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Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

link Los Angeles Times: Ricardo DeAratanha

Robin Williams died on Monday. He was 63. Here, the actor is pictured on the set of "The Crazy Ones" at 20th Century Fox Studios in November 2013.

Staff and wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO — Robin Williams, a brilliant shapeshifter who could channel his frenetic energy into delightful comic characters like “Mrs. Doubtfire” or harness it into richly nuanced work like his Oscar-winning turn in “Good Will Hunting,” died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

Williams was pronounced dead at his San Francisco Bay Area home Monday, according to the sheriff’s office in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The sheriff’s office said the preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.

The Marin County coroner’s office said Williams was last seen alive at home at about 10 p.m. Sunday. An emergency call from his house in Tiburon was placed to the Sheriff’s Department shortly before noon Monday.

“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’s family, 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.

From his breakthrough in the late 1970s as the alien in the hit TV show “Mork & Mindy,” through his standup act and such films as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” 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.

Here is a sampling of reactions posted to the CNJ Facebook site about the passing of the comedic giant:

“I will always remember the very first Robin Williams movie I saw, and that was Mrs. Doubtfire! I loved everything he has ever been in, from Flubber, to Hook, to his voice in Aladdin! He was a great actor and his presence in the entertainment industry will be greatly missed!”

— Mercy Radcliffe

“This just breaks my heart so bad!! I just got done watching Hook yesterday. I’m shocked, Rest In Paradise Robin ... We will miss you.”

— Matthew Germain

“I remember him from “Mork and Mindy.” Nanoo, nanoo!!! I enjoyed him throughout his career ... he is close to my age, affects the mortality thing ... he brought lots of laughter to me, I feel sad, that he must have been in a lot of pain inside his heart. May he rest in peace!”

— Theresa Irene Buckley

“What a sad day for pop culture. I don’t know a world without the antics of Robin Williams.”

— Dawn Smith

“The times Robin was on Johnny Carson were amazing! I need to find him on my Best of Johnny Carson collection and laugh in his honor. He’d want it that way. RIP Robin.”

— David Best

“His talent will not be met by the now comedians. I love the fact the Mork and Mindy’s script only went as far as Robin Williams first lines. From that point on everything was ad-lib. And this was from a nobody that they heard in a late night open mic session.

— Codie Cauthen Ray

“Robin Williams and Bill Cosby are the two greatest comedians in my lifetime.”

— Janet Schwartz Mason

“Legendary, I am so saddened to hear this terrible news ... Very tragic !!”

— Cara Wade

“Shocked and terribly saddened to hear about his passing! Such a loss to this world. He was the funniest comedian ever!! We definitely need more funny people like him but nobody will ever live up to his name! Rest in Peace dear Robin, may your family be comforted in all the prayers sent their way. All the way from Clovis, N.M.

— Virginia Gonzales

 
 
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