John Kerry: 'Grateful' Robin Williams Supported Causes 'We Both Cared About Deeply'

August 12, 2014 - 5:11 AM

Robin Williams

Comedian Robin Williams (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - President Barack Obama says the late Robin Williams "ended up touched every element of the human spirit."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Williams "a true friend and supporter of our troops."

And Secretary of State John Kerry said he’ll "always be grateful" for Williams' "personal friendship and his support for the causes that we both cared about deeply."

Their statements on the death-by-suicide of the 63-year-old Williams -- a contributor to liberal Democratic candidates and causes -- are posted below.

Statement of President Obama on the Passing of Robin Williams

Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between.  But he was one of a kind.  He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.  He made us laugh.  He made us cry.  He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.  The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.

Statement of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the Passing of Robin Williams

The entire Department of Defense community mourns the loss of Robin Williams. Robin was a gifted actor and comedian, but he was also a true friend and supporter of our troops. From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform. He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD - so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.

Statement of Secretary of State John Kerry on death of Robin Williams

There wasn’t anybody Robin Williams couldn’t touch. His humor was just that expansive. He was an absolute genius, with an extraordinary zest for his profession. It’s safe to say that there was more going on in him in one minute than most people in a week. He loved people and he committed himself to any issue that concerned him. Robin wasn’t just a huge creative genius, but a caring, involved citizen. I’ll always be grateful for his personal friendship and his support for the causes that we both cared about deeply. We will all miss Robin’s uncanny impressions, zany observations, and cutting-edge quips that found the truth as well as the humor. Teresa and I join the millions he inspired around the world in offering our deepest condolences to his family at this immensely difficult moment.

Williams was last seen alive at home about 10 p.m. Sunday, the Associated Press reported, quoting the Marin County coroner's office. Sheriff's officials said a preliminary investigation determined the cause of death was suicide due to asphyxia.

Williams had been battling severe depression recently, said Mara Buxbaum, his press representative. Just last month, he announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program he said he needed after 18 months of nonstop work. He had sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse following 20 years of sobriety.

His addiction struggles never seemed to affect his talent.

From his breakthrough in the late 1970s as the alien in the hit TV show "Mork & Mindy," through his standup act and numerous hit films, the short, barrel-chested Williams ranted and shouted as if just sprung from solitary confinement. Loud, fast and manic, he parodied everyone from John Wayne to Keith Richards, impersonating a Russian immigrant as easily as a pack of Nazi attack dogs.

He won an Academy Award for a serious role -- an empathetic therapist -- in the 1997 film "Good Will Hunting." He won Golden Globes for "Good Morning, Vietnam," ''Mrs. Doubtfire" and "The Fisher King."

Other film credits included Robert Altman's "Popeye" (a box office bomb), Paul Mazursky's "Moscow on the Hudson," Steven Spielberg's "Hook" and Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry."

Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams would remember himself as a shy kid who got some early laughs from his mother — by mimicking his grandmother. He opened up more in high school when he joined the drama club, and he was accepted into the Juilliard Academy, where he had several classes in which he and Christopher Reeve were the only students and John Houseman was the teacher.

In addition to his wife, Williams is survived by his three children: daughter Zelda, 25; and sons Zachary, 31, and Cody, 22.

(The Associated Press contributed some of the information in this report.)