Robin Williams' Wife Susan Schneider, Family 'Utterly Heartbroken' Over Actor Comedian's Tragic Death

( [email protected] ) Aug 11, 2014 07:53 PM EDT
Robin Williams and wife Susan Schneider
Robin Williams and third wife Susan Schneider at the Emmys (AP)

Actor Robin William's wife Susan Schneider released a statement expressing her heart-break after finding out her husband's passing today.

"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one if its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," she wrote in a statement to New York Times. "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 that the focus will not be on Robin's death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."

According to Williams' publicist, the Oscar-winning actor, 63, had been battling severe depression. While the publicist would not confirm suicide as the cause of his death, the Marin County police suspect the death to the "suicide due to asphyxia," according to a press release issued by the county's coronor's office. The 911 phone call was made just before noon today.

His film career included such acclaimed films as Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Popeye (1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006). He also appeared in the video to "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin. 

Williams, who struggled with alcohol and cocaine addiction, was sober for decades but relapsed in 2006 and returned to rehab. Last month, Williams returned to rehab "to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud," according to a statements his representative made at the time. 

Fox has issued the following statement: "There are really no words to describe the loss of Robin Williams. He was immensely talented, a cherished member of our community, and part of the Fox family. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and fans. He will be deeply missed." 

Williams is survived by his third wife Schneider and two children Zelda Rae and Cody Alan, whom he had with his second wife Marsha Garces. 

A Facebook community page "RIP Robin Williams" have been created for the public to leave messages of condolences and remembrance of the beloved actor.