Comedic legend and Hollywood film star Robin Williams died on Thursday at the age of 63 in what authorities say was a likely suicide.
A spokeswoman at the Marin County Coroners Office in San Rafael, California, told Al Jazeera that police believe Williams' death to have been "a suicide due to asphyxia." However, further investigation, including a forensic examination and toxicology test, are pending.
"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists 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.
The star of numerous big-budget films including "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Hook," Williams won an Academy Award for his portrayal of therapist Dr. Sean Maguire in the 1997 hit "Good Will Hunting." In 2003, he won a Grammy for best spoken comedy album, “Robin Williams – Live 2002.”
The acclaimed actor rose to fame for his portrayal of alien Mork on the popular 70s sitcom "Happy Days." A spin-off of that character became the subject of "Mork & Mindy," which started shooting in 1978 and catapulted Williams into stardom.
After his work on “Mork and Mindy,” Williams often returned to television, for appearances on "Saturday Night Live," "Friends," comedy specials, and "American Idol," where in 2008 he pretended to be a "Russian idol" who belts out a tuneless, indecipherable "My Way."
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press