Oscar-winner Robin Williams, whose free-form comedy and adept impressions dazzled audiences for decades, has died in an apparent suicide. He was 63.
The Marin County Sheriff's Office says Williams was pronounced dead at his home in California on Monday.
The sheriff's office says a preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.
Williams shot to fame in the late '70s as the alien in TV's ``Mork and Mindy.'' He conquered the big screen in comic films such as ``Good Morning, Vietnam'' and ``Mrs. Doubtfire.''
But he won his Academy Award in a serious role _ as the therapist in ``Good Will Hunting.''
His performing style was at its purest in his standup act, as he impersonated a Russian immigrant or parodied anyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards.
``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' daughter, Zelda Williams tweeted a message about her father Monday evening:
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 program he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.
Williams joked about that fall off the wagon during a comedy tour, saying, ``I went to rehab in wine country to keep my options open.'
U.S. President Barack Obama also made a statement regarding Williams' death.
``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. He arrived in our lives as an alien - but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. 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,'' President Barack Obama said in a statement.