Actor Robin Williams dead at 63

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. - In a shocking development, Oscar-winning actor/comic Robin Williams was found dead in his California home Monday, a possible suicide, according to investigators. He was 63.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office said Williams was found unconscious and not breathing inside his home in Tiburon, Calif., around noon local time, and was pronounced dead shortly after. Tiburon is across the Golden Gate Bridge north of San Francisco.

According to the Marin County Sheriff's Office Coroner Division, Williams' death is suspected to be suicide by asphyxia.

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A statement was released by Williams' press representative Mara Buxbaum: "Robin Williams passed away this morning. He 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."

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In addition, Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, issued the following statement: "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."

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The Marin Co. Sheriff's Office released a statement late Monday afternoon:

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.

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A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.

The news of Williams' death sent shock waves through Hollywood and the nation, and prompted an outpouring of grieving tweets and statements from everyone from the President of the United States to the Sesame Street gang.

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between," President Obama said in a statement. "But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."

CNN reported a statement from Pam Dawber, Williams' co-star in the wacky Mork & Mindy of the late 1970s, which introduced Williams to an amazed nation. "I am completely and totally devastated. What more can be said?!" Dawber said.

"We mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, who always made us laugh and smile," the Sesame Street tweet read.

"I saw him on stage the very first time he auditioned at The Improv in Los Angeles," said Jay Leno in a statement. "And we have been friends ever since. It's a very sad day."

Williams' last tweet and Instagram was on July 31, when he wished his daughter, Zelda Rae, a happy 25th birthday and posted a picture of himself with her as a child. "Quarter of a century old today but always my baby girl," he captioned the photo.

In San Francisco, where Williams for a while lived in the fog-shrouded ocean-side Sea Cliff neighborhood, residents were shocked and saddened.

"He seemed like a good San Franciscan," said Griff Behncke, 35, who was waiting to take the ferry ride back to Sausalito, near Tiburon. He remembers Williams donating blood after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and then entertaining the long line of people waiting to donate.

Williams, who won an Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting, also recently signed on to reprise his beloved role as Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel to be directed by Chris Columbus, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Williams will reprise his role as Theodore Roosevelt in the third Night at the Museum film. Fox issued a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly.

"There really are no words to describe the loss of Robin Williams. He was immensely talented, a cherished member of our community, and part of the Fox family. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fans. He will be deeply missed."

The legendary comedian made a stop at the Laughing Skull Lounge in Atlanta last year. The Laughing Skull wrote on its Facebook page:

We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of comedy icon Robin Williams. The best show we've ever had was when he dropped in to do a set with his friend Rick Overton last year. He touched the lives of millions and helped make comedy what it is today.

A trailer for the upcoming

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(NBC Bay Area and USA Today contribute to this report.)


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