He was an acquired taste as a comic, and I wasn't a big fan. When you make your national notoriety over an utterly stupid sitcom as Mork & Mindy, the die is cast. No matter what else he did for the rest of his life, he was always going to be that idiot alien or whatever he played on that stupid show.
A typical episode:
It wasn't his fault I didn't care for his comedy. However, he must have suffered from some demons and could no longer cope.
The cable channels are all over this now.
Apparently he suffered from severe depression in recent weeks.
From the L.A> Times obit:
Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams became one of only two students accepted into John Houseman’s prestigious acting program at Juilliard, the other being Christopher Reeve, who became a lifelong friend.
Williams gained fame as Mork, the bizarre, suspenders-sporting alien on the sitcom “Mork & Mindy,” a spinoff from “Happy Days.” Williams departed from the script so often that producers intentionally left blank moments on page for him to have space to indulge his ad-libbing genius.
The article quotes people who said he seemed to be always in character, and therefore it was impossible to know the real Robin.
Williams long battled substance abuse problems and heart problems.
New York Times:
The county sheriff’s office said in a statement that it “suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia.” A further investigation was under way.
The statement said that the office received a 9-1-1 call at 11:55 a.m. saying that a man had been found “unconscious and not breathing inside his residence.” Emergency personnel sent to the scene identified him as Mr. Williams and pronounced him dead at 12:02 p.m.
Mr. William’s publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said in a statement that Mr. Williams “has been battling severe depression.”