Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has been found dead in California from an apparent suicide.
In a news release, the Marin County Sheriff’s County said Williams, 63, was found unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in Tiburon, Calif. Monday morning.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“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.”
In a statement, Williams’ wife Susan Schneider said she is “utterly heartbroken” over the death of her husband and best friend. She said the world has lost “one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.”
“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.”
In another statement, Williams’ publicist said the actor had been battling depression.
“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, who first made his mark as a comedian, later took on dramatic roles in movies like “Dead Poets Society” and “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar in 1998. He continued to dabble in comedic film roles, lending his voice as the Genie in “Aladdin” and playing drag in “Mrs. Doubtfire.”
Williams also had starring TV roles, including on the 1970s sitcom “Mork and Mindy,” and more recently, “The Crazy Ones,” in which he played an ad agency owner.
He was open about previous problems with drugs and alcohol in the 1970s and ‘80s. He sought treatment in 2006 when he relapsed and returned to drinking after 20 years. Williams entered rehab in July for a brief stint in order to reconnect with the 12-step program.
Williams, who was born in Chicago in 1951, characterized himself in interviews as a shy kid who found his voice in high school when he joined the drama club.
As a stand-up comedian, Williams was known for his wildly energetic acts, and said he identified with other comedic giants like Richard Pryor and George Carlin.
He won a Grammy in 2003 for best spoken comedy album, “Robin Williams – Live 2002.”
Williams had several projects reportedly in the works, including another sequel to “Night at the Museum.”