Actor Robin Williams Dead of Apparent Suicide, 63

The Oscar-winning comedian and actor Robin Williams has died at 63, according to police in Marin County, Calif.

A statement from the assistant chief deputy coroner of Marin County announced on Monday that the Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff’s Office “suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.”

His publicist confirmed the news.

“Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late,” read an official statement. “This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Williams had entered a rehab facility earlier this year to “fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment” to sobriety, according to a rep, after struggling with alcohol and drugs in the 1980s and then again around the time he sought more help in 2006.

His wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement saying she was “utterly heartbroken” and hoped “that the focus will not be on Robin’s death.”

“This morning I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings,” she said in the statement. “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.”

The comic broke out on the television series Mork and Mindy and won an Academy Award for his role in Good Will Hunting. Other notable roles include Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams, Hook, Good Morning Vietnam and Jack. He also voiced the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin.

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