Legendary comedian Robin Williams has died in an apparent suicide, just weeks after he had checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic.
In June, Williams, 63, spent time in the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota, which helps patients maintain long-term sobriety.
At the time, a spokesperson for the actor said Williams had been working 'back-to-back projects'.
"Robin is simply taking the opportunity to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud," his representative said.
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Emergency crews were called to Williams' home in Tiburon, California, around 11:55 a.m. local time, where Williams was found unconscious and pronounced dead at the scene.
Genie, you're free. pic.twitter.com/WjA9QuuldD— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 12, 2014
We mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams, who always made us laugh and smile. pic.twitter.com/UOY8LTjVRA— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) August 11, 2014
"Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late," the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said.
"This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."
'He gave joy to millions': Global shock over Robin Williams' death
There has been a global outpouring of grief from family, fans, celebrities, and even the President of the United States.
Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, says she is "utterly heartbroken".
"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend," said Williams's wife, Susan Schneider.
"While the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings."
"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."
"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny ... and everything in between. But he was one of a kind." —President Obama— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 12, 2014
I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 11, 2014
Mr. Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences.— Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) August 11, 2014
The worlds lost an amazing personality and human being. RIP Robin Williams. pic.twitter.com/4lUiAvHL6q— Tim Cahill (@Tim_Cahill) August 11, 2014
RIP Robin Williams. I was lucky enough to iv him once. A kind man with a wonderful sparkle in his eyes + crazy wit. What a loss! #heavyheart— Angela Cox (@angelacox7news) August 11, 2014
Remembering his best on-screen moments
The comedian first got his start in TV, appearing on The Richard Pryor Show and Laugh-In, but his big TV break came with the character of Mork, an alien from Ork first introduced on Happy Daysbefore getting his own show.
Mork & Mindy, costarring Pam Dawber, ran for four seasons on ABC from 1978-82. The role won Williams a Golden Globe in 1979 (and a subsequent nomination in 1980) and an Emmy nomination in 1979.
Williams went on to receive three Oscar nominations (for Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King) and a win for his role in Good Will Hunting in 1997, but he always came back to TV.
In 1987, Williams won his first Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin, and he won again in the same category the following year for ABC Presents: A Royal Gala.
Williams received several other Emmy nominations throughout the '90s for very dramatic guest spots on Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; for co-hosting Comic Relief VII in 1995; and for performing in his own stand-up specials, 2002's Robin Williams: Live on Broadway and 2009's Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction.
Williams also hosted Saturday Night Live three times and made memorable cameos three more times.
Most recently, Williams had made a TV comeback with CBS's The Crazy Ones, starring alongside Sarah Michelle Gellar, but the series only lasted one season. That first season featured a buzzy reunion for Williams and his Mork & Mindy costar Pam Dawber.
Upon hearing news of Williams's death, Dawber released a statement: “I am completely and totally devastated. What more can be said?!”
In July 2014, shortly after the series wrapped production, Williams checked himself back into rehab for "fine-tuning."
At the time, the actor's rep issued a statement: "After working back-to-back projects, Robin is simply taking the opportunity to fine-tune and focus on his continued commitment, of which he remains extremely proud."
Struggle with addiction
Williams has been open about his longtime battle with drugs and alcohol. In 2006, he sought treatment for alcoholism after 20 years of sobriety. His rep said at the time that the comedian had "decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family."
"It's [addiction] — not caused by anything, it's just there," Williams told Diane Sawyer in October 2006. "It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, 'It's fine now, I'm OK.' Then, the next thing you know, it's not OK. Then you realize, 'Where am I? I didn't realize I was in Cleveland.'" Williams revealed he had spent two months "club medicated" in Oregon's Hazelden Springbrook treatment center.
While Mork & Mindy was his big break, it was also the time in his life when he first became addicted to alcohol and cocaine.
"Cocaine for me was a place to hide," Williams told People in 1988. "Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down. Sometimes it made me paranoid and impotent, but mostly it just made me withdrawn. And I was so crazy back then — working all day, partying most of the night — I needed an excuse not to talk. I needed quiet times and I used coke to get them."
Williams married his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, in October 2011. He is survived by Schneider and his three children — a son Zachary from his first marriage and daughter Zelda and son Cody from his second.
*Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.