August 12th, 2014 (VOA) Tributes have been pouring in for actor-comedian Robin Williams, who was found dead at his home near San Francisco, California, the victim of an apparent suicide. He was 63.
President Barack Obama praised Williams as a “one of a kind” performer who “touched every element of the human spirit.”
Actor Steve Martin, who co-starred with him in Waiting for Godot, wrote on Twitter that he “could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”
Local authorities say they believe Williams died from asphyxia, but the exact cause of death is still under investigation.
The entertainer’s publicist issued a statement late Monday saying Williams had recently been battling depression. Williams developed a drug and alcohol problem early in his career, and had admitted himself into a rehabilitation facility just a few weeks ago to help him maintain his sobriety.
Williams was a stand-up comedian when he made his television debut in the late 1970s playing an alien on the situation comedy Mork and Mindy. He moved into motion pictures and won acclaim for numerous roles, includingMrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1998.
Williams also acted on Broadway and continued performing standup comedy, delighting audiences with his rapid-fire, improvisational routines.
Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg, who directed Williams in the 1991 film Hook, described the comedian as “a lightning storm of comic genius.”
The late actor’s wife, Susan Schneider, said: “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.”