63 from a suspected suicide. Inside sources say he was found unconscious and not breathing around noon. The entertainment world lost a brilliant artist that had the talent of making us cry and laugh all at the same time and he will be greatly missed.
A police statement on Williams' death noted that an investigation is ongoing, but the coroner "suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia." A representative for Williams said in a statement the actor had been battling "severe depression of late."
"This is a tragic and sudden loss," his rep stated.
A Career to Remember
Robin McLaurin Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1951 to Laura McLaurin and Robert Fitzgerald Williams. He studied at Claremont Men’s College in Claremont, California (now Claremont McKenna College), where he studied political science. He left Claremont to attend the College of Marin, where he studied theater. Then in 1973, Williams moved to New York to study at Julliard.
Williams had decades of successes throughout his career. He rose to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy from 1978 to 1982.
In 1987, he starred in Good Morning, Vietnam as an unorthodox DJ who was assigned to the US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam. His role in Dead Poets Society as English teacher John Keating inspired a generation in 1989.
Williams won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting in 1997. He made kids and adults alike giggle with his voice performance as Genie in Aladdin.
It's safe to say Mrs. Doubtfire made us all wish for a cool, hip nanny. His role as a gay, drag club owner with Nathan Lane in The Birdcage - perfection. Then there's classics like Jumanji and Hook - so many. So many incredible moments that we'll never forget.
Besides his award for Good Will Hunting, Williams also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.
A Battle for Sobriety
Sadly, after he rose to fame with his role in Mork & Mindy, Williams battled problems with drug abuse, alcoholism and a hard-partying lifestyle. During his time on the show, Williams married his first wife, Valerie Velardi and had a son, Zachary. The two divorced in 1988.
After his divorce to Velardi, Williams married Marsha Garces, with whom he had two children with, Zelda and Cody. But they too divorced. Williams married his third wife Susan Schneider in 2011 and resided in Sea Cliff, San Francisco, California.
Williams was close friends with John Belushi, and as his fame started to soar, so did his partying with the legendary Saturday Night Live comedian. Belushi's overdose and death in 1982 was a major sign to Williams to quit, and he did. He stayed sober for two decades.
During a 2006 interview on ABC's Good Morning America, Williams admitted his sobriety had taken a turn. He had checked into rehab months earlier to be treated for alcohol addiction. During the interview, the comic told Diane Sawyer that the downturn had been "very gradual."
Williams said, "It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK."
Speaking about an open heart surgery in 2009, Williams said the experience "breaks through your barrier, you've literally cracked the armour. And you’ve got no choice, it literally breaks you open. And you feel really mortal."
Earlier this year in July, Williams reportedly went back to rehab though he denied having fallen off the wagon, saying it was precautionary treatment. The famed actor may also have had bipolar disorder, according to reports.
Williams was the type of actor where multiple generations could sit down and watch one of his films together... and all feel that same magic. There are not many actors who can do that, achieve that status in our hearts and souls.
It's hard enough to learn of a celebrity death - someone we have all watched on television or at the movies, feeling we somehow "know them." Yet Robin Williams seemed so much more than a celebrity. He was a comic, a funny man, a husband, a father. A man whose work has spanned decades and generations.
We've all seen his character shine, whether it was a medical student treating patients with humor, a giant blue genie dazzling us with jokes and magic, or an English teacher inspiring his students (and us) to seize the day.
The entertainment world has lost a great actor, comedian and inspiration. Robin Williams was the epitome of why we go to the theater and he will be greatly missed.
O Captain, My Captain!
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