“Genie, you’re free…”
Mrs. Doubtfire. Aladdin. Jumanji. Hook. Good Will Hunting. Dead Poets Society. The list just goes on and on. The brilliant man that was behind all these movies and so many more, is now gone.
Actor-comedian Robin Williams was found dead on Monday in his California home from an apparent suicide. He was 63 years old.
Police arrived at his California home after receiving a 911 call just before noon on Monday. According to police reports, Williams was found “unconscious and not breathing inside his residence.” Preliminary investigations show the cause of death seems to be from an apparent suicide due to asphyxia. The official cause of death is still under investigation and reports say an autopsy will be performed on Tuesday.
Williams’ wife Susan Schneider issued a statement shortly after news of his death went public saying, “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.” In a separate statement, Williams’ publicist Mara Buxbaum said, “He has been battling severe depression of late.”
Williams does have a past of substance abuse. After 20 years of sobriety, Williams reentered rehab after relapsing in 2006 but has been sober ever since. However just last month he returned to rehab. His rep told TMZ, “After working back-to-back projects, Robin is simply taking the opportunity to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud.”
As soon as news broke of Williams’ death, a wave of sadness rippled across the internet. Celebrities responded quickly, sharing their deepest condolences to his family.
Just shared a moment of silence on the set for Robin Williams, a man who brought so much laughter, joy and healing to so many.
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 12, 2014
Robin was as sweet a man as he was funny. If you’re sad, please tell someone. — Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) August 11, 2014
O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells. Rise up, for you the flag is flung, for you the bugle trills. — Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) August 11, 2014
Robin Williams made the world a little bit better. RIP. — Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) August 11, 2014
— Rita Wilson (@RitaWilson) August 12, 2014
We mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, who always made us laugh and smile. pic.twitter.com/UOY8LTjVRA
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) August 11, 2014
thank you for my childhood memories, you’ve helped me at my darkest times. Rest in Peace Robin Williams…
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) August 11, 2014
U.S President Barak Obama also released a heartfelt statement saying, “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.”
Williams made it his career to make us laugh, yet the legendary comedian was secretly fighting a battle not many of us knew about. Depression and addiction claims lives, something Williams’ tragic death reminded us this week. Which is why it’s so important to seek help if you or someone you know needs it and support those who are currently struggling with it.
Williams’ death has now sparked a lot of online discussion about mental health. This viral post from Tumblr is one of many examples of how people are speaking about Williams and issues surrounding depression.
“robin williams died today, but the genie didn’t, and mrs. doubtfire didn’t, and peter pan didn’t. sean maquire didn’t, and professor philip brainard didn’t, and alan parrish didn’t. batty koda didn’t. john keating didn’t. you didn’t.
We’d like to take this moment to remember a brilliant actor and comedic genius. Cheers to Robin Williams, an actor who lived for making us laugh and a man who played a special part in our childhood. He practically raised us and for that we thank you.
Rest in peace.