Entertainment
Robin Williams was found hanged by belt: police
Publish Date: Aug 12, 2014
Robin Williams was found hanged by belt: police
Flowers sit in front of the home of actor and comedian Robin Williams on August 12, 2014 in Tiburon, California.
  • mail
  • img
newvision

LOS ANGELES - First responders called to actor Robin Williams' home found the Oscar-winning actor dead of an apparent suicide, with a belt around his neck and superficial wounds to his wrist, police said Tuesday.

Lieutenant Keith Boyd with the Marin County Sheriff's Office said Williams was found "in a seated position unresponsive with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the clothes closet door and the door frame."
 

"Mr. Williams, at that time, was cool to the touch with rigor mortis present in his body," he told reporters, adding that the inside of his left wrist bore signs of having been cut.

Boyd, who is Marin County's assistant coroner, refused to say whether a suicide note had been found, as an investigation continues.

He said Williams had last been seen alive Sunday by his wife Susan Schneider before she retired for the night.

She left the house on Monday assuming he was still asleep in a separate room, he said.

He was found dead by his personal assistant, who entered the room "when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door," Boyd said.

An outpouring of grief and homage greeted word that the Oscar-winning actor and comedian had apparently taken his own life after a battle with depression.


The 63-year-old known for high-energy, rapid-fire improvisation and clowning was one of the most beloved entertainers of his time. One publication once called him the funniest man alive.


The star of films such as "Good Will Hunting," "Good Morning Vietnam" and "Mrs Doubtfire" was found dead at his home in Tiburon, in California just north of San Francisco, shortly before midday on Monday, police said.


President Barack Obama led tributes to an entertainer he described as "one of a kind", while Hollywood titan Steven Spielberg, a close friend, hailed Williams as a "lightning storm of comic genius."


A statement from Marin County Sheriff's Department said Williams' death appeared to be "suicide due to asphyxia."
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, followed by further toxicology testing, the statement said.


Described in 1997 by showbiz publication Entertainment Weekly as "the funniest man alive", Williams had in fact been suffering from depression prior to his death, his publicist said.


The comedian himself had spoken openly in the past about his battles with alcoholism and drug abuse.
"Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late," Mara Buxbaum said in a statement on Monday.


Wife Susan Schneider urged the father-of-three's millions of fans to remember his talent at making people laugh.


"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings," said Schneider, who became the actor's third wife when the couple married in 2011.


"I love you. I miss you. I'll try to keep looking up," Williams's daughter Zelda said in a message that appeared alongside a quote from French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery.


A file picture taken on January 22, 1994 in Beverly Hills, shows US actor Robin Williams posing with his best actor in a musical or comedy award during the Golden Globe ceremony.  AFP PHOTO / DAVID CRANE

Anarchic extra-terrestrial


Apparently alluding to his own troubles with drugs, Williams once said, "cocaine is God's way of telling you you are making too much money."


After beginning his career as a stand-up comic, Williams rose to fame in the iconic US television sitcom "Mork & Mindy", channelling his anarchic, high-energy style to his role as an extra-terrestrial struggling to fit in on Earth.


He later reeled off a string of big-screen hits throughout the 1980s and 1990s in roles which often showcased his phenomenal fast-talking, improvisational skills.


Those abilities were showcased in 1987's "Good Morning, Vietnam", where his performance as motormouth military disc jockey Adrian Cronauer earned him the first of four career Oscar nominations.


But while that role could have been tailored for Williams' comic skills, he also earned critical plaudits in weightier dramas.
He added more Oscar nominations for his performance as the inspirational English literature teacher John Keating in 1989's "Dead Poets Society" and for playing a mentally ill homeless man mourning the loss of his wife in 1991's "The Fisher King."


He finally landed a coveted Oscar for 1997's "Good Will Hunting," which earned him a best supporting actor statuette, and helped launch the Hollywood careers of co-stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.


News of Williams' death quickly supplanted the conflict in Iraq as the top item on evening news bulletins as Americans reacted with shock.


A fan holds a photo of himself with the actor at Robin Williams' star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, August 11, 2014, in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

One of a kind': Obama


Obama, on holiday in Martha's Vineyard, spoke of Williams' array of beloved performances as he led the tributes to the entertainer.


"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, " Obama said in a statement.


"He arrived in our lives as an alien -- but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit," he added, referring to Williams' breakthrough television role as the extraterrestrial visitor Mork.


"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."


Spielberg paid tribute to "a comic genius."


"Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him," said the director.
"He was a pal and I can't believe he's gone," added Spielberg, who famously regularly phoned Williams to cheer himself up during filming of his harrowing 1994 Holocaust drama "Schindler's List."


Spielberg's tribute was echoed throughout an entertainment industry left reeling by news of the comedian's death.
"I can't believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I'm heartbroken," comic and talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres said on Twitter.


Fellow comedian Steve Martin added: "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."

AFP
 

 Related Stories

'Harry Potter' actor found dead in Death Valley

Suit filed in death of 'Fast and Furious' actor Paul Walker
 

 


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Jazz Safari artistes in town
All artistes set to perform at this year's Nile Gold Jazz Safari this Friday at Kampala Serena Hotel are already in the country and have promised a massive performance....
First-ever Inter-University Freshers’ Ball for Thursday
The Inter-University Freshers’ Ball, which will take place Thursday October 2 at the recently launched Club Ambiance in Kampala, will be the first of its kind....
Huge crowds at Eddie Kenzo’s Sitya Loss launch
Fans of a local musician Eddie Kenzo turned up in big numbers from different corners of south western region for the launch of his widely enjoyed new song Sitya loss on Saturday....
A Sunidhi icing on India Day
No one warned that this Sunidhi Chauhan lass of a singer would turn out such a big deal. Nothing about her meek persona indicated she would bring down the roof at Kampala’s India Day celebrations....
Irene ntale has no time for love...
Irene Nassuna Ntale of the hit Gyobera, is one of the most popular musicians in the country and was recently featured on BBC’s Focus on Africa....
Mafikizolo left people yearning for more
When Mafikizolo refused to perform at the Club Mega Fest on Saturday, their fans seemed to have been robbed of a lifetime opportunity to see them perform....
Will police's move to increase the number of investigators help deal with fraud?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter