(CNN) — Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams apparently took his own life at his Northern California home Monday, law enforcement officials said. Williams was 63.

“He has been battling severe depression of late,” his media representative Mara Buxbaum told CNN. “This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Coroner investigators suspect “the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia,” according to a statement from the Marin County, California, Sheriff’s office.

Williams married graphic designer Susan Schneider in Napa Valley, California, ceremony in October 2011. Schneider sent a written statement to CNN through the representative.

“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.

“On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. 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.”

Word of Williams’ death stunned the entertainment community Monday.

Comedian Steve Martin tweeted, “I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”

updated 8:00 PM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
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