Robin Williams, 63, found dead in California home

Comedians and Chicagoans mourned the loss of Robin Williams a day after his death at age 63
The actor-comedian and Chicago native Robin Williams was found dead at his home Monday morning in an apparent suicide by asphyxiation, Marin County Sheriff's officials said.

PHOTOS: Robin Williams, 1951-2014


The Marin County Sheriff's Department received a 911 report of a male not breathing in a residence in unincorporated Tiburon, California at 11:55 a.m. Monday. Emergency personnel arrived and pronounced the subject deceased at 12:02 p.m. He was identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, 63.

Preliminary information indicated Williams was last seen alive at the residence at approximately 10 p.m. Sunday. He was located Monday shortly before 11:55 a.m. His wife also lives at the residence.

"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. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted," the Marin County Sheriff's Department said.

From his breakthrough in the late 1970s as the alien in the hit TV show "Mork and 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. He was a riot in drag in "Mrs. Doubtfire," or as a cartoon genie in "Aladdin."

He won his Academy Award in a rare, but equally intense dramatic role, as a teacher in the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting." He also played for tears in "Awakenings," "Dead Poets Society" and "What Dreams May Come." Williams won three Golden Globes, for "Good Morning, Vietnam," ''Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Fisher King." Williams had recently wrapped production in the upcoming movie "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb." In April, Fox 2000 said it was developing a sequel to "Mrs. Doubtfire" and Williams was in talks to join the production.

"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. 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," Susan Schneider, Williams' wife, said Monday.

Williams married graphic designer Susan Schneider on October 22, 2011, in Napa Valley. The couple met in 2009, shortly before Williams underwent heart surgery. It was his third marriage. The actor has three children from previous marriages.

VIDEO: Robin Williams speaks openly about depression in 2010 interview

Mara Buxbaum, a representative for Williams, released a statement Monday afternoon: "Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."

Chicago comedy community remembers Robin Williams

A tribute to the comic legend was held at Zanies Comedy Club Monday night on Chicago's North Side.

Contrary to Williams' manic public persona, Chicago comedian Dobie Maxwell saw a quiet humility.

"When I was an opener, I worked with Robin Williams. And he was just a really nice guy, laid back, humble, especially with other comedians," said Maxwell. "And after the show he came up to me and said, 'Was any of that stuff funny? I'm famous now, and the crowd laughs at anything I do, and I want another comedian to tell me if it was funny or not.'"

VIDEO: Robin Williams reminisces about Chicago in 2011


Born in Chicago, Williams spent his early years in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. He returned to the area often, including last summer for the wedding of filmmaker George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.

In 2004, he was honored at the Chicago International Film Festival and in a 2011 interview for Windy City Live, he spoke of his Chicago roots.

"Chicago is the best place to be, man. Performing there has always been a gift. You perform there. It's the greatest audiences," said Williams, in 2011.

The Associated Press and KABC-TV contributed to this report.
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