Iconic actor and comedian found dead, aged 63
Following yesterday’s shocking news that 63-year-old Robin Williams had been found dead at his California home, tributes to the much-loved actor and comedian have been flooding in from Hollywood stars.
Williams had been “battling severe depression” and early reports suggest he committed suicide.
Steve Martin starred with Williams in a Broadway production of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. Leading the tributes, the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels star tweeted: “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”
Director Steven Spielberg said, “Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Fellow actor Kevin Spacey mourned the passing of a close friend: “Robin Williams made the world laugh and think. I will remember and honour that. A great man, artist and friend. I will miss him beyond measure.”
Stephen Fry recalled “a brain wired like no other and so so kind”, while Lindsay Lohan remembered his generosity: “Mr Williams visited me the first day of filming The Parent Trap. I will never forget his kindness. What an enormous loss. My condolences.”
Williams won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor alongside Matt Damon in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. Posting on Twitter, The Academy paid tribute with a reference to his role in the Disney film Aladdin: “Genie, you’re free.”
Knocked Up director Judd Apatow tweeted: “When I was 18 I got a job as an intern at Comic Relief just to be near him. A genius and a truly kind man who made the world a better place.”
Lena Dunham revealed: “Just shared a moment of silence on the set for Robin Williams, a man who brought so much laughter, joy and healing to so many.”
Ricky Gervais, who starred with Williams in the Night At The Museum films, said: “I am deeply saddened. He was a lovely man who would keep everyone laughing even if he wasn’t feeling good himself. RIP Robin Williams.”
Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam directed Williams in The Fisher King and posted his tribute via Facebook: “Robin Williams, the most astonishingly funny, brilliant, profound and silly miracle of mind and spirit, has left the planet. He was a giant heart, a fireball friend, a wondrous gift from the gods. Now the selfish bastards have taken him back. Fuck ‘em!”
The White House issued this statement from President Obama, who added his voice to the thousands of well wishers:
“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 marginalised on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”