TIBURON, CALIFORNIA — Legendary actor Robin Williams, who rose to fame with his role as alien Mork in the TV series 'Mork & Mindy,' was found dead at his home near San Francisco on Monday morning, a California sheriff's office said, adding that the actor is believed to have died of a suicide. He was 63.
Emergency services responded to Williams' home in Tiburon at approximately 11:55 a.m. local time on Monday after a 911 call reporting that an adult male had been located unconscious and not breathing inside. Williams was pronounced deceased at 12:02 p.m. local time, the Marin County Sheriff's Office said.
"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. "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."
Lt. Keith Boyd, the county's Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner, said Williams was last seen alive at his residence, where he lived with his wife, at around 10 p.m. on Sunday. "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," he said.
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.
Publicist Mara Buxbaum did not comment on the actor's cause of death and requested privacy on behalf of the family. "He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss," she said. "The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."
Williams struggled with an addiction to cocaine in the late 1970s and 1980s, but a friend's death and the birth of his son prompted him to quit drugs. He relapsed in 2006 by abusing alcohol and returned to rehab for 60 days. And while the reason behind the actor's suspected suicide was not immediately known, Williams also briefly entered rehab last month to "fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment."
Tributes from fellow actors and fans across the world began to pour in late Monday.
U.S. President Barack Obama, responding to Monday's news, sent his condolences to Williams' family, friends and fans. "He was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most," he said.