Sheriff: Robin Williams found with belt on neck

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Monday, Aug. 11, 2014

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — Sheriff's officials say Robin Williams' personal assistant found him with a belt around his neck at his San Francisco Bay Area home.

Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd also said Tuesday that superficial cuts were found on Williams' wrist and a pocket knife was found nearby.

Toxicology results on whether Williams had any drugs or alcohol in his system are weeks away.

Sheriff's officials said Monday a preliminary investigation determined the cause of death was suicide due to asphyxia. Williams was 63 and had suffered for years from periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression.

According to Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd, Williams had been seeking treatment for depression. Boyd isn't saying whether Williams left a suicide note.

The actor's wife had last seen him the night before, and had left the home that morning thinking he was still asleep. Williams' personal assistant later came to the home and became concerned when he knocked on the door and got no response.

Coroner's officials say he was last seen alive at home around 10 p.m. Sunday.

Williams' wife Susan Schneider said in a statement that the world lost "one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings." Schneider said she is "heartbroken" from losing "her husband and best friend." And she said she hopes the focus won't be on his death but on the "countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."

His career soared in the late 1970s when he starred as the alien in the hit TV show "Mork and Mindy." Williams built upon that success through his standup act and such films as "Good Morning, Vietnam."

He won his Academy Award in a dramatic role, as a teacher in the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting." Williams also won three Golden Globes, for "Good Morning, Vietnam," `'Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Fisher King."

Fans and friends have been leaving bouquets, candles and personal notes in front of the locked gates of the home. Neighbors say he had lived in the quiet, waterfront neighborhood for eight years, and that he was friendly and approachable.

Obama said in a statement issued Monday night that Williams "arrived in our lives as an alien -- but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit," referring to Williams' late 1970s role in the TV show "Mork and Mindy."

The president said the actor was generous with his comic talents for those who needed it, including troops abroad.

The statement said: "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."

Celebrities from Broadway to Hollywood are nearly unanimously in agreement with Steven Spielberg's belief that Robin Williams was a "comic genius."

Spielberg says Williams was "a lightning storm of comic genius" sustained by the thunder of laughter.

Funny man Steve Martin praised the Oscar-winner's "great talent" but also said he was a "genuine soul." Chevy Chase, who acknowledged that he too suffers from depression, called Williams "a wonderful/man boy."

Former talk show host and comedian Jay Leno says word of Williams' death made it "a very sad day."


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