CBS News has learned that veteran actor Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Northern California early Monday morning.
While his publicist wouldn’t confirm that Williams committed suicide, the suspected cause of death at press time was self asphyxiation. Robin’s rep issued this statement on the comedian’s death:
“Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
The public got its first glimpse of Williams’ previously private battles when the star spent several weeks at Minnesota’s Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center earlier this summer. At the time, Robin’s rep described the decision to check-up treatment a bit of a rehab tune-up.
The Academy Award winner struggled with cocaine and alcohol addiction through much of the late 1970s and early 1980s. He got sober by going cold turkey after the death of his pal John Belushi in 1982.
The Crazy Ones actor was sober for more than 20 years before suffering a relapse in 2006. He was only then that he realized he would only kick his addictions with professional help.
“…That’s the bottom line. You really think you can, then you realize, I need help and that’s the word … It’s hard admitting it, then once you’ve done that, it’s real easy.”
Robin Williams is survived by his three children: sons Zachary, 31, and son Cody, 22, and 24-year-old daughter Zelda.