Robin Williams, the 63-year-old comedian and actor, was found dead on August 11, 2014, and the preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxiation. Williams brought the gift of laughter to millions of international fans, and is remembered for his many roles in film and television. He has appeared in over 60 films, including Mrs. Doubtfire; Good Morning, Vietnam; Good Will Hunting; The Birdcage; Dead Poets Society; and Night at the Museum; and was the voice of the Genie in Aladdin. Williams portrayed a physician in the movie Patch Adams, where he treated patients using humor. He also starred in Awakenings, based on the true story of British neurologist Oliver Sacks, with Williams playing the fictionalized American doctor Malcolm Sayer. Williams got his big break playing a dorky alien in television’s Mork & Mindy in the 1970s.
He was born in Chicago, grew up in Michigan, and has been described as a shy child. He later attended Juilliard Academy and decided to pursue a career in comedy. Williams was hospitalized in 2009 with heart problems and had a successful aortic surgical procedure. Recently, Williams had been battling severe depression. In the 1970s and 80s, the star struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. There are some who feel Robin Williams suffered from bipolar disorder. He gave up drugs after the death of his friend John Belushi, whom he had partied with a few hours before his untimely death. In a 2013 interview with Parade, Williams spoke about downsizing his life, returning to television, relapsing and drinking, and being treated for alcoholism in 2006. His last television series, The Crazy Ones on CBS, was cancelled after 1 season.
Williams was married 3 times and left behind 3 children. His death has shocked the entertainment community. Forensic and toxicology testing will be performed to confirm the cause of death.
- The Crazy Ones. TV Series Finale website. http://tvseriesfinale.com/tv-show/the-crazy-ones/.
- Daley H, Italie H. Robin Williams, boisterous comedy star, dead at 63. MSN News website. August 12, 2014. http://news.msn.com/pop-culture/sheriff-robin-williams-found-dead-in-apparent-suicide?ocid=ansnews11.
- Duke A. Robin Williams dead; family, friends and fans are ‘totally devastated.’ CNN website. August 12, 2014. http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/showbiz/robin-williams-dead/index.html.
- Rader D. Robin Williams on returning to TV, getting sober, and downsizing in his 60s. Parade website. September 12, 2013. http://parade.condenast.com/154817/dotsonrader/robin-williams-on-returning-to-tv-getting-sober-and-downsizing-in-his-60s/.