America

Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63

  • Comedian Robin Williams makes a face as he rises out of his chair during a November 1993 interview in New York.
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    Comedian Robin Williams makes a face as he rises out of his chair during a November 1993 interview in New York.
    Wyatt Counts/AP
  • Williams on the set of ABC's Mork and Mindy in 1978. His character, Mork, first appeared on the show Happy Days before being spun off into its own show.
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    Williams on the set of ABC's Mork and Mindy in 1978. His character, Mork, first appeared on the show Happy Days before being spun off into its own show.
    AP
  • In the 1995 film Jumanji, Williams was a man who had been trapped for decades in a magical board game. The film topped $100 million at the box office.
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    In the 1995 film Jumanji, Williams was a man who had been trapped for decades in a magical board game. The film topped $100 million at the box office.
    Getty Images
  • Williams and Nathan Lane played gay parents in the 1996 film The Birdcage, a remake of the French film La Cage aux Folles.
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    Williams and Nathan Lane played gay parents in the 1996 film The Birdcage, a remake of the French film La Cage aux Folles.
    Getty Images
  • Actor-writers Matt Damon (left) and Ben Affleck pose with Williams holding the Oscars they won for Good Will Hunting at the 70th Annual Academy Awards in 1998.
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    Actor-writers Matt Damon (left) and Ben Affleck pose with Williams holding the Oscars they won for Good Will Hunting at the 70th Annual Academy Awards in 1998.
    Hal Garb/AFP/Getty Images
  • Williams and co-star Monica Potter in the 1999 movie Patch Adams. Although the film was commercially successful, it was one of a number of critics' flops Williams headlined in the late '90s and early 2000s.
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    Williams and co-star Monica Potter in the 1999 movie Patch Adams. Although the film was commercially successful, it was one of a number of critics' flops Williams headlined in the late '90s and early 2000s.
    Getty Images
  • Williams donates blood on Sept. 11, 2001, at the Irwin Memorial Blood Center in San Francisco.
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    Williams donates blood on Sept. 11, 2001, at the Irwin Memorial Blood Center in San Francisco.
    Justin Sullivan/AP
  • Comedians Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal in November 2006 after hosting "Comic Relief" at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The annual event raises money to provide health care services to the homeless.
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    Comedians Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal in November 2006 after hosting "Comic Relief" at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The annual event raises money to provide health care services to the homeless.
    Keith Shimada/AP
  • Williams (left), Brad Fleischer and Glenn Davis perform in Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo in 2011. Director Moises Kaufman said the play is "part ghost story, part war play, part satire, part theater of the absurd."
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    Williams (left), Brad Fleischer and Glenn Davis perform in Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo in 2011. Director Moises Kaufman said the play is "part ghost story, part war play, part satire, part theater of the absurd."
    Carol Rosegg/Sam Rudy Media Relations
  • Williams performs onstage in November 2012 during the 6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
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    Williams performs onstage in November 2012 during the 6th Annual Stand Up For Heroes at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
    Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams was found dead in his California home Monday. He was 63.

His death is under investigation, according to a press release from the Marin County Sheriff's Office. Emergency personnel arrived at Williams' home in Tiburon, Calif., at noon Monday.

The sheriff's office suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, the release said, "but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made."

Williams' publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said Williams had been "battling severe depression of late," according to the Los Angeles Times. "This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."

Williams discussed his battle with addiction and how he started drinking again after more than two decades of sobriety, in this 2010 interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Kerry O'Brien:

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates has more on Williams' career for our Newscast Desk:

"Williams began his career as a standup comedian and voice-over actor. He shot to fame in 1978 as a twinkly-eyed alien opposite Pam Dawber in the hit TV comedy Mork & Mindy. Williams would go on to receive an Oscar for his work in Good Will Hunting. And he would establish the annual fundraiser Comic Relief with fellow comedians Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg."

Williams had a couple films in the works at the time of his death, Entertainment Weekly reports. The third installment of Night at the Museum is due out in December and he had signed on to do a sequel of Mrs. Doubtfire.

President Obama gave his condolences Monday:

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."

For a peek back in time, take a look at this New York Times review of Williams' standup in 1979, which starts with, "It's extraordinary that anyone as funny as Robin Williams can also create the impression of being so nice."

We also dug into NPR's archives, and pulled up these interviews and reviews of Williams' work:

On Fresh Air in 2006, after the release of the film The Night Listener.

Bob Mondello's 2006 review of the movie Man of the Year.

Jeff Lunden's 2011 story about the Broadway play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

Tomas Hachard's review of The Angriest Man in Brooklyn this past May.

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