Actor Robin Williams Dead at 63

Williams

Actor Robin Williams has died at the age of 63, according to a press release from the Marin County, California police department.

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.

An investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office. Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was last seen alive at his residence, where he resides with his wife, at approximately 10:00 pm on August 10, 2014. Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 9-1-1 call was placed to Marin County Communications. At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.

Williams was the star of dozens of films including Dead Poet's Society, Mrs. Doubtfire and The Birdcage and a television icon for his 70's role as a sitcom alien in Mork and Mindy. He received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Good Will Hunting, two Emmys, four Golden Globes, and five Grammys – certainly one of the greatest actors of his generation.

RIP.

Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:59pm ETC by Andy Towle
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Comments

  1. jamal49 says

    How tragic and sad! Depression is a killer. Damn!

    Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    R.I.P. Robin Williams. Thank you so very much for laughter.

  2. J Ascher says

    Mr. Williams wasn’t really my cup of tea, but he certainly became better over the course of his career from Mork and Mindy to Mrs. Doubtfire and The Centennial Man, and more.

  3. says

    As your character Armand on the Birdcage once famously quipped, “A woman is said to be worth her weight in hens. And a man’s wealth is measured by the size of his cock.” You Robin, were priceless. RIP.

  4. UFFDUH says

    Really a sad surprise. Depression…hard to believe that someone physically well off (if he wasn’t in hovering debt) can’t find the will to live. Still, I have lost two friends this way and in both cases they were mentlly unstable enough – and yet conscious enough – to realize that they did not want to spend the rest of their lives going in and out of institutions/ care facilities or hospitals, which is what they faced. I honored their choice to get out as they did. Robin is free now.

  5. anon says

    For those hoping for a reprise of Mrs. Doubtfire this will be very sad news. However, having seen DVD’s of his stand-up routine, I’d say they were much better than his movies. He was first and foremost a stand-up comedian.

  6. peterparker says

    Robin Williams was famous in the cycling community of San Francisco for being an avid cyclist. When I was out on training rides for the AIDS Ride I would often see him riding his bike. He was unmistakable even under his bike helmet and giant cyclist classes.

    A friend once walked up to him in a bike shop in San Francisco, explained that he was training for a bike ride to raise money for people with HIV, and asked him for a donation. Robin Williams took his information and told him he’d send a check. The next week, my friend got a check from him for $1000.

    RIP, Mr. Williams!

  7. UFFDA says

    Great story PETER, thanks.

    NOW, we should all STOP and attend to SHANNON for only she fully understands who and what Robin Williams was and the moral cause of his death. It was COWARDICE she says which means she has traveled the inner recesses of his psyche and actually found, located and circumscribed with withering precision the root cause of his departure: he failed to endure by her standards of endurance. SHANNON please tell us more.

  8. Rad says

    Loved the man from the very first time I saw him on Carson up to his recent CBS show, “The Crazy Ones”. Brilliant in every aspect of his career… and his manic energy will be missed.

  9. TM in LBC says

    I cannot help but think about how his struggles with substance abuse might have destroyed his ability to generate serotonin. The resulting emotional pain and depression is actually a physical thing. How horrible.

  10. says

    Having watched Robin on TV and in movies my whole life I feel like I’ve lost a member of my extended family. He was a superbly talented and brilliant character actor and impressionist, on top of being a standup comedian with impeccable timing and improvisation. I’m so sorry depression got the better of him.

    Rest in peace.

  11. Mike says

    Perhaps more than anything else he gave the wonderful gift of laughter to those marginalized by society. He was a manic energy force and always irrepressibly funny! The world is a far less bright place without the rapid fire comic genius of Robin Williams in it.

  12. WandaJackson says

    Sad that he died and that he struggled with mental illness. That said, it’s predictable that people would overpraise him now that he’s dead. His “manic” comedic style wore thin relatively early in his career; his film choices were among the worst of any major movie star (Patch Adams?); and most of his mid-to-late career performances were suffused with mawkish sentimentality. While was one of the most commercially successful actors of his generation, he was not even close to being one of the best actors of his generation. Typical soft-headed Towleroad editorializing.

  13. ben~andy says

    I loved him as Garp [and thought he really captured the character from the book] and cannot imagine Genii from Aladdin any other way. I thought the intro scene of that character perfectly captured Robin Williams.

  14. ratbastard says

    @TM in LBC,

    True. Good point. I don’t think many people appreciate that point. Those with serious substance abuse issues are often very emotional, all over the map, and that’s often the result not of some deep psychological pain, but the adverse physiologic effects caused by their addictions. I hear some people say Mr. Williams was an alcoholic, but I do also recall he had a serious addiction to cocaine at one time, and he may have had multiple substance abuse issues.

    He was a very talented man, a great stand up comic. RIP.

  15. Nanu Nanu says

    He was never my cup of tea as a performer, but I always feel a sense of vicarious relief when a person is able to finally escape the physical pain of clinical depression and addiction. You can rest now, Mr. Williams.

  16. anon says

    As was pointed out in the NY Post article, depression is a disease, it comes from within. It’s not brought on by negative social factors. RW had a “great life” and couldn’t be more popular world-wide. If anyone had less reason to kill himself it was RW. So, please stop downgrading the severity of depression in the TR comments by suggesting that people get cured when they get treated better (as in nicer). They don’t! There aren’t even effective medications and some of the medications increase the risk of suicide! It’s possible RW was taking meds for depression and that contributed to his suicide.

  17. WandaJackson says

    JSB: As it happens, I am totally chill, and still I doubt anyone would be calling Robin Williams one of the greatest actors of his generation if he hadn’t died within the past 24 hours.

  18. BigGuy says

    People who are wealthy have the means to reduce depression to everyday unhappiness. Until they manage to just become unhappy, they should not be alone.

    Wealthy sad people who are all alone have the financial resources to DESTROY themselves, although it’d be better if they made themselves better. Sometimes they do. It seems that for every wealthy person who fills up the emptiness of his life by performing good works, there are twice as many who fill their empty hearts and empty lives with addictive drugs and addictive behaviors.

  19. AZXPAT says

    Man, can you negative haters just STFU !? He was an AWESOME talent. Whatever his shortcomings in your eyes (mentally or otherwise), he contributed brilliantly as a performer and actor.

  20. crispy says

    @WandaJackson: Robin Williams has an Oscar. Out of millions of working actors, less than 100 are Academy Awards winners. So yeh, I’d say he’s one of our generation’s greatest actors.

    And yes, I can already hear you sharpening your claws about how awards are meaningless. Mind you, Oscar winners are awarded by their peers in the film industry, and actors are the largest voting branch in the Academy. So I’m going to go with their opinion over some lowly internet troll desperate for people to respond to them.

  21. reality says

    Iconic gay camp movies included The Birdcage and an appearance in To Wong Foo… and to some extent, Mrs. Doubtfire (esp with harvey fierstein playing an openly gay brother)

  22. Dback says

    He also played gay in “The Night Listener,” and “Boulevard,” and was best friends with a transgendered woman in “The World According to Garp.” He also partnered with Michael Jeter as an HIV-infected gay homeless man in “The Fisher King.” (You could even make the argument that the Genie is a member of the LGBT community.) He performed at innumerable gay-friendly or gay fundraisers throughout the Bay Area and elsewhere over 40+ years, including one I was at at the Castro with Harvey Fierstein, Lily Tomlin and Marga Gomez. (Think that was for “The Celluloid Closet.”)

    True story: Greg Louganis was being interview by the SF Chronicle in advance of his book signing that night at A Different Light, and was asked who his dream man was. Louganis replied that, surprisingly, he found Robin Williams very sexy–masculine, hairy, but also handsome and of course very funny. Cut to that night’s signing: a limo pulls up, Robin Williams explodes out of the car, arms laden with flowers, and he rushes into the store past the lined up crowds and cries, “Here I am, your dream man!” He gave Louganis the flowers and a huge hug, then ran out the door back to his car & disappeared into the night. I actually met Robin Williams once (and he was lovely and soft-spoken), but the Greg Louganis story is my favorite example of his madcapness, but also his kindness and generosity.

    If you only know him from mainstream comedies, check out his dramatic turns in “One Hour Photo” “Insomnia” “Dead Again” “Seize the Day” “Garp” “Dead Poet’s Society” “Awakenings” etc. He was truly a phenomenal talent.

  23. Bill Daniels says

    Early in his career he appeared on an SCTV segment called The Bowery Boys in the Band. It was hysterical. Robin played the older guy, Satch, from the Bowery Boys as a gay man. It was a classic.

  24. Jacknasty says

    “Wealthy sad people who are all alone have the financial resources to DESTROY themselves, although it’d be better if they made themselves better. Sometimes they do. It seems that for every wealthy person who fills up the emptiness of his life by performing good works, there are twice as many who fill their empty hearts and empty lives with addictive drugs and addictive behaviors.”

    That’s nice. But what does that have to do with Robin Williams?

    And you can’t “make yourself better” from depression anymore than you can “make yourself better” from being a quadriplegic.

  25. says

    Headline:

    Remedy for Depression FOUND! Robin Williams’ life could have been saved with it.

    Story:

    Actor and comedian Robin Williams could have been saved, as well as anyone suffering from depression. An effective alternative to mental health to help people avoid depression has been found. It is called the Lewis Approach verbal system and training is available at the Lewis Approach Institute located in the greater Los Angeles area.

    The Lewis Approach has been in existence for decades, with its roots going back to 1972, was documented and published in a book in 1998, and has been used privately, and extremely successfully ever since, a period spanning 16 years.

    In the dozens of cases worked during that time, it has had a 100% success rate in helping relieve symptoms of depression, and also has the side benefits of helping people achieve relief anxiety and stress. The results are verifiable using any depression screening test.

    The Lewis Approach verbal system was developed by Chuck Lewis, who spent a period of over 40 years in the field of mental health, being based out of the greater Los Angeles area. Chuck is very well credentialed in the field including being a Diplomat of Clinical Social Work, LCSW, MFT, MSW.

    A true pioneer looking to create the most effective system to help people overcome and defeat depression, over the course of his career that spanned decades, he created and tested a verbal that got results that no other mental health professional was able to get.

    Knowing he was onto something, he partnered with his son and only child, Charles Lewis, to document the Lewis Approach verbal system that took the duo over 4 years to write.

    What’s different about Chuck Lewis and his Lewis Approach? He has taken the principles of traditional mental health and converted it into an applied science – thus taking it out of the traditional mental health field and making a real alternative that consistently produces effective and measurable results.

    There has been too much senseless death caused by depression – both from homicide (i.e., Sandy Hook, UC Santa Barbara) and suicide – the latest of a list too long including Robin Williams.

    Chuck Lewis retired from active public practice several years ago but has been running what is now known as the Lewis Approach Institute and been operating privately for the last 8 years. With yet another death, Chuck Lewis is now making his Lewis Approach verbal system available to the masses, as he cannot tolerate to stand by and watch these senseless deaths occur when he has a verbal system that can be the remedy.

    Chuck Lewis can be reached for interview by calling (213) 280-0718.

    Your readers deserve to be made aware about this verbal system that has been effectively been proven to help significantly relieve, and in many cases remove entire, depression. Let your readers be able to take action and have the ability to help save the life of a loved one …. or even their own life.

  26. Patty C. says

    Even though you have the worlds admiration around you, your personal pain can’t be solved by any one person. Robin, you were brave to make such a decision of finality. Your fans wanted you to please their extension of your life, but, again we are not sharing your agony. Farewell to a man who gave and never asked anything in return.

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