Robin Williams’ Filipino American family mourns his death

By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

August 12, 2014

TIBURON, Calif. – The scene was somber Monday evening as people stood in front of Robin Williams Marin County home, hours after the world knew of his death.

It was as if they were all trying to accept the fact that the beloved comedian and actor has died at the age of 63.

Media trucks and personnel were spread across the neighborhood. Our cameras were focused on the small but growing memorial of flowers that were laid in front of the Academy Award winning actor’s front entrance.
Neighbors also gathered to pay their last respects.

According to Williams’ publicist, Mara Buxbaum, Williams “had been battling severe depression.”

Law enforcement reportedly received a 911 call at 11:55 a.m. on Monday saying that a man was unconscious and not breathing.

Emergency personnel who were sent to the scene identified the man as Robin Williams and pronounced him dead at 12:02 p.m.

Preliminary investigation

At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Lt. Keith Boyd, chief deputy coroner for Marin County Sheriff’s Office, said that Robin Williams was found slightly suspended in a seated position. There was a belt around his neck with one end wedged between a closet door frame, Lt. Boyd said.

Williams’ personal assistant broke in to his room when he failed to respond to several knocks.

The lieutenant said that his wife, Susan Schneider, last saw him around 10:30 pm the night before and left the house the next day around 10:30 am thinking he was still asleep in his room.

Lt. Boyd also revealed that there were an undisclosed number of superficial cuts on Williams’ wrist and that a pocket knife was found nearby. It is currently being tested to determine if the residue on the knife is Williams’ blood.

The lieutenant would not say whether or not a suicide note was found and stated that a toxicology report will not be available for two to six weeks.

A Filipino American family in mourning

Williams married Filipina American Marsha Garces in 1989, whom he met while she was working as a nanny for his first child, Zachary.

Garces became a Hollywood producer and helped Williams with his career and was even nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special for Robin Williams: Live on Broadway along with others in 2003.

But Garces filed for divorce from Williams in 2008, citing irreconcilable differences. They have two children together, Zelda and Cody. Theirs was the longest of Williams’ three marriages. As of our broadcast, she has remained silent on her ex-husband’s death.

Williams invented the word “Finnipino” because Garces is half Finnish and half Filipino. He was also said to be very fond of his former father-in-law Leon Pantaleon Garces.

Williams’ Fil-Am daughter Zelda, who is also an actress, released a tweet shortly after the news of his apparent suicide, quoting the book The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

“You — you alone will have the stars as no one else has them. In one of the stars I shall be living. 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.”

She adds underneath: “I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up. Z.”

His third and current wife, Susan Schneider, said Monday in a statement, “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.” She adds “As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Plans of the funeral will be made by the family and the sheriff’s department will not release that information.

The lieutenant did say that when the investigation has concluded he will alert the media 24 hours in advance to hold a press conference to offer all the information they found.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • JRB
    12 August 2014 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    I grew up with Robin Williams? I was born here in America and was a Robin Williams fan for many years, but didn’t know how bad, oh should I say how sick he was? He really hide his sickness of been a “SEVERE DRUGS AND DEPRESSION SICKNESS.” In really he was avery sick person. RIP My Friend Robin Williams their will never be another actor like you again in Holly Wood. RIP MY FRIEND.

  • Mario
    13 August 2014 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Robin Williams,a comedy genius,member of the progressive liberal Hollywood Democrats, expect more coverage from the media,if he is a conservative it will be less or no coverage at all. What he did is an act of aggression and selfishness towards his family.This is the result of the liberal Democrat media brainwashing on assisted suicide, that suicide is perfectly normal,it is a choice.He went to Rehab for severe drug used,he still committed suicide, therefore Rehab is a big gov’t racket. He got depressed when he learned that he has to re-make his old jokes for TV series and CBS did not pick it up, he thought that is the end of his career..I got depress all the time, to cure it, I continue to work and work. Being a conservative,work,work, work is the salvation of depression. If you are a liberal Democrat who depend on welfare, well find a job, keep yourself busy, don’t depend from the hard working American.Let us stop turning him as a Saint..How do you feel the act of hanging yourself inside the garage and your wife find you. What effect on his family and children.

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