Robin Williams: Autopsy Confirms Death by Suicide

Robin Williams
Robin Williams

By Soo Youn

Robin Williams’ death was ruled a suicide, Marin County officials confirmed on Friday. Autopsy results revealed Williams’ death was caused by asphyxia and hanging.

Williams died at 63 on Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, Calif. in Marin County. Toxicology reports reveal that he had antidepressants, caffeine and levodopa, a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease in his system. Williams had battled severe depression for years and had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, his widow Susan revealed after his death. He had a “recent increase in paranoia,” according to a medical history authorities took at the scene.

Williams was found dead at the scene when police arrived, the report says.

The night before Williams died, he had placed several wristwatches in a sock and given them to someone (whose name was redacted) because he was worried about them and “wanted to keep them safe,” according to a witness statement. Williams was found in his stepson’s (he was visiting his father) room, because he was having a hard time sleeping and was “restless due to his Parkinson’s and anxiety issues.”

Williams’ assistant found the comedian partially clothed, hanging by a belt in a closet door frame, Lt. Keith Boyd with the Marin County Coroner’s office said on Aug. 12. The actor, who was being treated for severe depression, also had cuts on his wrist. Nearby, police found a pocketknife with a dried red substance that appeared consistent with blood.

The Marin Sheriff’s Office drew criticism for releasing these details about Williams’ death but said the disclosure was necessary under the California Public Records Act. The final autopsy report was originally scheduled to be released Sept. 30 but had been delayed twice.

Read more: Robin Williams in Marin: The Man on the Bicycle

Williams won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his performance as an avuncular psychologist in Good Will Hunting and acquired four Academy Award nominations in a career that straddled film and television.

His most recent TV show on CBS, The Crazy Ones, with Sarah Michelle Gellar, was canceled after one season.

Photo: AP Images/Invision