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August 12, 2014
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Actor, comedian Robin Williams commits suicide

Robin Williams - File

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -

Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died yesterday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

Williams was pronounced dead at his San Francisco Bay Area home, according to the sheriff's office in Marin County, north of San Francisco. The sheriff's office said the preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.

The Marin County coroner's office said Williams was last seen alive at home at about 10 p.m. on Sunday. An emergency call from his house in Tiburon was placed to the Sheriff's Department shortly before noon Monday.

"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artistse and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," said Williams' wife, Susan Schneider. "On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."

Williams had been battling severe depression recently, said Mara Buxbaum, his press representative. Just last month, he announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment programme he said he needed after 18 months of non-stop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.

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