Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams dies at 63 in apparent suicide

Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams dies at 63 in apparent suicide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has died at age 63, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Williams was found "unconscious and not breathing" just before noon Monday, Aug 11, inside his home in Tiburon, Calif., following a 911 phone call. He was pronounced dead at 12:02 pm after emergency personnel arrived. They added that the actor was last seen alive at 10 pm Sunday.

An investigation into the cause of the death is underway, but "the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia." A forensic examination is scheduled for Tuesday, along with a press conference that will be held at 11 am in San Rafael, Calif.

Williams' publicist Mara Buxbaum told The Hollywood Reporter that Williams "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."

Williams, a four-time Oscar nominee, won a supporting actor Oscar for Good Will Hunting for his portrayal of a wise and morose psychologist. He most recently starred in CBS' comedy The Crazy Ones, which lasted only one season. He was nominated for a People's Choice Award for his role as an advertising executive on the comedy, in which Sarah Michelle Gellar played his daughter.

Williams recently checked in to a renewal facility affiliated with the 12-step program in a move to focus on his ongoing sobriety. The actor has been open about his issues with drinking and cocaine during the early 1980s and sought treatment in 2006 for alcohol abuse.

Williams' first comedic film role was the lead in Robert Altman's live-action Popeye (1980), which received mixed reviews. He went on to delight audiences in a long string of big-screen comedies, including 1993's Mrs. Doubtfire and 1996's The Birdcage. He also lent his voice to Disney's animated classic Aladdin (1992), playing the Genie, a part written specifically for him.

He found success as a dramatic actor as well, delivering stirring performances in such films as Dead Poets Society (1986), where he played an inspirational prep-school teacher who takes on the stuffy administration, and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), in which he played an irreverent disc jockey on the Armed Forces Radio Network during the Vietnam War. He also portrayed serious and complex characters in Awakenings (1990) and The Fisher King (1991) and tapped into a darker side playing psychologically maladjusted characters in Insomnia and One-Hour Photo. Williams scored Oscar nominations for his roles in Good Morning, Vietnam; The Fisher King; and Dead Poets Society.

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