LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease when he committed suicide and was sober, according to a statement his widow.

In a statement, Susan Schneider said the Oscar-winning actor and comedian “was not yet ready to share publicly” the diagnosis and that his sobriety was “intact” despite battles with depression and anxiety.

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Williams, 63, was found dead in his Northern California home around noon Monday. Coroner’s officials said he died of apparent suicide by hanging.

He was found in a bedroom of his home in a seated position, slightly suspended with a belt around his neck, and the other end of the belt wedged in a closet door, according to officials.

Schnieder said she hopes Williams’ death will encourage others who may be struggling with similar issues.

“It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they’re facing so they may feel less afraid,” she said.

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Throughout his career, Williams was nominated for three Academy Awards and won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in “Good Will Hunting.” He also won four Golden Globes, for “Mork & Mindy,” “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Fisher King,” in addition to two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild awards and five Grammys.

“Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child — Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid,” Schneider said. “Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.”

To learn more about Parkinson’s Disease consult the Parkinson’s Disease Association of Southern California at parkinsonsassociation.org or at (877) 737-7576 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation at michaeljfox.org.

For mental health services funded by L.A. County go to didihirsch.org. The Didi Hirsh Suicide Prevention Crisis Line is at (877) 727-4747.


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