Family “Heartbroken” Over Death of Actor, Comedian Robin Williams

August 11, 2014 20:57 pm · 64 comments

Actor Robin Williams was found dead from an apparent suicide in his Marin County home this morning after a battle with severe depression.

Williams, 63, a noted film and television actor, appears to have killed himself via asphyxiation, county coroner’s officials said. He was found unconscious and not breathing shortly before noon at his home in unincorporated Tiburon.

He was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. Williams was last seen alive at the home he shares with his wife at about 10 p.m. Sunday, coroner’s officials said.

His wife, Susan Schneider, said in a statement today that she is “heartbroken.”

“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,” Schneider said.

“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,” she said.

Williams’ press representative Mara Buxbaum also asked for privacy on behalf of the family.

“He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss,” Buxbaum said.

Williams has ties to the Bay Area going back decades. He first moved to Marin County when he was a teen and attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later the College of Marin for theater. He also owned a home in San Francisco’s Sea Cliff neighborhood.

He had a long career as a stand-up comedian and appeared in numerous film and television roles including the 1970s sitcom “Mork and Mindy,” his Academy Award-winning performance in “Good Will Hunting” and nominations for “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Fisher King.”

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office and the coroner’s bureau are investigating the apparent suicide and will conduct a forensic examination to determine his exact cause of death.

Investigators are expected to release more details on the investigation at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Marin County sheriff’s main office in San Rafael.

Realist August 11, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I don’t understand why people take their own lives. He was very well off financially and was well liked as an actor. Did he really have it that hard? Doesn’t make sense to be.

funny man August 11, 2014 at 9:13 PM

sad sad news.
Last night about 11pm I decided to go buy some booze after 4 years of sobriety. now i know why i fell off the wagon. the world feels alitte smaller today with the loss of a great comedian and funny man who touched many lives and entertained our generation with his unique gift.
a moment of silence and a toast for Mr Williams.
think ill break out my mrs doubtfire vhs for some nostaglia.

Enfield303 August 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Sad on so many levels. The world truly lost a great actor and comedian that made me laugh through the years. You just never know what kinds of demons someone has to face. R.I.P

Justin August 11, 2014 at 9:29 PM

@Realist – mental health isn’t taken seriously in this country. Rich or poor, easy life or not, popular or unpopular – if you’re depressed or chemically imbalanced it doesn’t matter. From your internal perspective everything is difficult or upsetting.

I always thought of Williams as a bit manic, wouldn’t be surprised if he had really high highs and really low lows. Poor guy.

We need to take mental health more seriously for everyone.

anarchist August 11, 2014 at 9:33 PM

blah blah blah

who cares that some famous punk bit the bullet while hundreds of homeless die each day and no one sheds a tear. this stupid williams stuff is all over the news. does it have to be here too? is he from claycord?

lewsie August 11, 2014 at 9:36 PM

#1, please change your name from realist to clueless

then study up on addiction, and depression

Pegasus August 11, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Suicide is a selfish act. A fine legacy for your children, Mork.

old dude August 11, 2014 at 9:58 PM

A giant in the world of comedy. Enriched my life and millions of others. Thank you for sharing your gift, Mr. Williams. Rest your soul.

county employee August 11, 2014 at 9:59 PM

People who are funny hurt inside.

Ms. Mom August 11, 2014 at 10:06 PM

So sad. Saw him once in a comedy club in the city, so funny. To bad the demons go to him. RIP

1 Who Knows August 11, 2014 at 10:11 PM

As a person who deals with extreme depression continuously I know that in those dark hours the very real perception is no one else feels your pain nor do they care.
Suicide knows no boundaries. It does not matter how financially well off or poor a person is. The only boundary to suicide is to those that try multiple times and fail. They never escape the pain and torment of their daemons. Robin Williams is lucky. He is at rest now. Mean while people such as my self continue to live in torment and the extrushiating pain that demons unleash relentlessly on me. I have failed suicide six times. The only thing that stops me from doing it again everyday is the knowledge that I am such a failure at life that I cannot even get death right. May Robin rest in peace now, as their certainly is no peace here on earth. May God bless you and keep you. I hope to join you soon as there is no hope left on earth these days. Unfortunately for me I have to wait till God is ready to let me come home. As he has certianly proven to me 6 times over that I need to continue to live in this unrelenting mental pain and suffering that knows no relief.

Jesse August 11, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Pegasus, the news reports say he was suffering from severe depression. It’s a form of mental illness. His brain was not functioning properly. It was not a selfish act. It was the act of a mentally ill man.

Cat Wrangler August 11, 2014 at 10:14 PM

How heartbreakingly sad. He will always be remembered for his talent and great compassion. He gave so much of his time and money to make a real difference in the lives of those in great difficulty – homelessness, community needs, children’s issues and health. He signed the checks to pay for his friend Christopher Reeve’s ongoing health care after Reeve’s horse riding accident. He paid for housing, education, care for countless around us. Anytime someone asked for help Mr. Williams gave of his resources and self with sincere humility and selflessness. God bless him and comfort his children, family and loved ones in their grief.

VikingPrincess August 11, 2014 at 10:21 PM

His widow pointed out that we should focus on his Life…if you do not.understand then kindly and graciously take a breather.

My ol college stomping grounds. Forgot he and I attended the same college.

Watch his one season TV series if you haven’t. My favorite was What Dreams may Come. True love story

DMZ August 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM

God Bless, may he be pain free now.
Thank you for all the years of giving and laughing.

That's All Folks! August 11, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Terrible loss, the man was phenomenal.

Thoughtful 1 August 11, 2014 at 10:31 PM

Suicide is a fatal disease. We don’t attack cancer victims for getting sick. Why do we label suicide victims as ‘selfish’? What kind of an arrogant, insensitive person believes he knows what thoughts are in a suicide victim’s mind? Blaming the victim is shameful, does nothing to prevent future suicide attempts, and only serves to disrespect the deceased.

sad, but August 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

I’m always sad when I hear of suicide. 3 people in my extended family killed themselves in one year, including my then-17 year-old daughter’s father.

Depression is a terrible thing. Add substance abuse & it takes a lot of fortitude, support, healthcare & faith to come through it.

Anyway, it’s a sad thing, but just because he’s famous doesn’t make it Claycord news. Heaven knows we got the news from many other sources…

funny man August 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

who knew so many sociopathic, narcissistic, heartless people lived in claycord

sad, but August 11, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Oh, and his manic style did not appeal to me. Not a fan.

Dear Robin August 11, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Oh, I am so sick, sad and heartborken. RIP Robin Williams you absolutely brilliant, intelligent, hysterical man!!!!! You brought endless joy to my children and me for many years. Mrs. Doubtfire, my son can practically recite every word from that extraordinarily brilliant movie. NOBODY else could have played that part. You are a legend and will be missed by the universe.

Three weeks ago I met your dear friend, who cares for the dahlias in the garden at the Conservatory of Flowers, and she had absolutely nothing but praises for you, as her long-time dear friend. She said she hadn’t spoken with you in a couple of months, and she sounded sad about it. Before I even knew the two of you were friends, there was one dahlia in particular that she loved and was trying to remember the name of it. I said, “oh, just call it the Mrs. Doubtfire. It’s a flower you love, and we all love Mrs. Doubtfire who lived in SF, so I think that’s what you ought to rename it.” She laughed and proceeded to tell me about your friendship and her role in the movie. I will treasure that memory forever.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the outstanding out of this world entertainment. No one can top you.

Until we meet in heaven, NANU NANU……….

Walnut Creek Resident August 11, 2014 at 10:53 PM

I am just sick about this. Robin was one of the most brilliant comedians I have ever heard also he was a very serious actor and had a lot of extensive training. I don’t understand why he was in so much pain but we’re not walking in his moccasins. I can’t imagine what his close friends and his family is going through now because I don’t even know him personally and I’m feeling just as sad as if one of my very close friends died so I just pray that his soul is at rest. I was told that sometimes in life there are things that we just don’t understand and it’s beyond our own understanding so I’m not going to try to figure this out.

Dorothy August 11, 2014 at 11:05 PM

In Hook, he made a full grown stuffy adult man become a 9 year old boy without make-up. It was amazing to watch. In Millennial Man he made a robot become human. Sorry that he hurt inside so much that he did this.

anonanonagain August 11, 2014 at 11:09 PM

I can’t believe the heartless comments here. Robin Williams obviously was hurting. No one knows how badly he was hurting and why he chose this path but he did. Have some compassion. He was a brilliantly talented man. One who had some demons. RIP…….

Marissa August 11, 2014 at 11:12 PM

I hear you, Walnut Creek Resident, the man was truly brilliant.

@sad, but #18 August 12, 2014 at 12:54 AM

@sad, but #18,,,,, …wasted a second of my life reading your post…ans now another second being pissed off….. troll!!!!
i am sorry Mr, Claycord for the profanity and if you can not post…but I am so offended and pissed…..I only say this to the truly deserving… @sad, but #18
SUCK MY ASS….wonder why so many people around you want to kill themselves….OH SNAP!

accidental overdose? August 12, 2014 at 1:06 AM

If he had fallen off the wagon again and had been clean and sober for a bit then maybe he just “went for it” for a day or two and it just happened… not that he intentionally did it to die but maybe a bad mixture of items… I hope that is the case. Depression is a really bad mind game and it is one that can not be explained but expressed. The funniest people you hear and know have certain things going on in their head but we only hear and see the “outside” of it and not know or observe the inside screaming to be helped. Drugs and alcohol do NOTHING to help either- don’t have anything nice to say about RW….DON’T
RIP Sir. August 12, 2014 at 2:26 AM

He hung himself.

The Authority August 12, 2014 at 3:52 AM


Connie Dobbs August 12, 2014 at 4:23 AM

#9 is correct.

Cal August 12, 2014 at 4:43 AM

I met Ralph James (voice of Orson) through a friend and was invited to a Mork & Mindy warp party at the studio in Los Angeles. We watched the filming of the last show of the year then went down on stage and ate and drank with the actors and staff. Robin Williams was just like you see him on TV/in the movies, he made you smile, laugh and think all at the same time. RIP Mr. Williams.

Antler August 12, 2014 at 4:44 AM

Count me as a devout Robin Williams fan who appreciated his fine work in films but who was uneasy watching his stand-up comedy routines. Such routines, which did show a manic delivery (a description of his genius-caliber, rapid-fire, incredibly intense comedic movement through intricate subject matter). As he got older, he became increasingly dependent upon profanity and sexually explicit material in the stand-up routines.

General speculation is that his basic medical diagnosis was “Bi-polar Disorder”. If that were the case, then there are medications which lessen the degree of swing between the manic phase and the depressed phase. But such medications also “flatten out” the patient’s personality to such an extent that he seems detached, almost as though sleepwalking through life. One could hardly keep up an edgy routine style and maintain a demanding performance schedule while on a heavy dose of the Rx drugs specific to the disorder. My speculation has been that Mr. Williams would go OFF the Rx meds during times when he was in production….that during the manic phases of his disorder, he would self-medicate with alcohol to calm himself down; then during depressed phases of his disorder, he would use “uppers” so as to take the stage and to deliver what was expected of him. Self-medication would have destroyed his private life. Rx treatment would have destroyed his professional life. That tragic tearing of his soul and intellect would have profound consequences. Sadly, had it been effected during a severe episode of a depressive phase of his illness, his hanging himself would have been akin to a dream sequence. Just as sadly, had it been effected during a manic phase, his hanging himself would have been more like the euphoria of feeling indestructible….in defiance of Death. Or he might calmly and quite lucidly have realized that his condition was worsening, and then have chosen to leave Earth before matters became even worse for himself and his family.

My opinion is that we have absolutely no expertise, right, or justifiable religious presumption to judge him in any way.

It’s just that we will miss you terribly, Robin Williams.

puffandstuff August 12, 2014 at 4:46 AM

@ Funny man I am very sad from reading your post. I really hope you get some help. Four years of sobriety is awesome! Try not to throw all that hard work away. Please jump back on the wagon ( we all fall off sometimes ) – sending you prayers and hope….

Chris Kapsalis August 12, 2014 at 6:18 AM

One thing I can’t help thinking about this morning, and last night, after learning of Robin’s passing, is we need to do more. Even him, who had the means.. Do more to help people in distress. Suffering. Sick. Health, including mental health, in the U.S.
Many suffer with depression and other things. Can happen to anyone. Some suffer in silence we never see. Others are stronger. Others weaker. Some suffer more from depression and other issues.. We can never assume nor judge imo.. Others. But show compassion and help them. Help us. Not suffer so much. With more ways for people to get help. Take this more seriously. Peoples mental states and what they may be going through.
It would also reduce a lot of stress related crime, and other issues. Suicide. Addiction..
I am very very sad today. And remembering the life of a man I admired so much. I cried. But even him, who some would assume had it all, did not. He did not have a way to ease his suffering. Pain. And did that. We Must do better to help people in pain. Suffering. For all our sake..

Bill August 12, 2014 at 6:39 AM

@sad, but, #18, how does one expressing their feelings make them a troll? And what was so offensive to you? The fact that they didn’t like his comedic style? The fact that 3 people were lost in their family? Or that this really isn’t Claycord news? There was nothing offensive in their post to make you go off like that. So go on Tmz and bash those people.

JET August 12, 2014 at 6:52 AM

As someone who was a personal friend of Robin, I was devastated to hear this news yesterday about his death. I met Robin 3 years ago through mutual friends in Tiburon and we remained in touch since then. Although I am not a celebrity, Robin treated me as an equal. The first time I met him and spoke to him, he asked why my hands were shaking – I told him I was nervous because I had never met a celebrity before! He told me to remember that celebrities are just like the rest of us, and that they have the same struggles we all have, he said he was just another regular guy who drives a Prius (and yes, he actually drove a Prius – he was very uninterested in all of the glitz/glamour that most celebrities are into, and he could buy whatever car he wanted).

Re #27 – he did not relapse. A couple of months ago he checked into Hazelden, which is a world renowned rehab facility. However, he checked into the ‘Lodge’ at Hazelden which is for people who already have long term sobriety and are looking to re-work their steps in the recovery process to strengthen their sobriety. Robin was sober when he died.

Thank you Robin for your friendship, I will always be grateful for it.


Silva August 12, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Wow. Some beautiful posts from som thoughtful and heartbroken people. I share your grief. I wish and hope he knew what a treasure he was to us.

So Sad August 12, 2014 at 7:13 AM

The world lost a bright light. May he RIP.

Depression and addictions kill and damage many people every year — By overdose (on purpose or accidental), suicide. The things that get depressive individuals down can be overwhelming regardless of fame and fortune. It’s very tragic.

The Mamba August 12, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Such a funny guy with a warm approachable side as well, what a loss. My favorite works of his were Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets, because he could be hilarious one minute and sensitive the next. I knew he was a tortured soul, but hoped he’d put his demons behind him. Hopefully, his passing raises awareness and someone else in the same boat gets the help they need.

Marissa August 12, 2014 at 7:47 AM

That’s a horrible way to go, are you sure Mayor?

Roz August 12, 2014 at 8:12 AM

@, #28,..
Where did you get this info? August 12, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Info came from a friend close to the investigation.

So sad August 12, 2014 at 8:14 AM

One of my favorite bits: Robin Williams doing Elmer Fudd doing the Boss

So sad that he is gone. RIP.

Blink August 12, 2014 at 8:41 AM

He brought many laughs to our home with Mork and Mindy, Mrs Doubtfire

His family should ignore the insensitivity of some commenters and know that many of us are saddened by this : (

For a man who lived his life August 12, 2014 at 9:00 AM

bringing joy and laughter to so many others, its only fitting that his passing brings so many tears.

Great men of character and integrity do more for the betterment of this world than anyone else.

There is a dark empty hole in my heart where a delightfully wonderful man once was.

tired of taxes August 12, 2014 at 9:15 AM

RIP Robin Williams. You are loved and will be sorely missed.

Darwin August 12, 2014 at 9:18 AM

RIP Mork, you will be missed 🙂

GGG August 12, 2014 at 9:40 AM

There is still so much to learn about the brain. Sadly, so many people are affected by various brain diseases and there is still so little known. Bottom line is, he had a disease. Unless you’ve experienced the unrelenting symptoms of brain disease that can cause negative thoughts, anxiety, fear and severe mood swings, its hard to comprehend so its best to not judge. Just show some compassion and educate yourself on it. Unfortunately, one day, it might affect you or a loved one and then you’ll realize. May Robin Williams be at peace. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Contra Costa Crisis Center for supportive & immediate help

RunDogRun August 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

What a terrible loss. So sad.

Jesse August 12, 2014 at 9:47 AM

KTVU is also reporting he hung himself.

Shasta Daisy August 12, 2014 at 9:57 AM

We really don’t need to know the details of his death.
Let’s remember his life and how he made us all smile and laugh.

Sorry, I am very sensitive.

Silva August 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Antler #32, I think that was very insightful’ and you probably nailed it.

OverWhelmed August 12, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Had many years of enjoyable entertainment from Mr. Williams. Loved and respected him for who he was. Mental illness is a disease. Many people suffer from it and don’t even know it. Take # 7 for instance. His callous remark toward Mr. Williams was not needed. Anyone who could say something like that right after a loss of this nature is sick in the head and needs to be treated in a mental institution!

inmotion August 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM

#1, Robin Williams had very well known financial difficulties.
There’s really no gain in bad-mouthing the dead, remember
the way they lived and how they made you feel.
I personally met Robin Williams back in the 80’s and that encounter
made me a fan for life, he was a great one of a kind talent that will be
greatly missed.

Mary August 12, 2014 at 11:12 AM

$35 million dollar Napa house among others in SF and Tiburon and he is complaining about money troubles?
What a narcissistic selfish man. Good riddens.

anon August 12, 2014 at 11:29 AM

lets get real people
he was a a professional entertainer– like a football player & he got well paid for it
was he good at what he did — hell yes
but don’t feel more for him that you would your Grandmother dying
he chose his path out of here
& yes I met him & have of photo of us together

prove me wrong

1 Who Knows August 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Again Robin Williams is one of the lucky ones. He made it out of this God forsaken world that is hell on earth for those of us that suffer from depression and bipolar.
As a person with bipolar and PTSD there is no true help available. The mental health industry does not care about anything other then their paychecks. Their job is focused on keeping patients just sick enough to keep coming back and giving them more money from their insurance policies.
Mr. Williams is at peace now with his daemons. I must admit that wedging a belt in a door frame and simply sitting down to remove the slack and going to sleep is genius. Perhaps through this, I have found my calling home. As there really is no hope here on earth.

VikingPrincess August 12, 2014 at 11:44 AM

@anon – he looked nothing like my grandmother. Not even in drag.

Guarantee, the world is a better place now because he was part of it. He made movies that moved people, changed lives, made a difference and perhaps even food for thought that initiated life changing decisions for some.

He was a healer, using the best medicine of all – laughter.

Nope. Never once got anything close to this from a football game or player..nope. Perhaps a game of telephone pole throwing will help change my mind. 😉

Dorothy August 12, 2014 at 11:52 AM

@ #57 – Hope was the only thing left in Pandora’s box when the lid was finally closed – that way there is always hope. Think of all the advances in the medical world to date. They are only just beginning to discover the brain. There is hope for future advances in that discovery. Just a matter of when.

nytemuvr August 12, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Condolences to Robin Williams’ family, hope he’s at peace now. Depression is not easily recognized in people, even by doctors.

@VikingPrincess #58
It’s caber tossing, not “telephone pole throwing”.

VikingPrincess August 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

You are quite right, thanks for noticing.
I throw corrected.

ANON August 12, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Marriages and children

Williams’s residence in Sea Cliff, San Francisco
On June 4, 1978, Robin Williams married his first wife, Valerie Velardi. Their son Zachary Pym “Zak” Williams was born on April 11, 1983. During Williams’s first marriage, he was involved in an extramarital relationship with Michelle Tish Carter, a cocktail waitress whom he met in 1984. She sued him in 1986, claiming that he did not tell her he was infected with the herpes simplex virus before he embarked on a sexual relationship with her in the mid-1980s, during which, she said, he transmitted the virus to her. The case was settled out of court. Williams and Velardi divorced in 1988.[59][60]

On April 30, 1989, he married Marsha Garces, a Filipino American and Zachary’s nanny, who was several months pregnant with his child. They had two children, Zelda Rae Williams (born July 31, 1989) and Cody Alan Williams (born November 25, 1991). In March 2008, Garces filed for divorce from Williams, citing irreconcilable differences.[60][61]

Williams married his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, on October 23, 2011, in St. Helena, California.[62] Their residence was Williams’s house in Sea Cliff, a neighborhood in San Francisco, California.[60][63][64]

Of what gives him a sense of wonder, Williams stated, “My children give me a great sense of wonder. Just to see them develop into these extraordinary human beings.”[65]

NonYabusiness August 13, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Oh please marajuana doesn’t kill People! However there way more people who have a drink and get behind the wheel those are the idiots that kill! Stop drinking if you have to drive stop havering drinks after work n them driving home idiots

Joe Friday August 13, 2014 at 9:18 AM

“Stop drinking if you have to drive stop havering drinks after work n them driving home idiots”

Dude, you are fried.

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