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Comedian Robin Williams Got Laughs Early on in Big Apple

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TWC News: Comedian Robin Williams Got Laughs Early on in Big Apple
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Broadway and the entertainment world are mourning the death of comedian and actor Robin Williams who was found dead of an apparent suicide Monday inside his California home.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office says a preliminary investigation shows the cause of death to be suicide by asphyxia.

An official said Williams was recently receiving help for depression.

His body was discovered by his assistant.

Williams rose to fame in the late 70's as the star of the popular sitcom "Mork and Mindy" and later received an Emmy nomination.

He went on to star in several hit comedy films including "Mrs. Doubtfire, "Moscow on the Hudson", and "Good Morning Vietnam."

All of those films showcased his sometimes manic comedy style.

He was nominated for four Academy Awards, but his only win came in a dramatic role.

In 1997, he won the Oscar for best supporting actor for "Good Will Hunting."

Williams was also one of the driving forces behind Comic Relief which raised money for the homeless.

He also starred on Broadway in 2011 in "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," netting a Drama League nomination.

Williams also had a stand-up special at the Broadway Theater in 2002.

He also briefly attended the Juilliard School in New York.

Williams got his start on Richard Pryor's TV show in the late 1970s. But Pryor's son says the friendship between the two comedy legends lasted much longer.

"A lot of times we work with people and we go on with our lives when that job is over and we never see those people, but that wasn't the case with my dad and Robin Williams," said Richard Pryor Jr.

When Richard Pryor was sick, his son says it was Robin Williams who offered his private plane to fly his friend home.

"That shows the kind of character he was, that he didn't forget where he started. And he remembered the person that first put him in front of the screen," Pryor Jr. said.

During the early part of his career Williams performed standup regularly at the Comic Strip on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"The loss. That he will no longer be able to stand here and have you in stitches while you're trying to do an interview," said one passerby.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who appeared in "Aladdin" alongside Williams remembered a generous, one-of-a-kind artist.

"Robin was more than just a comedian. He was a comedy force of nature," Gottfried said.

Williams' wife Susan Schneider released a statement saying, "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken."

Robin Williams' only daughter tweeted back to her father's final public words in which he pledged his love for her. In her tweet, she quotes from "The Little Prince," saying, "You - you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You - only you - will have stars that can laugh."

Fellow actors and comedians also took to Twitter to share their thoughts about Williams' life.

Ron Howard tweeted about getting to watch Williams create his famous Mork from Ork character, tweeting, "We lost Robin. I first witnessed his genius as he created Mork before our eyes in two hours on set. A Force. A Sweet Soul. A Brilliant Artist. RIP."

Henry Winkler added, "Robin Williams was like no other. To watch him create on the spot was a privilege to behold. Robin you are an angel now. Rest in peace."

Lastly, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences had a touching tweet, posting a screengrab from Disney's "Aladdin." The caption says simply, "Genie, you're free."

Robin Williams was 63 years old.

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