The laughter in the world just became a little quieter yesterday, with the passing of comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams. He was 63.
Williams was found in his Northern California home; the Marin County Sheriff’s department said it suspected his death may have been a suicide due to asphyxia. The star, who inspired countless laughs and brought smiles to even more faces, had been battling severe depression of late, his publicist said.
His wife, Susan Schneider, released a 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 that the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laugher he gave to millions.
Williams had three children, and the actor’s 25-year-old daughter, Zelda (from his marriage to Marsha Garces) took to social media to share a message for her father:
Robin Williams’s beloved characters spanned decades, from his depiction of the alien Mork, which originated on Happy Days and jumped to the spinoff show Mork & Mindy, to his inspiring roles in Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and Patch Adams. He molded a generation of children with his take on an overgrown Peter Pan in Hook, and his emergence from the jungles of Jumanji, his portrayal of fruit-wielding Mrs. Doubtfire, his unforgettable Genie from Disney’s Aladdin. And he earned an Academy Award for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting.
President Barack Obama also released a statement on the passing of the actor:
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. 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.
As news of Williams’s death spread, friends, fans, admirers, and former costars expressed disbelief, shared stories and memories, and gave tribute to the comedy legend: