UPDATE: Comedian Robin Williams Died After Hanging Himself with Belt

August 12, 2014 · 46 comments

Actor Robin Williams died after hanging himself with a belt at his home in unincorporated Tiburon on Monday, a Marin County sheriff’s spokesman said today.

Sheriff’s Lt. Keith Boyd this morning detailed the discovery around noontime Monday of the beloved 63-year-old actor and comedian’s body by an assistant.

Boyd said Williams also had superficial wounds to his wrist and a pocketknife with what appeared to be dried blood was found nearby.

He said Williams had been seeking treatment recently for depression and that an official cause of death will be pending toxicology tests in several weeks.

Williams had a long television and movie career, including the 1970s TV show “Mork and Mindy,” his Academy Award-winning role in the movie “Good Will Hunting” and his voice work as the Genie in the Disney cartoon classic “Aladdin.”

Among his starring roles were several movies set in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including the comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Williams had deep Bay Area ties, having moved as a teen to Marin County, where he attended Redwood High School in Larkspur and later the College of Marin for theater.

He was active in San Francisco’s comedy scene and owned a home in the city’s Sea Cliff neighborhood.

Numerous local and national politicians issued statements mourning the death of Williams.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Williams’ “legacy has had a deep and inspiring impact on our city and on our residents.”

“Despite his success, he has never forgotten San Francisco. He was a philanthropist who gave generously, and he was a friend of the city,” Lee said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer said, “Our entire country mourns the loss of this remarkable genius who made us smile, laugh uncontrollably or cry.”

Williams’ wife Susan Schneider issued a statement Monday saying she is “heartbroken” over his death. “I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings,” 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.

1 Idiocracy August 12, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Such a great actor ! Sad his personal life was difficult for him to handle . RIP Mr. Williams. Wish he would of found help

2 Justin August 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

The man wrestled with some mighty demons. You’re free now Robin.

3 Huge Fan August 12, 2014 at 12:18 PM

I don’t think we should be hearing how he died. With all the suicides going on, it’s not a good idea to divulge this. I also think it’s a shame how many millions of people loved him and yet he still felt alone and sad. If he took a new medication for depression recently, that is probably to blame for his momentary insanity. Everyone has some depression these days,but should stay away from antidepressants at all costs.

4 Concord native August 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM

I remember watching Mork & Mindy in the late 70’s….I think around 1978 , Robin Williams came to Concord to support the March of Dimes Walk a Thon….he came in by helicopter & landed at Cowell Park…..I’ll always remember that….there were so many people I couldn’t even get close to him….RIP. Mr Williams

5 anon August 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

“I don’t think we should be hearing how he died”

******* wrong

Ask any cop who books people into MDF – they have ask the inmate if they are thinking about suicide… this does not put the idea in their head– many already have it & can not cope with the real world & they choose to exit it– nice to do it in your own home & have your personal assistant find you — real classy– do it in a Motel 6 for $39.99 @ night

“that is probably to blame for his momentary insanity. ”

************* wrong

“Everyone has some depression these days,but should stay away from antidepressants at all costs.”

********** most can’t live without them

6 LostBoysMom August 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

@Huge Fan- Do you have a medical degree? Do you have any training in the filed of psychology or psychiatry? Probably not. So don’t make statements about antidepressants that are unfounded. They have help many people live better lives. Unless you have some facts, don’t say anything about other peoples illnesses and treatments.

7 Genius Comedian August 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Let’s all remember Robin for who he was, a great man and genius comedian and actor. Love you Robin for who you chose to be and bringing light-heartedness and happiness into our home.

8 Shasta Daisy August 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I am sickened by the fact that news media feel it is necessary to share all the details of his death. I just don’t get it. Saying that was suicide should be sufficient.

9 DoReMi August 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I did not watch Mork and Mindy but was a fan through his other venues. I loved his personifications.

I once had a Robin Williams sighting in Oakland. I have no proof and the circumstance was weird. I was standing on a corner at Snow Park heading towards the lake for a run. I had very short hair and was wearing my special T-shirt with hieroglyphic skiers on it. In other words, a bit of a sight to behold. I felt some one watching and after a while turned to look.

Paused to turn right, was a Valient with what looked to be Robin Williams in the drivers seat, smirking. I was weirded out by being stared at and the smirk on this familiar face was startling. I turned away and then realized it might be who I thought it was. At this point the smiler completed his turn and away he went.

Why would a famous person drive a Valient? And why was this person cruising by Snow Park mid day? I still think I hallucinated this.

10 fan August 12, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Dies of unnatural causes would suffice for the public.
Does anyone see the state of the world today with everyone on some kind of drug….whether it be antidepressant or cocaine. We have all gone nuts and need a med.
Most of the insanity is coming from Hollywood.
What ever happened to happy 60’s 70’s even 80’s music?. instead of sickening ugly rap and stupid anxiety music we listen to today?
Social media has reeked havoc on our mental state, noone has friends anymore and if they do they can delete in the blink of an eye.
Dating is all internet and Match.com and texting. Gone are the days of romance, phone calls and letters.
We are doomed….Thanks for bringing this to light Robin ol’ boy.

11 Tom August 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM

His death as well as the details are very sad. I remember reading years ago he suffered from bi-polar disorder, as well as alcohol and cocaine addiction.

For those of you that don’t understand why the media goes into full disclosure……that’s what the media does. They’re in the full disclosure business. If it bothers you (it bothers me at times), watching the news and reading the newspaper is optional.

The media reports……the rest is up to you.

12 gimli August 12, 2014 at 1:41 PM

I for one enjoyed the Robin Williams “hallucination” story.

He’s kinda the dad that everyone wanted. Or just me.

13 Schmee August 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I’m extremely saddened over this.

14 SKS August 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Belts are inherently dangerous and should banned.

15 PC August 12, 2014 at 3:04 PM

It amazes me that one person could give so much to this world. A genuine genius who absolutely loved people. So many great memories!

16 Rebel August 12, 2014 at 3:06 PM

I am wondering if it was auto erotica like his movie “World’s Greatest Dad”.

17 Krogs August 12, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Why does the media think we need to hear the details on Robin Williams’ suicide? Actually, why did the police/sheriff feel the need to tell us the details of the suicide. It really is none of our business. Total sensationalism. Now that’s sad.

18 Owl Lady August 12, 2014 at 3:20 PM

I think the detail of his death should remain private. Death by suicide is plenty of information, IMHO. I worry that people who are currently considering suicide may copy what Robin Williams did.

19 dilligafman August 12, 2014 at 3:27 PM

NANU-NANU……………………

20 warbirds45 August 12, 2014 at 3:47 PM

They say suicide is a cry for help. He helped so many, and entertained the world!

I thought about who would play him in his life story.

Some comic’s have a routine, I doubt he ever did many scenes twice. Jonathan Winters, and Richard Pryor are the only two others that could be on the same stage as Robin!

The Jack Daniels skit was a favorite!

21 1 Who Knows August 12, 2014 at 3:49 PM

#17 Owl Lady
You are right. As in my earlier post on the original thread. I believe wedging the belt in the door and wrapping around the neck is a genious idea. I am considering it for my escape from the demons. The only thing stopping me is my 6 failed attempts so far and the over all cost of another suicide failure. There is no hope in overcoming the demons. No one reLly gives. Rats ass about those of us that suffer from bipolar, PTSD and just deep depression. Robin saw the truth in my words and found a perfect way out for him that did not create a mess. I feel my 7th attempt coming on soon. No worries you won’t see me on the news or hear anything about it. I am a no body and know one will even notice when I finally succeed. People only notice my failures. Which has been my whole life. I suck at life and life sucks back. I admire Robin for successfuly finding heavens door. God knows I am knocking.

22 6060842 August 12, 2014 at 4:28 PM

@21
Suicide is a coward’s way of checking out.

If you’re gonna do it , go out in a spectacular fashion..

‘Might wanna make it look like an accident so your beneficiaries can collect on life insurance policies.

..just looking out for you man. Good luck.

23 Mr. B August 12, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Mayor, please reach out to 1 Who Knows if possible their post is screaming for help.

24 gimli August 12, 2014 at 4:37 PM

#21 I hope you are kidding/trolling. Give yourself the dignity of having life. Do not squander it. I’ve lived with my loved one for almost 20 years who has mental illness. God does not give up on people. Do not give up on yourself.

Call 911 or go here if you’re feeling suicidal.
2740 Grant St., Concord, CA 94520
Phone (925) 674-4100 or (800) 680-6555

25 lizzie August 12, 2014 at 4:48 PM

21- GET HELP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

26 Shasta Daisy August 12, 2014 at 5:23 PM

@ 1 Who Knows

PLEASE call the national suicide prevention hotline 1 – 800 – 273 – 8255.

Are you alone? Please ask for help.

27 Shasta Daisy August 12, 2014 at 5:48 PM

@1 Who Knows…You can chat online from this website.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

28 Reality Slap August 12, 2014 at 5:48 PM

And we needed to hear all the graphic details? Please, we have turned into a society that craves the extreme and everything to the nth degree, how pathetic. A simple statement saying Mr. Williams had been suffering from depression and was found to have died from suicide would have been enough to allow the family the privacy they have requested.

29 @21 August 12, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Stay here with us… please?

Tomorrow always brings a new day of hope.
~Hugs for you from me~

30 Silva August 12, 2014 at 6:49 PM

I was there for many years. When I heard there was effective medicine it still took years till I looked for help. I didn’t want to talk about it anymore with “professionals”, I just wanted to feel better. That’s what I told the Kaiser shrink. He wrote a perscription and I felt better in about 6 weeks, Over the years we’ve had to tweek the meds a couple of times to keep it right. I’m normal now, I feel good. I’m happy to wake up. You don’t have to feel bad. I’m sorry RW gave us so much joy and still had to maintain a lifestyle that was perhaps too complicated. That was a heavy price for him to pay.

31 @21 August 12, 2014 at 7:00 PM

@ 1 Who Knows…Are you there?

32 Marissa August 12, 2014 at 7:28 PM

@21 There’s a lot to look forward to everyday and a reason to fight for every breath. Please let us know if we can help you in any way.

33 ChampagneKitty August 12, 2014 at 7:31 PM

I have heard that a lot of comedians suffer from serious depression.

34 anonanonagain August 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

@ 21, I am so sorry for your pain. There ARE those out here in the great beyond that do understand what you are going through. I also understand the feelings you have towards yourself too. I’ve seen that pain. Believe me there is a life out there worth living if you want it. Change doesn’t come easy or quickly but it DOES come. Seek someone that you trust, that cares and that can help. Hold a hand, grab a deep loving hug and know that people do care about you……

35 Teacher August 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Number 4. I remember that as well. It was a great day. I also saw him at FAO Schwartz in SF when he was filming toys.

36 Lizzie August 13, 2014 at 12:52 AM

I too am bipolar. I go from days of feeling spectacular to days where I can’t get out of bed to wash a dish. Days where I cry and feel worthless and small..and yes I have tried different meds and am still trying. The only difference between Robin Williams and the others who suffer from mental illness is that he was famous and every little thing he did was scrutinized. My God, when it was announced last month that he was going into rehab you could hear the whispers already!! Depression is a dark dark place where you see no light at the end of the tunnel. I hope he finds the peace that so eluded him in life. And for #21..please hang on. My mother was paranoid schizophrenic and I took care of her until she passed a year and a half ago. When she left my reason for getting up every day was gone. But yet here I am. I guess I have hope that things will get better. Please stay..there are those of us who do care.

37 Concernicus August 13, 2014 at 7:48 AM

it’s like someone set off a drama bomb in the comments section.
and…yep.
there’s even the token lone gun nut who wants to turn everything into an argument about gun control. do us all a favor, billybob #14: get over it.

RIP williams.

38 Silva August 13, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Lizzie, thanks for weighing in here, and do keep working on getting the best possible therapy. I only know what it’s like to be unipolar but hopefully you too can feel much better. You are blessed to have been able to care for your mom, and always count that as a loving selfless gift to her. You did a great thing! It’s never easy to lose your mom. Soon there will be another reason to get up. Keep looking!

39 Lizzie August 13, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Thank you for your kind words Silva…hopefully Robin Williams’s death will open the door to discussions on mental illness and it will not remain a stigma.

40 Pegasus August 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Elvis, Michael, Janice and many others, and now Robin. All died while “friends” stood by. Nobody helped, nobody said “HEY YOUR KILLING YOURSELF”.

Don’t fail to reach out to some one in need. Pay it forward.

41 @ gimli #12 August 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Yes, Robin was so cool. I would have loved to have a few days just to kick around with him. His mind was kaleidoscopic. I understand how such a creative soul can feel so low. It is very sad that he opted out.

42 VikingPrincess August 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM

@pegasus – your post is very thoughtful and with good intent. It is true that if someone you care about appears to need help, it is important to be there. But there are a few points with mental health to take note, especially for those who feel as powerless over the disease as those diagnosed.

Point one: You cannot climb inside a person or force them against their Will. It is their decision in the end. So do not blame yourself or ponder what its if someone you care for chooses to exit on their own terms.

Point two: Those who are at risk for suicide (by diagnosis and a significant life stressor or recent attempt), need to be supported more when doing well after an attempt, as this is the period of highest risk. It has been found that when a person has made the decision to end things there is a feeling of relief and the person may appear happier. Why? Because they now have a plan with goals and they are in control of the outcome no matter how morbid it might be. Another sign during this time might include giving away valuable possessions etc. Typically when folks end it, they just do it -,unadvertised.

Advertising is a symptom to take seriously too. A cry for help or attention. But important.

If you have someone you care about with a mental illness, educate yourself. Connect with others in similar situations etc. Do not simply rely on internet info and blogs for this. Consider them just one of many tools to help you understand and help.
Do not judge, jump to conclusions or blame yourself for choices another person made.

43 Antler August 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Viking Princess at #42 …… Excellent!

44 ChampagneKitty August 13, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Thank you, Viking Princess! Very well said.

Over on the Whatever thread, I had made a comment mentioning a colleague who had committed suicide in 2006. She had been on disability and I thought maybe she was getting ready to return because the day before, I saw her briefly in the office. She came for a meeting with her boss. She came in, had the meeting in her boss’s office, then after the meeting she left. I happened to be passing by as she was getting into the elevator and she was smiling. The next day, she jumped. That little observation of seeing her smiling has stuck in my head. I wonder if she had made the decision right then of what she was going to do.

45 Silva August 13, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Viking Princess, Amen. ChampagneKitty, I’m sad that happened I know that people considering suicide do think about how their decision will affect others, and the thought of it will be enough for most to reconsider. But you bring up a good point. There are so many many people affected by a suicide. Even those who aren’t famous.

46 Pegasus August 13, 2014 at 3:05 PM

VikingPrincess –
Your points are well taken and yes of course we can’t always tell when someone is considering suicide. I hope it doesn’t happen around me again.
I was ignorant of some clear indications that a brother-in-law would soon take his life, 24 years ago.
Now that it’s too late, I’m aware of those clues and wish I had intervened. Even if I were wrong, it’s better than being dead wrong.

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