UPDATED: Robin Williams dead of apparent suicide

Oscar-winning actor was 63
Associated Press
Aug 12, 2014


He was the funniest guy in the room, something that made it all the harder for friends and fans to accept that beneath that reservoir of frenetic energy and seemingly endless good humor resided demons so dark they could push Robin Williams to suicide.

It was no secret that the Oscar-winning actor had suffered for years from periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression — he made reference to it himself in his comedy routines. But word that he had killed himself Monday at his San Francisco Bay Area home left both friends in the Hollywood community and neighbors in the quiet community of Tiburon that he called home equally stunned and grief-stricken.

"Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease: depression. I never could have expected this ending to his life and to ours with him. God bless him and God bless us all for his LIFE! I cannot believe this. I am overwhelmed with grief. What a wonderful man/boy and what a tremendous talent in the most important art of any time — comedy! I loved him," actor and comedian Chevy Chase said in a statement.

He was last seen alive at home about 10 p.m. Sunday, according to the Marin County coroner's office. Shortly before noon, the Sheriff's Department received an emergency call from the home, where the star of "Good Will Hunting," ''Mrs. Doubtfire," ''Good Morning, Vietnam" and dozens of other films was pronounced dead.

Sheriff's officials said a preliminary investigation determined the cause of death was suicide due to asphyxia. Williams was 63.

"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," said Williams' wife, Susan Schneider. "On behalf of Robin'sfamily, 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 had been battling severe depression recently, said Mara Buxbaum, his press representative. Just last month, he announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.

Williams joked about that fall off the wagon during a comedy tour, saying: "I went to rehab in wine country to keep my options open."

Likewise, when word spread about his struggles with drugs in the early 1980s, Williams responded with a joke that for a time became a catchphrase for his generation's recreational drug use: "Cocaine is God's way of telling you you are making too much money."

His struggles never seemed to affect his talent.

From his breakthrough in the late 1970s as the alien in the hit TV show "Mork & Mindy," through his standup act and numerous hit films, the short, barrel-chested Williams ranted and shouted as if just sprung from solitary confinement. Loud, fast and manic, he parodied everyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards, impersonating a Russian immigrant as easily as a pack of Nazi attack dogs.

He was a riot in drag in "Mrs. Doubtfire," or as a cartoon genie in "Aladdin."

He could do drama, too, winning his Academy Award as an empathetic therapist in the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting."

He won Golden Globes for "Good Morning, Vietnam," ''Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Fisher King."

Other film credits included Robert Altman's "Popeye" (a box office bomb), Paul Mazursky's "Moscow on the Hudson," Steven Spielberg's "Hook" and Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry."

"Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can't believe he's gone," Spielberg said.

More recently, he appeared in the "Night at the Museum" movies, playing President Theodore Roosevelt in the comedies in which Ben Stiller's security guard has to contend with wax figures that come alive and wreak havoc after a museum closes. The third film in the series is in post-production, according to the Internet Movie Database.

In April, Fox 2000 said it was developing a sequel to "Mrs. Doubtfire" and Williams was in talks to join the production.

Williams also made a short-lived return to TV last fall in CBS' "The Crazy Ones," a sitcom about a father-daughter ad agency team that co-starred Sarah Michelle Gellar. It was canceled after one season.

As word of his death spread, tributes from inside and outside the entertainment industry poured in.

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. 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," President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams would remember himself as a shy kid who got some early laughs from his mother — by mimicking his grandmother. He opened up more in high school when he joined the drama club, and he was accepted into the Juilliard Academy, where he had several classes in which he and Christopher Reeve were the only students and John Houseman was the teacher.

Encouraged by Houseman to pursue comedy, Williams identified with the wildest and angriest of performers: Jonathan Winters, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin. Their acts were not warm and lovable. They were just being themselves.

"You look at the world and see how scary it can be sometimes and still try to deal with the fear," he said in 1989. "Comedy can deal with the fear and still not paralyze you or tell you that it's going away. You say, OK, you got certain choices here, you can laugh at them and then once you've laughed at them and you have expunged the demon, now you can deal with them. That's what I do when I do my act."

He unveiled Mork, the alien from the planet Ork, in an appearance on "Happy Days" and was granted his own series, which ran from 1978 to 1982 and co-starred Pam Dawber as a woman who takes in the interplanetary visitor.

"I am completely and totally devastated," Dawber said in a statement. "What more can be said?"

Williams could handle a script, when he felt like it, and also think on his feet. He ad-libbed in many of his films and was just as quick in person. During a media tour for "Awakenings," when director Penny Marshall mistakenly described the film as being set in a "menstrual hospital," instead of "mental hospital," Williams quickly stepped in and joked, "It's a period piece."

Winner of a Grammy in 2003 for best spoken comedy album, "Robin Williams — Live 2002," he once likened his act to the daily jogs he took across the Golden Gate Bridge. There were times he would look over the edge, one side of him pulling back in fear, the other insisting he could fly.

"You have an internal critic, an internal drive that says, 'OK, you can do more.' Maybe that's what keeps you going," Williams said. "Maybe that's a demon. ... Some people say, 'It's a muse.' No, it's not a muse! It's a demon! DO IT YOU BASTARD!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! THE LITTLE DEMON!!"

In addition to his wife, Williams is survived by his three children: daughter Zelda, 25; and sons Zachary, 31, and Cody, 22.





The Answer Person

To quote that great comedian Redd Foxx who played Fred Sanford to Aunt Esther who told him when someone died, "Fred Sanford, you should only speak good of the dead."
Fred replied, "You is right. He is dead. Good."



lunchtime 175

This is sad to hear about Robin, he was a great person and actor, etc. One of my favorites was Mrs Doubtfire. May he forever rest in peace.

swiss family

when you say he was a great person..... what do you mean exactly???? the part where he was addicted to drugs?? the part where he cheated on his wife?? the part where he married the nanny and divorced the wife??? maybe you knew him personally??? did you???


Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. RIP Robin Williams.

Another Opinion

Rotary International has a four way test.
1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all involved?
3. Will it build goodwill?
$. Will it be beneficial to all concerned.

I hope you can copy this and keep it at your computer to review before you attack someone online especially the dead who are no longer able to defend themselves.

swiss family

OK well REALITY has 4 questions..1 is it the TRUTH.... 2 would it have been the truth and would you have said it about them if they were alive today???..........3..is it a FACT that everyone is aware of and is also a flaw in their character that everyone is aware of so when someone calls him a GREAT MAN< you have to question what they are talking about????.......4..Why is it that we all know plenty of Jerks that are alive today but we all know of NO DEAD JERKS??? ONLY ANGELS WHO HAVE PASSED TOO SOON????? well you can fool yourself if you want to, but to me, a jerk and a cheater and a druggie is just that it doesn't change when they die.... like they say..."YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH"


Swiss, don't you have some Cat pee to clean up?


Good points, Swiss. I agree. Just because he made people laugh doesn't mean he was an inherently "good" person. Suicide is scary and heartbreaking for the people left behind, but to go on and on about him being a "great guy" is a bit insulting. My prayers go to his family for the confusion, loneliness and fear that they are now left with.


Do you have any idea of the charity work Williams did during his life?? Besdies the money, all the time he gave. I'm sure you don't even come close in what you do for anyone.

thinkagain's picture

How about you show us all some charity, by going away, educating yourself and doing something useful with your life.


Same to you forgottothink.


Not very often do I find myself shaking my head over a celebrity passing. Robin Williams just broke my heart. Great talent has left us all too soon.


I'm literally nauseated.... Two of my favorites - Robin Williams and John Pinette gone.....

From the Grave

It'll be okay. Everyone dies.

swiss family

I am still upset over Mr Ed, and Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies...but the sun will come out tomorrow


Shut up Swiss Cheese. You have NO CLASS.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The pop culture, video/board gaming, and entertainment communities have lost an important advocate and fellow geek.

From the Grave

On to another exciting existence.


In what way ? How do you know ?


his act was hiding a deep sadness that few understand. may he rest in peace and find that peace now.


How sad. I always loved his movies. Like others Mrs Doubtfire was hilarious to me. We sure will miss him.


Sooooo trueeee^^^ rip♡


Deep clinical depression is a very terrible illness. I know it first hand. I have lost several relatives and friends to it. It does not go away! You learn to deal with it, and live with it. You have to constantly tell yourself that things are going to be better. His passing really hurts because we were nearly the same age. In closing, I get comfort in knowing that all of the smiles and happiness he brought to millions and millions of people overshadow his demons. R.I.P.


thinkagain's picture

Meanwhile in Iraq, terrorists are beheading Children...

From the Grave



Seriously thinkagain? What is your intent there? "to put it in perspective?"

I guess you can't understand that people tend to relate to others they see in pop culture because they are easily accessible. Whether intentionally or not, you are downplaying the nature of a vicious disease in depression. I know the sickness very well. Depression needs to be talked about because it is an awful disease with no absolute cure. Yes, there are children dying in Iraq, but there are children suffering from depression every day here, as well, sometimes resulting in suicide.

RIP robin Williams. I hope that you have finally found the happiness that seemed to escape you.


and thinkagain is still a tool.


Normally I also do not care so much about Hollywood deaths, but Robin Williams has always been an actor that seemed to make funny movies without being disgusting and crude. I grew up watching Mrs. Doubtfire Jimanji, and many others. I am now going have a Robin Williams marathon in his memory.

JMOP's picture

Never cared for his movies, but loved his improvs.


Sad story. I wasn't a fan, just didn't find him funny. Too childish. Same character in every movie just like Jim Carey. You see one Robin Williams bit, you've seen them all. Boring after about 5 minutes. However, he was a human being who was apparently hurting badly. R.I.P.

BTW, I agree with thinkagain. While this is sad, terrorists beheading children is tragic, yet mostly ignored.


Guess you never saw Good Will Hunting or Dead Poet's Society.


A tenacious Hollywood liberal, with deep seated psychological issues.
Poster child for liberal craziness.


He passed. Political affiliation is of no bearing. Awesome irrelevant remark.


I suggest you look up the horrible, filthy things he has said about Conservatives, women in particular.
His life is a reflection of who he was. I did not respect him, respect is earned not bestowed at death.


I guess you never really understood the concept of being the bigger person. Because he said regrettable things during his life doesn't mean he deserves being disparaged after his death.




Oh I understand the concept just don't think the concept is worth upholding.
He was angry, ill and a liberal, who used his fame and platform to disparage others.

The Big Dog's back

Kinda like ted nugent.


Oh, slam! lol!

Dwight K.





It is quite certain that Williams achieved far more in life than Sugar ever has or will, and was beloved by millions. What kind of person levies a vicious attack of someone on the day of their death.

The Big Dog's back

sugar needs to get a job.


"Good Morning Vietnam" had to be my favorite, & an excellent soundtrack. His debut on "Happy Days" was fun, but I could only handle "Mork & Mindy" in small doses. Got wore out watching him. Showbiz is a cutthroat, hardcore, heartless business, being in front of millions of people waiting & watching for you to slip up & fail, but I thought he was smarter than to do something like this. Sad.

Truth or Dare

I don't have a favorite movie, too many to pick from. He is and has been for decades one of my favorite comedians. Keep in mind, it's an "apparent suicide". Care to know the man's thoughts? Take the time and go to Youtube and watch his stand-up from Aug. 2011 in D.C., "Weapons of Self-Destruction." Caution, some may take offense to such blatant honesty.

mimi's word

It amazes me in a way that people love to hate others who are now gone. I find Mr. Williams to have been a funny man and yes while I did differ with his opinion sometimes, the greater good in actions in which he did seems to me to out weigh any of his words. I feel so much sorrow that a man who could make so many laugh had a hard time being happy himself. Did he have problems, sure we all battle our own demons in one form or another. I find even more sorrow in the comments here. No wonder Sandusky or the world for that fact is the way it is. Such hate for a man you never really knew, lack of empathy for his family and friends, and lack of knowledge of a disease you will never understand.


Aren't you over reacting a bit? More liberal emoting. I don't hate him, didn't respect him, laughed at his movies, and trulyI found him rather sad.


At the end of the day, does being a liberal or a conservative make a hill of beans? One's political, religious, personal, right or wrong viewpoints doesn't make a person. Later in life, you figure out that there isn't an absolute right or wrong answer. We all put our pants on the same way. What makes a person is who they are when the world isn't watching. To judge someone based off their viewpoints is shallow and cruel.


Later in life? Lol I'm older than you.
No wonder this world is so screwed, it's filled with morons. Maybe, later in life you'll figure it out.


You are old and sad. Sorry about your life.


Sic em sugar. Spoken like a good little liberal, Chirp. Since when do disparaging remarks cease at death if that is true the liberals here deserve to apologize to Ronnie Reagan.

The Big Dog's back

raygun ruined many a working person's lives.


Goofus, your name fits you well. I am not a liberal in any form. I have much more conservative views. I just didn't think this discussion should have anything to do with political affiliation. I am well aware of the comments RW made concerning conservatives, and I disagreed with them vehemently. The fact that you assumed I was liberal based on my comments regarding leaving political affiliation out of the discussion truly demonstrates your ignorance.


Chirp - people have lost their humanity.


I can't mourn Robin Williams the man. I didn't know him, and the few more personal news reports I've seen made him kind of a mixed bag (strong supporter of our troops, far left liberal with a jones against those who disagreed). But I can, and do, mourn Robin Williams' creative genius.

It's sadly ironic that those who reach the heights of creativity often also experience the deepest of dark sides. As brilliant as Williams was, his despair must have been nearly as great else he'd still be alive. R.I.P.

The Big Dog's back

Kinda like Charlton Heston or the B-movie star ronald reagan.


Kinda like...?

Comedians? No.
Suicidally depressed? No.
Liberals? No.

Yep, you're right: Robin Williams was EXACTLY like Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan!

Sheesh, Big Dog, even for YOU that's a reach!

The Big Dog's back

Yep, reagan used Jeane Dixon as an adviser. And I was comparing people on YOUR side.


...and the Reagans also used Joan Quigley for astrological advice .


All of liberalism is in mourning today from the silly libs here to NPR. The people you fools emulate is funnier than a Williams skit.
Liberalism is a mental disorder, Williams is/was a poster child for the deep seated psychological issues liberals have.



The Big Dog's back

GET A JOB sugar.

mimi's word

do you have hate and anger toward anything else in your life or just anyone who is liberal....you need to look in the mirror when spoutin about disliking anyone whose views are different...


More emoting?

mimi's word

No I am not emtoting...I feel you are a shriveled old person with hate and anger with nothing better to do but bash a liberal. Is that your favorite game? Is it making you feel better to try a degrade a dead man whom others admired and loved. I grew up with Robin Williams (figuratively) and I will miss his movies and sense of humor. I really hope one day soon you grow a sense of humor as well as letting go of the anger, jealousy and hate.


well said , mimi.


Ditto from me Mimi

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Sugar, this has nothing to do with politics. Your constant obsession with it indicates your own issues. Your confrontational nature also makes you no better than those you deride for the same behavior. I'm not exactly a "silly lib" yet I mourn his suicide and the loss of comedy and inspiration. If you truly believe in the mental disorder of liberalism, perhaps you can lend some time to cure it. As of now your comments here and elsewhere are the equivalent of pointing and laughing at a cancer patient to use similar terms as you.


I usually come here and make a statement on the story posted, then I get the sh**. And you join in, because you cannot appreciate my perspective.
Shall we dissect your psyche? YOU darling are a phony, a people pleasing, milquetoast personality.
Don't like it? Find it untrue? Deny it's you?
I'm not posting for your approval, F off.
And Mimi you're just a mass of emoting mess...., waaahhhhh

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You get sh** because you post provocative, and mostly negative reactions to what's here. Your statements are partisan and don't actually help the very thing about which you make your statements. This is the same reason why Big Dog gets the reactions he does.

I am not indicating you should stop posting (a quote about Voltaire's notions comes to mind), but if you want to have your points taken seriously then you can be a bit more constructive. If you are happy to post flippant detritus (I can use big words too) then by all means continue as it just seems to entertain yourself and few others. I'm sure you'll be just as convincing and relevant as Big Dog's points on politics, philosophy, and history.

As for your insults? You don't even indicate how I am phony. I certainly do please people. I do so quite often and in constructive, meaningful ways. So thank you, I'm glad you can appreciate the fact I bring joy to other people's lives and am trying to leave the world a better place after I'm gone. As for my personality being milquetoast? Did you bother to look up the definition of the word?

"a very timid, unassertive, spineless person, especially one who is easily dominated or intimidated"

You are more than welcome to show where I am any of the above. Apparently by indicating your unconstructive comments that makes me unassertive? By "standing up to" Big Dog, adding context to Mrs. Johnson's recent blog, or disagreeing with Mr. Westerhold (who has all the authority he wants in censoring me in these private forums) on immigration I'm easily intimidated? Or by providing my own opinions on controversial issues, without hiding behind a username, I am timid?

Hmmm. Methinks you should brush whatever aggressive chip you have on your shoulder off, sugar, and try to be more helpful to the causes, not caustic to them. Or at least be more witty if you want to insult me in pettiness. I'm rather fond of ones like these:

Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
To signify thou camest to bite the world.

Lay into me with some good Shakespeare if you are going to sink to that level of personal attacks.


Ho hum, do you really think I read all of that? You're long winded, boring, over analytical and think I care about your opinion. I didn't ask you WHY I get sh** , nor do I care, I simply stated a fact.
You responded critically to my post about Williams because you identify with him, not because you felt it was your duty to set me straight, which it isn't.
Now go peddle your pseudo psychiatry to someone who gives a rats a**
SR how about you offer a block feature for poor HZ here so she can block me? I'm bothering her sensibilities. Lol


I don't think you read much at all. Your writings here expose you as an ignorant hateful dog. You repetitiously use "liberal" in a pejorative sense but there's no evidence that you could define the term.

You question the mental health of those whose views differ from yours. But your hate has all the earmarks of transference and you would do well to get some professional help in figuring out who you're REALLY angry at. Do it before you hurt someone. Or is it too late?


Drama hysteria and intolerance for a view different from your own, that seems to sum you up. Who's angry? Chill out dude.


Oh and I diagnose you as " fruitcake". Over reactive fruitcake.

mimi's word

No sugar it is called emotion and empathy. I am sorry you are a friendless hateful person. I don't care to your opinion but I get it. You didn't like him for whatever you read years ago because I tried to find whatever you talked about but couldn't. I just don't think you will sway those of us who did. I would rather be an emotional mess having felt love and loss than a horrible hateful person who feels nothing.


Really you imagined all of that from a post correlating liberalism with insanity? Now can you see why I correlated that? Lol.
Not trying to change or sway anyone. I posted my thoughts on the article and you, and a few others disliked my thoughts. You responded, I responded and here we are.
This is a blog, an anonymous blog, its a great place to release demons. Relax, it's not that serious.

Another Day

Whooh...Please stop this Sugar and everyone. A man who brought happiness to so many and inspired them had died. This is ridiculous, now you attack I think the only person in this town who tries to help and inspire our youth. Youth of all kinds...they are all not pretty little cheerleaders or sport buffs.

Matt has sacrificed so much for the children the typical society has shunned and stereotyped. I want to THANK The Hero Zone for giving my kids a place to go and compete and be accepted and build confidence. They are NOT athletes but he can out beat anyone in academics.

Why the personal attacks when they morn someone else who gave so much back to people. Cannot everyone just accept that. NO..you cannot....first word is to find something wrong. God did NOT create us equally we are all individuals.

I wish everyone would stop having their play time on others feelings. What happened to RESPECT each other. You do not have to agree but this article points out a major issue in today's world. And it is starting with grand parents, parents and the school peers and parents.

Sugar I have never come down on you, but Hero Zone did not attack you ; you did it first. Do not ruin something you have no idea about per your comments by slaying him and his business. Walk in one Thursday night and find out the truth first or any other night..you will find peer ad social skills building with anyone from 10-30 yrs old working together and competing in games you could never ever understand because they are so complex.

Thanks to The Hero Zone for giving our kids a venue they need aside from sports or cheerleading/dance.


Et Tu Brute


America has lost an icon. (It's amazing to see all the postings here that were written by people who I never saw post before. Wonderful!)

Thank you Robin for all the smiles, laughs and thought-provoking roles.


Genie, you're free!


Informed, ahhhh, that was the best send off on here, thanks


Seemed very fitting. And you're welcome!


Mork calling Orson.........I'm home !!!


Florence Nightingale

Clinical depression is an awful, terrible thing. God rest his soul.


Sandusky, A Town Without Pity.....

mimi's word

totally agree...it also pains me when people make fun or make a joke of someone else's pain because they hide behind their username..


I don't believe Robin William's sins were any greater than those of Moses, David, King Saul...name your Bible hero. Some of us are sinners, some are sinners saved by grace...but all of us are sinners. I think we would be better off to pray for his family and remember him as the national treasure of talent that he was to us all as opposed to judging him. May he rest in peace.


AMEN, VeggieGirl. Depression is a serious mental illness. Unfortunately, our mental health care system is sorely broken.

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. ~Jesus.

Ralph J.

"I used to think the worst thing in life is to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone." Robin Williams


Oh Captin, my Captin, forgive the ones that make foolish comments. I hope you have found peace.


Guess Mr. Williams didn't find his life as fulfilling and wondrous as some of his fans.

mimi's word

You really are a tool aren't you?


Obviously , sugar's life isn't fulfilling and wondrous .
It sounds like his only joy is spewing hatred.


Sugar dumplin....you are a real Richard cranium.


I read an article about Robin meeting KoKo the gorilla who could sign language. It seems KoKo had been in a depression for six months due the death of his friend. The article said Williams and KoKo hit it off immediately and he (Williams) made KoKo actually smile again. When KoKo was advised of his death, Koko slumped and his chin quivered. Truly a heartbreaking, yet heart warming story. If any of you run across it, you should read it and also have a kleenex available.


I saw it, awsome!


Whether his early-stage parkinson diagnosis had anything to do with the decision to end it all can be debated. What cannot be debated is his generosity. For those who desire to make this about politics it seems to me that all those service people he entertained around the world were of differing political stripes. We all have had occasion to be in dark times emotionally, some can rally and some can't. On balance the joy he brought exponentially outweighs the negatives, and we all have issues.

Ralph J.

"What cannot be debated is his generosity."
I will miss Robin as both an actor and a comic. When I heard the news of his death, I felt like my heart was ripped out. Robin was human and he was not perfect as any human is not perfect. Viewing his movies, I could clearly see the real Robin even though he was an actor. I clearly felt his empathy for others. His neighbors viewed him as just an ordinary friendly person. I only wish that he had waited out his moment of weakness to take his own life. Perhaps hours later, he would have felt better. He had fame and he had riches. Only Robin knows why he ended his life so early. There is no turning back time once suicide is committed. Perhaps he felt so alone. Only Robin knew why he went as he did.

Ralph J.

"Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems,” he says, over and over again in this heartbreaking Vine.

Ralph J.

I cherish life. If I could live forever.


But you don't suffer from the illness of major depression.


You will.