Actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead today, according to reports from the Marin County Coroner in northern California. The TV and film veteran, who became part of animation history with his enigmatic voice performance as the blue Genie in Disney’s Aladdin (1992), was 63 years old.
Williams’ publicist did not confirm reported police suspicions that his death was a suicide by asphyxiation, but did issue a short statement, which read: “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
Williams’ long career in TV and film began in the late ’70s with appearances on various comedy shows before getting a starring role as an awkward alien in Mork & Mindy, then starring in the live-action Popeye in 1980.
He had reprised his role as Teddy Roosevelt for the upcoming Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb and had recently signed on for a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel to be directed by Chris Columbus, which would have been an experience he would have relived joyfully.
May his soul rest in peace!