The Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams died this morning in California. He was 63.
“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,” the Marin County Coroner said in a statement. “A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.”
“Robin Williams passed away this morning,” the actor’s rep Mara Buxbaum added in a statement to ABC News. “He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss.”
Williams, who was 63, started his career as a stand-up comedian before rising to fame on television’s Mork & Mindy. Notable film roles include Good Morning, Vietnam; Dead Poets Society; Hook; Aladdin; Mrs. Doubtfire; and The Birdcage. He won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in 1997’s Good Will Hunting. He also won two Emmys, four Golden Globes, and five Grammys. Williams reprises his role as Theodore Roosevelt in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, which comes out in December.
Around that time, Williams suffered a great loss: His friend, John Belushi, died of a drug overdose in 1982, prompting Williams, who had struggled with alcoholism and cocaine abuse, to quit, cold turkey.
He would go on to make two trips to rehab, once in 2006, and again this past July, which his rep told ABC News was “the opportunity to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud.”
“It’s [addiction] — not caused by anything, it’s just there,” Williams told “Good Morning America” in 2006. “It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.'”