The Chicago native was found dead at 12:02 p.m.. Pacific Time Monday, at his home near Tiburon, Ca. The Marin County Coroner’s office investigated, and Williams death was ruled a suicide.
Williams had been suffering from severe depression, and recently entered a rehab facility to maintain his focus. His representatives noted he was not using drugs or alcohol, which he had used in the past.
One of the hottest comedians in the late 1970’s, Williams landed a guest role as Mork on Happy Days, which led to his own series (Mork & Mindy) which finished third in the ratings overall in the 1978-79 season for ABC and became an overnight sensation.
However, the series switched to Sunday night from Thursdays in its second season and surprisingly stumbled in the ratings. ABC moved the series back to Thursdays in January 1980, but the damage was done. By 1982, the series was at the bottom of the ratings and was canceled by ABC.
That same year, Williams found success in the hit theatrical The World According to Garp, and went on to a very successful movie career. His movie credits include Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, Mrs. Doubtfire, Patch Adams, and Good Will Hunting, which he won an Oscar for in 1997 for his role as a therapist. Throughout his career, Williams won two Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes.
Williams also voiced the wacky genie in Walt Disney’s Aladdin and one of its sequels, Aladdin and the King of Thieves (he did not voice the genie in another Aladdin sequel, The Return Of Jafar due to a dispute with the studio.)
Williams also participated in and was a key person in Comic Relief USA, which raised money for food, health care, and housing for the homeless.
This past season, Williams attempted a television comeback, co-starring with Sarah Michelle Gellar in CBS’ The Crazy Ones, about a father-and-daughter team running an advertising agency in a building that resembled the Trump International Hotel in Chicago. Unfortunately, the series didn’t catch on and was canceled after one season, with the final episode airing April 17.
Mork & Mindy co-star Pam Dawber recently reunited with Williams on Ones, playing an ex of his.
Rest in peace to a comedic genius.