Apparent cause of death for 63-year-old Oscar winner given as suicide by hanging
WASHINGTON - Robin Williams, the 63-year-old Academy Award winner, committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt, local law enforcement said Tuesday.
Keith Boyd, a lieutenant with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, said that Williams was found in the bedroom of his northern California home by his personal assistant on Monday "slightly suspended" from a door with a belt wrapped around his neck.
There were also superficial cuts to his wrists. A pocketknife was found nearby with a dry red material on the blade "which appeared consistent to dried blood."
Williams was last seen at around 10:30 p.m. Sunday by his wife, Susan Schneider.
The actor suffered from a history of substance abuse, and just last month checked in to a treatment program after 18 consecutive months of work. He previously sought treatment in 2006 when he returned to drinking after 20 years of sobriety.
Mara Buxbaum, Williams' press representative, said the star had recently been battling with severe depression.
"This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time," she said.
Williams won an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting in 1998. He was nominated three other times for best actor.
Following news of the actor's passing, U.S. President Barack Obama said Williams was "one of a kind."
"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," Obama said in a press statement.
"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."
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