SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (August 12, 2014) Actor-comedian Robin Williams committed suicide by hanging himself in his San Francisco Bay Area home, Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd said Tuesday.
A preliminary investigation determined the cause of death was suicide because of asphyxia, officials said.
Superficial cuts were found on Williams' wrist and a pocket knife was found nearby, Boyd said.
Toxicology results on whether Williams had any drugs or alcohol in his system are weeks away.
Williams, 63, had suffered for years from periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression.
The actor had been battling severe depression recently, Williams' press representative, Mara Buxbaum, said
Just last month, Williams announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program.
He was last seen alive at home at around 10 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
A 911 call was received just before noon Monday after his personal assistant found him with a belt around his neck.
Williams shot to fame in the late '70s as the alien in TV's "Mork and Mindy" and conquered the big screen in comic films such as "Good Morning, Vietnam" and "Mrs. Doubtfire."
He won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in “Good Will Hunting.”
Those who knew and worked with the comedian were shocked by the news of the death.
"What I will always remember about Robin, perhaps even more than his comic genius, extraordinary talent and astounding intellect, was his huge heart - his tremendous kindness, generosity, and compassion as an acting partner, colleague and fellow traveler in a difficult world,” said Nathan Lane, Williams’ co-star in "The Birdcage," in a statement.
"I am completely and totally devastated. What more can be said?"said Williams’ "Mork & Mindy" co-star Pam Dawber in a statement.
"Robin and I were great friends, suffering from the same little-known disease: depression,” actor-comedian Chevy Chase said in a statement.
“I never could have expected this ending to his life and to ours with him. God bless him and God bless us all for his LIFE! I cannot believe this. I am overwhelmed with grief. What a wonderful man/boy and what a tremendous talent in the most important art of any time - comedy! I loved him."
"His kindness and generosity is what I think of. How kind he was to anyone who wanted to connect with him. And he could not help but be funny all the time. He would do something as long as it would keep you laughing. He made many, many film crews laugh out loud before the audiences ever saw it. He made such a big impact on the world." Williams’ “Night at the Museum" co-star Ben Stiller said in a statement.
"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," - President Barack Obama said in a statement.