Hollywood pays tribute to Robin Williams after apparent suicide

2014-08-12 08:41

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Robin Williams, the versatile actor whose madcap comic style made him one of television and film’s biggest stars, has been found dead from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California. He was 63.

The comedian’s appeal stretched across generations and genres, from family fare as the voice of Disney’s blue Genie in Aladdin to his portrayal of a fatherly therapist in the 1997 drama Good Will Hunting, for which he earned his Oscar.

But many remembered the master of impressions yesterday for his tender portrayal in Mrs Doubtfire, when he played the part of a British nanny whose identity he assumed as a divorced father to be with his children.

Williams was suffering from severe depression, his publicist Mara Buxbaum said, and the actor had repeatedly talked about his past struggles with alcohol.

“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,” Williams’ wife Susan Schneider said.

The Marin County Sheriff’s coroner’s division said it suspected Williams committed suicide by asphyxia, but the cause of death is still under investigation and an autopsy will be conducted today.

President Barack Obama, in a statement making reference to the actor’s many roles said: “Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between. But he was one of a kind ... 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.”

Director Steven Spielberg said: “Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal, and I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Comedian Steve Martin said on Twitter: “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”

Actor Ben Stiller said on Twitter: “I met him when I was 13 and a huge fan and he was so kind and I watched him be kind to every fan I ever saw him with ... And with other actors he was so generous and brilliant. He made everyone feel special and equal around him even though he was the genius.”

M-Net Movies Showcase channel 108 on DStv will be screening a special tribute in memory of the legendary comedian this weekend on Saturday, August 16 and Sunday, August 17 respectively.

Saturday 16 August 2014

14:45 Robots

16:15 Hook

18:45 Happy Feet

20:45 Good Will Hunting

23:00 Deconstructing Harry

Sunday 17 August 2014

11:45 Awakenings

14:00 The Big Wedding

15:30 The Fisher King

18:00 Good Morning Vietnam

» This story was updated after first published

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