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WILLIAMS' body fou nd by his assistant

The children of actor Robin Williams have paid tribute to their father after he was found hanged in his bedroom at his California home.

The Mrs Doubtfire star was discovered by his personal assistant on Monday morning after he failed to answer his door.

Williams (63) was last seen alive by his wife Susan Schneider at around 10.30pm on Sunday before she went to bed, according to Lieutenant Keith Boyd, Marin County's assistant chief deputy coroner.

She left their home in the town of Tiburon at 10.30am on Monday believing he was still in bed.

But his assistant found the father of three clothed, unconscious and not breathing in his room at about 11.45am, and after the "distraught" woman called emergency services, firefighters pronounced him dead at 12.02pm.

Lt Boyd told reporters in California: "Our indication at this time is that it is a suicide due to asphyxia due to hanging."

HEARTBROKEN

The actor had recently grappled with severe depression, and yesterday Williams' family were joined by giants from the world of Hollywood and politics as they mourned his death.

Ms Schneider said she was "utterly heartbroken" and that she had "lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings".

In a statement today, his daughter Zelda Williams (25) said: "Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I've ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colourful and less full of laughter in his absence. We'll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again."

His first son Zak Williams (31) said: "Yesterday, I lost my father and a best friend and the world got a little grayer. I will carry his heart with me every day. I would ask those that loved him to remember him by being as gentle, kind, and generous as he would be. Seek to bring joy to the world as he sought."

And his 23-year-old son Cody Williams added: "There are no words strong enough to describe the love and respect I have for my father. The world will never be the same without him. I will miss him and take him with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life, and will look forward, forever, to the moment when I get to see him again."

Last night Lt Boyd said Williams had been suffering from depression while friends have spoken of him having "serious money troubles"..

He said it was not known what time the actor had gone to bed on Sunday, and revealed a forensic examination found he had not suffered any injuries to suggest he had been "in a struggle or altercation".

He also said he would not be discussing "the note" or "a note" as the investigation was continuing.

Lt Boyd said: "The preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed supporting physical signs that Mr Williams' life ended from asphyxia due to hanging.

SUBSTANCES

"Toxicology testing will be conducted to determine if Mr Williams had any chemical substances in his system at his time of death. Toxicology results will not be available for approximately two to six weeks while the testing is being performed", he told reporters.

Shortly after the news broke, Zelda posted an excerpt from French poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince on Twitter, and in her statement today added: "My family has always been private about our time spent together. It was our way of keeping one thing that was ours, with a man we shared with an entire world. But now that's gone, and I feel stripped bare.

"My last day with him was his birthday and I will be forever grateful that my brothers and I got to spend that time alone with him, sharing gifts and laughter. He was always warm, even in his darkest moments.

"While I'll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay, there's minor comfort in knowing our grief and loss, in some small way, is shared with millions. It doesn't help the pain, but at least it's a burden countless others now know we carry, and so many have offered to help lighten the load. Thank you for that.

"As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car. Right after you've had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too..."

hnews@herald.ie


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