UPDATE (8/12/14): The Marin County Sheriff's Office held a press conference (via TMZ) today, August 12, and officially confirmed that 63-year-old Robin Williams' death was a suicide due to asphyxia. He was found dead in his home by his personal assistant. Many details are still being withheld — such as whether or not there was a note — but hopefully this will provide closure for Robin's family for the time being.
Original Story: Sad and shocking news out of Hollywood today. According to a publicist statement, comedian and Academy Award winner Robin Williams is dead at 63. Though not confirmed a suicide by the rep, preliminary reports indicate it is being investigated as such, and TMZ reports the coroner suspects suicide via asphyxia as the cause of death.
“Robin Williams passed away this morning,” the official statement reads. “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.”
His wife, Susan Schneider, also released a statement of her own: "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." In addition to reiterating the family's wishes for privacy, Susan expressed the hope that the sad nature of his passing wouldn't overshadow his contributions. "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."
Just a month ago, Robin confirmed he had entered a rehab facility. Though many reports indicated he had suffered a relapse, Robin, via his publicist, refuted the rumors, saying instead he had checked into the facility “to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment” to his sobriety.
The 1998 Best Supporting Actor had spoken openly about a relapse he suffered in 2003 while filming Insomnia in Alaska. “I just thought, hey, maybe drinking will help because I felt alone and afraid. It was that thing of working so much, and going f—k, maybe that will help. And it was the worst thing in the world,” he explained.
Our thoughts are with Robin’s family in this difficult time. In addition to his wife, Susan, he is survived by three children — Zak, Zelda, and Cody — from his previous two marriages.
We will continue to update as we receive more information on this breaking news story.
Sources: Entertainment Weekly, TMZ