Metro actors, comedians react as Williams' cause of death released

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ATLANTA —

Authorities on Tuesday detailed how Robin Williams' took his life, saying the actor and comedian hanged himself with a belt in a bedroom of his San Francisco Bay Area home.

Marin County Sheriff's Lt. Keith Boyd said Williams was last seen alive by his wife Sunday night when she went to bed. She woke up the next morning and left, thinking he was still asleep elsewhere in the home.

Shortly after that, Williams' personal assistant came to the Tiburon home and became concerned when Williams failed to respond to knocks at a door. The assistant found the 63-year-old actor clothed and dead in a bedroom.

Boyd said all evidence indicates Williams, star of "Good Will Hunting," ''Mrs. Doubtfire," ''Good Morning, Vietnam" and dozens of other films, committed suicide by hanging himself. But he said a final ruling will be made once toxicology reports and interviews with witnesses are complete.

The condition of the body indicated Williams had been dead for at least a few hours, Boyd said. Williams also had superficial cuts on his wrist, and a pocketknife was found nearby.

Williams had been seeking treatment for depression, Boyd said. He would not say whether the actor left a suicide note.

"We still have people we want to speak with so there is some information we're going to withhold," Boyd said. "We're not discussing the note or a note at this point as the investigation is ongoing."

Word that the actor had killed himself left neighbors in Tiburon equally stunned and grief-stricken. Williams had lived in the quiet, waterfront neighborhood for eight years, according to neighbors.

Noreen Nieder said Williams was a friendly neighbor who always said hello and engaged in small talk. Nieder said she wasn't close to Williams and his family, but she still felt comfortable enough to approach him and ask him about his latest stint in drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

"He was very open about it," Nieder said. "He told me he was doing well."

Makeshift memorials of flowers and notes popped up around the country including on his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at his Tiburon home and outside the house where the '80s sitcom "Mork &Mindy" was set in Boulder, Colorado. People also gathered to remember Williams at a bench in Boston's Public Garden where he filmed a scene for "Good Will Hunting."

Ben Affleck, a co-star and co-writer on that movie, was among the legions of friends and fans who shared tributes online.

"Robin had a ton of love & did so much for so many," Affleck tweeted. "He made Matt & my dreams come true. What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything."

Local production assistant remembers Williams

People across metro Atlanta are talking about the wonderful experience they had working with Robin Williams.
 
Williams shot a Christmas-themed movie in the Atlanta area in the spring of 2013.
 
Cast assistant Duffy Astriab told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh that Williams was a regular guy and very approachable.
 
People who worked on the production with Williams said he took the time to greet his fans and really get to know his crew.
 
"He was a gentleman, considerate and thoughtful," Astriab said about Williams.

 The movie, called "Marry Friggin’ Christmas," was filmed in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties.
 
Downtown Norcross was transformed into Santa's village for the movie, which Williams often tweeted about.

It was Astriab's job to make sure Williams knew where he had to be on set. She told Kavanaugh she was struck at how much he reciprocated

"We'd be in a large passenger van and he would always be in the front seat and he would get out and help every single person step out of the van, would take bags from me and give us a hand all out of the van. That doesn't normally happen," Astriab said.
 
She said he knew everyone on the crew and also made time for fans.

"Someone of his caliber and history, you would generally expect or think to expect to be kind of a hands-off. But he was very hands-on with the crew, very personable, always taking time with fans that were waiting around," Astriab said.
 
Jeff Ebner met Williams on the same set when he was producing behind-the-scenes interviews. He still has the daily call sheet for the movie that has the list of cast and crew members, with Williams' name at the top.
 
"He was approachable and normal. It wasn't this movie star stuff that we've all experienced," Ebner said. "When you meet them in real life and they turn out to be nice, it's refreshing."
 
"It's always so sad that the outpouring of support and accolades and great memories come after the person has left us … kind of just makes you want to tell everyone that you know how great they are," Astriab said.
 
California officials said Williams suffered from severe depression. The people Kavanaugh talked to say that wasn't something they ever saw. They said Williams was just a nice man who was kind to everyone.

Comedy businessmen reflect on memories of Williams

Metro area comedians and promoters are sharing their memories of Robin Williams.
 
“It's a real loss. It's a crater,” said Jerry Farber, the owner of Farber's Side Door in Buckhead.
 
Farber crossed paths with Williams at a small comedy club in New York City.
 
“All of sudden Robin Williams comes in like a thundering herd and did about 45 minutes unscheduled and it was just brilliant. Matter of fact that is closest I've come to quit doing comedy myself, for real,” Farber told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie.
 
Farber said Williams was so good, he was intimidated by him. But he said when Williams came to Atlanta, he worked with other comedians to help them improve their craft.
 
“I really loved him. He was an inspiration for me and millions of others to keep doing it,” Farber said.

Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Southeast, is responsible for bringing the biggest entertainers in the world to Atlanta.
 
Conlon brought Williams to the Chastain Park Amphitheater back in the '80s and said Williams made a grand exit that evening.
 
“He had a limo with a sunroof and he was going up the driveway with a Viking hat on and a Rambo gun heading out screaming, and that was the last time I saw him,” Conlon said.
 
Area comedians will be getting together to honor Williams at Farber’s Side Door Wednesday night.