Comedy legend and Oscar winner Robin Williams passed away this morning at 63. Multiple outlets, including Entertainment Weekly and Variety report that Williams’ publicist confirmed the actor’s passing in a statement:
“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.”
“I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief,” Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider said in a statement. “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.”
Although he was likely best known for his comedic roles in film and television — including his rise to fame as Mork in Mork & Mindy and his early comedic films like Good Morning, Vietnam, Popeye, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and more — Williams was also an accomplished stand-up comedian and branched out into dramatic roles in a number of films, including Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King and Good Will Hunting, for which he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Sean Maguire. Williams had a very long an successful career in Hollywood — both in live-action and animation, voicing the iconic role of the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin, Ramon in Happy Feet and more. In addition to an Academy Award, Williams also won many Golden Globe awards, including the Cecil B. Demille Award in 2005, and the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording on five different occasions.
Although Williams’ career boasts over 100 film and television credits since his first major film in 1977, it’s only a fraction of his impact on the world. He was the co-founder of the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to help raise money for a number of different charities. The actor participated in Comic Relief, and donated all proceeds of his “Weapons of Self Destruction” Christchurch performance to help rebuild the city in response to the 2010 Canterbury Earthquake. He also performed with the USO for American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More recently, Williams starred in The Crazy Ones, the CBS comedy that co-starred Sarah Michelle Gellar. He had signed on to play Teddy Roosevelt for “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” and reprise his role as Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel to “Mrs. Doubtfire” before his death.
Williams is survived by his wife and his three children.