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Comedy legend Robin Williams dead from apparent suicide


The Marin County Sheriff's Office on Monday afternoon said legendary Bay Area comedian and actor Robin Williams was found dead from a likely suicide at his residence in unincorporated Tiburon.

According to a press release, shortly before 12 p.m., Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 phone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon.

The Sheriff’s Office, along with the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District, were dispatched to the incident. Emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm.

The man, identified as 63-year-old Robin McLaurin Williams, was pronounced deceased at 12:02 p.m.

The Sheriff's Office Coroner Division stated in the press release that they suspected the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made.

A source close to the investigation told KTVU that Williams hanged himself.

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The comedian and actor got his start as a comedian in the fertile stand-up scene in San Francisco during the 1970s after studying acting at Julliard.

During his manic stand-up performances, the short, barrel-chested Williams ranted and shouted as if just sprung from solitary confinement. Loud, fast, manic, he parodied everyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards, impersonating a Russian immigrant as easily as a pack of Nazi attack dogs.

He was spotted by producer Garry Marshall while working as cast member on the short-lived "Richard Pryor Show" in 1977. Marshall cast Williams to play an alien on "Happy Days," eventually leading to his own spinoff series "Mork & Mindy" which aired between 1978 and 1982.

Like so many funnymen, he had serious ambitions, winning his Oscar for his portrayal of an empathetic therapist in "Good Will Hunting." He also played for tears in "Awakenings," ''Dead Poets Society" and "What Dreams May Come," something that led New York Times critic Stephen Holden to once say he dreaded seeing the actor's "Humpty Dumpty grin and crinkly moist eyes."

Williams also won three Golden Globes, for "Good Morning, Vietnam," ''Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Fisher King."

His other film credits included Robert Altman's "Popeye" (a box office bomb), Paul Mazursky's "Moscow on the Hudson," Steven Spielberg's "Hook" and Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry." On stage, Williams joined fellow comedian Steve Martin in a 1988 Broadway revival of "Waiting for Godot."

Williams spoke openly about his problems with cocaine addition in the '70s and had entered rehab at least twice for alcoholism and drug dependency in the past decade.

An investigation into the cause of the death is currently underway by the Investigations and Coroner Divisions of the Sheriff's Office.

A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.



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