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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Four More Rounds of U.S. Air Strikes in Iraq Today; Robin Williams Dead of Suspected Suicide
Aired August 11, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Up next, breaking news. Four more rounds of U.S. air strikes in Iraq today.
LEMON(voice-over): Will it be enough to save tens of thousands of refugees trapped on a mountain top? Plus, a dramatic rescue of some of those refugees. CNN's Ivan Watson was on the chopper. You're going to see the amazing video. That's next.
And an unarmed teen shot and killed by police in Missouri, leads to chaos and violence. We are live on the scene for you tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
LEMON (on camera): Good evening, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Don Lemon in for Erin. Tonight OUTFRONT breaking news. New U.S. air strikes in Iraq. Four round in three hours today. All in an effort to halt ISIS fighters near Sinjar Mountain.
LEMON (voice-over): That's where tens of thousands of civilians, all Yazitis, are trapped. Persecuted by the terror group because of their religion. Our Ivan Watson got a firsthand look at the dangerous situation up on that mountain top and we're going to hear from him just a little bit here on CNN.
But first, Barbara Starr at the Pentagon with the latest for us.
LEMON (on camera): Barbara, what is it?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Don. Well, the Pentagon announcing a short time ago, four rounds of air strikes against a variety of ISIS targets in and around Sinjar Mountain. They struck at vehicles, convoys, weapons but perhaps most interesting, they announced that they struck at a number of ISIS checkpoints around that mountain.
Now that may be very interesting in the coming days. Because if they want to clear out those checkpoints, if they have plans to get those people off the mountain, they may need to take them out by some sort of ground operation. That would mean they would want to clear checkpoints out of the way first. Ivan will tell you shortly how desperate the situation is for the people trapped on that mountain and we've had at least two hints from President Obama in recent days that he is talking to international partners, other countries in the region, about how to get those people freed and get them out of there. So clearly behind the scenes, some planning, some assessment going on about what could be done and still the air strikes continuing perhaps, just perhaps, we don't really know, but laying ground work for a future operation. Don?
LEMON: Okay, thank you very much for that, Barbara. We appreciate you. We will get back to you if there are more developments tonight.
And that daring rescue supply mission on Mt. Sinjar where those tens of thousands of Yazidis are trapped by ISIS fighters. Our Ivan Watson was on the chopper and got a firsthand look at this very dangerous mission and he joins me now from Iraq. Ivan, I saw the footage of you today. It stopped me in my tracks. I watched the entire thing for almost an hour,
LEMON (voice-over): I just sat on the edge of the bed. Take us through what you saw up on that mountain today.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is the first time that I have gotten a chance to see the trapped Yazidis that the whole world has been talking about. And it is in fact a mountain, maybe three, two, three miles long that just rises up off of the plains here of northern Iraq. And as you approach it, you kind of get closer and you start to realize that there are people hiding under the trees there, looking for shade. Or clustered around these ruins of a couple of buildings, at one point in the mountain. And once they see the helicopter, which is how we traveled in on an Iraqi Air Force helicopter, everybody started running towards it, waving their hands towards the helicopter.
Now, this flight we were on, was dropping supplies for these people. And the supplies range from just bottles of water and bags of food, to babies diapers and condensed milk and even shoes. Shoes that just kind of shows how quickly people fled their homes a week ago. And how dire the situation has been as they've been stuck on this mountain that they ran to for safety to escape the ISIS militants.
WATSON: They've been up there for seven days. When we landed briefly to pick up some people and evacuate them, it was a mob scene. People swarmed the helicopter. It was first come-first served, sadly.
WATSON (voice-over): Most people were putting their children on board first. Literally handing them over to the air crew, the Kurdish Peshmerga, to me, and it was a very, very, very dramatic scene. When we took off, people were weeping. Weeping with -- they were just in shock. So it was a very, very dramatic, very emotional couple of hours. And there are still people stuck on that mountain as we speak tonight.
LEMON (on camera): Ivan, another question for you. Do the Yazidis believe that they will be rescued? Do they feel that a better day is coming in any sense?
WATSON (on camera): There were about 20 Yazidis on board our helicopter. From this landing pad that I'm standing on here the Iraqi Air Force has been flying a couple flights a day picking people up. I think people are still kind of in shock when they got off. A woman just, she got out of the helicopter and just sat down. Because these people, some of them, they said, one boy told me he had only had like a cookie for three days. He had water but no food for three of those days.
There are about 6,000 families, I'm told, who have made a 10-mile trek through a corridor carved out by Peshmerga fighters to nearby Syria who have escaped that way. But you know, what? When you drive to this airstrip where we're at, the road is lined with make-shift camps. People have put up sheets on the side of the road. And some of them came from Sinjar Mountain. Some of them are the Yazidis escaped out of the conflict zone and now living on the side of the road under a rag. So that is the reality on the ground here right now. Hundreds of thousands of people displaced. Ethnically cleansed from their villages and towns by the ISIS militants and living on the sides of roads now with no future in sight. Don?
LEMON: All right, Ivan Watson. Thank you very much, appreciate your reporting.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
LEMON: So I hate to have to report this. The breaking news just into CNN is that actor Robin Williams is dead at age 63 from an apparent suicide. This is from Williams' representative who released a statement just a moment ago saying, quote, "Robin Williams passed away this morning. He had been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy and they grieve during this very difficult time."
And just to give you a little background, Robin Williams won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his 1997 performance in "Good Will Hunting" and was nominated for three Best Actor awards as well.
The statement from Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, reads like this, "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 heart broken. On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief and 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." Our entertainment correspondent, Nischelle Turner. Nischelle, I can't
tell you how awful it is to have to report this. But, we knows as of late he had been dealing with some issues.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Yes, Don, I have to tell you. It is a complete shock. We did see in a statement where his representative did say Robin had been battling a severe depression as of late. We did know back in July that he checked himself into rehab, back into rehab. We were told at that point that was in an effort to try and maintain sobriety, that he had been sober for so many years. But sometimes when you're an addict and you're a recovering addict, you periodically go back into rehab to maintain that sobriety. But at that point, that's the information that we were given. But now, his rep is saying he was battling a severe depression and unfortunately, we are confirming that Robin Williams is dead.
LEMON: And Nischelle, stand by with me here. We are having a little bit of trouble with the phone. I'm just getting this information so bear with us here.
I'm just going to tell you, you know, from my age group, we remember him from "Mork and Mindi." That was the first sort of claim to fame when he got recognition. That was back in the '80s. "Mork and Mindi," a hugely successful sitcom that was on in the 80's. And then also we also remember "Good Will Hunting," we remember "Good Morning, Vietnam," and "Dead Poets Society." Just an unbelievable loss.
He was a Julliard graduate. He unveiled his dramatic side the first time in 1982's "The World According to Garp." We all remember that as well. But again, at 63 years old, actor and comedian Robin Williams has died. His representative confirming he died. They are saying it is because of suicide.
The representative also saying that he had been dealing with depression in recent times. And also a member of law enforcement also saying that confirming that Robin Williams passed away as well. 63 years old.
That is breaking news here on CNN that we are following. Nischelle Turner who is our entertainment correspondent is following it as well as our Brian Stelter, our media correspondent here on CNN, and the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES" will be joining us in just little bit.
Nischelle Turner back with us. Nischelle, I read off just a little bit of Robin Williams accomplishments but there were so many to name.
TURNER: Yes. So many to name. It is almost like where do you begin. As of late, we did see him working again. He had actually just signed back on to reprise his role as Mrs. Doubtfire. We were going to see him play that role again. He was in an indie film just recently with Annette Benning called "The Face of Love", so we would have seen him there as well. You know, a lot of people got to know Robin Williams as the funny man, the comedian, the kind of zany character.
He really did stretch his acting chops as of late and we really saw some great acting from him. Remember in "Good Will Hunting" and movies like that. He really showed us his range. He is iconic in the industry. I mean, we saw he and Billy Crystal an Whoopi Goldberg, you know, really kind of bring comics into the forefront. He did so much.
But he did have demons, Don. He was public about talking about them. And he battled and tried to continue to get help. But in the end, you know, we haven't gotten information on exactly what happened, but we did get signs in the press release saying he was battling severe depression. His wife saying, please, let's not harp on how he died but let's remember all of the joy that he gave us.
So you know, today, it's just hard to wrap your brain around. And it is hard to grasp. Because when you look at the pictures of him, and you remember all of these iconic characters, and you remember the man that was this legend on the screen, I mean, it's a little surreal for me to be talking about this right now.
LEMON: And I said I couldn't believe -- it is always shocking when it happens. Nischelle, don't go anywhere, because I will need your help with this.
In case you are just joining us, breaking news here on CNN. You see at the bottom of your screen there is that Robin Williams, the legendary actor and comedian dead at the age of 63, we are told from an apparent suicide. His representatives released a statement, and I want to read it again for you. It says, "Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy and grieve during this very difficult time." Again, we have been telling you about all his accolades. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1997 for his performance in "Good Will Hunting," nominated for three Best Actor awards as well.
His wife also releasing a statement. His wife is Susan Schneider and she said, "This morning I lost my husband, my best friend. While the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heart broken. 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 that the focus will not be on Robin's death but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."
So, you know, we will respect their privacy. And again, we will focus on his life and not just his death, although we do have to talk about it. Again, as we are coming to you on the air tonight, just after 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, it is my sad duty to report to you that Robin Williams has passed away. We'll be right back.
LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. I would like to welcome our viewers here in United States and around the world.
Our breaking news on CNN is that actor and comedian Robin Williams is dead at age 63 from an apparent suicide. His representative released a statement just a short time ago confirming that Williams had passed away and he had been battling depression as of late. His wife also releasing a statement a short time ago saying to respect the privacy of the family and that she would hope that we would remember his career and his life and not the way he died. But again, confirmation from representative and also from his wife. As well as confirmation from the sheriff's department as well.
CNN's Nischelle Turner joins us live. She is our entertainment correspondent.
And Nischelle, as we have been saying, as we report this breaking news here, it is unbelievable we are here reporting it. But it is indeed true. It's has been confirm by multiple sources.
He had been dealing with issues as of late. And as his wife said, she would hope that his life would be remembered, right? Not just how he died. And as we look at these clips of him from "Mork and Mindi" to "Goodwill Hunting," and on and on and on. It certainly was a profound career.
TURNER (via phone): We will definitely remember his works, Don. Because he was a brilliant actor. He was one of the funniest comedians. And he was an icon in the entertainment industry and loved by so many people.
You know, he just came back to television in September of 2013 in the fall season with the show called "The Crazy Ones" on CBS with Sarah Michelle Gellar. And so he was, you know, much heralded because it was Robin Williams' return to television, where he made his mark, like you mentioned earlier, playing Mork on "Mork and Mindi." And he kind of reunited with Pam Dawber in that show as well. And then they kind of recreated, tried to recreate the magic that they had on "Mork and Mindi" there, too.
So he was still working and doing movies. But we did see some signs, as of late, that he was struggling with something. As we heard, you know, his publicist say earlier. And it was no secret. I mentioned this before that Robin Williams had spoken openly about his battles, his addictions for over 20 years. He had been battling this. He was one of the celebrities in Hollywood that didn't hide his flaws. He talked about them. And hoped that they would help other people.
You know, and sometimes we always hear the best comedians are hiding the most pain. And so, that definitely could have been, you know, a symptom for him. You also talked about some of his iconic roles. Like I said, before we got to know him as Mork in a very funny role, but we fell in love with him in Hollywood for some of his more dramatic roles in "Goodwill Hunting," his roles in "Dead Poet's Society." Those movies that we really saw his range on "Good Morning Vietnam." He did win the Academy award for "Good Will Hunting."
And I remember when he won that and I remember that year when he was nominated, he was so humble, he was so honored, and it just took him to another place. And he actually was in that category, then, you know. So it is hard, a lot of times, for comedians in Hollywood to cross over into that role. We don't see it often. We've seen it a couple times. We've seen it with Whoopi Goldberg. We've seen it with him. And so, when that happened, I mean, it is amazing. And I remember seeing him kind of go through that process when h was nominated for that academy award and win. And that was really a moment for him.
63-years-old, Don. A young man. And so this call apparently came in to 911 at about noon pacific standard time. So about 3:00 east coast time. And so we confirmed it just now. We have heard from the Marion county sheriff's department as well, that they are confirming that he did pass away. And of course, our hearts and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the Hollywood community and as you can imagine, Hollywood is very, very sad tonight.
Stand by, Nischelle. And Nischelle, you are right on. And I remember the television show, last year, when he made -- when he came back. Several people I want to get to. As we report here again, as you see on the bottom of your screen. Comedian and actor Robin Williams dead at age 63 from apparent suicide. According to everyone involved from his family to representatives to sheriff's department.
I want to bring now the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES," Brian Stelter.
Brian, you reached out to the sheriff's department and they are confirming this. What does the sheriff's department say? Do they say how he was found? What happened?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST, RELIABLE SOURCES (voice-over): Yes. What they say in a statement this began at approximately 11:55 a.m. Pacific Time. That would be closer to 3:00 p.m. on the east coast. And that they received the 911 call saying a male adult have been found unconscious and not o breathing inside his residence. He was pronounced deceased just a few minutes later as soon as emergency personnel arrived at 12:02 p.m. pronounced deceased. So very fast response by the emergency officials. But in this case, you know, doesn't mean anything at the end of it, Don.
LEMON: Go ahead. Go on. Pardon me.
STELTER: And the statement just goes on to say that the investigation, the cause, manner, circumstances is currently under way. He was last seen alive at his residence at approximately 10:00 p.m. last night.
LEMON: And as media correspondent for us and also, you know, at "New York Times," before you came here, I'm sure you did lots of reporting on Robin Williams. At least some reporting on Robin Williams. If not you directly, the paper obviously has.
STELTER: One thing, I was struck by, Nischelle pointing out, his long list of films and hen more recently his CBS sitcom. But we are talking about a guy who also had a Broadway stage career. Also a stand-up comedy career. And a lot of people who you can think of who has been able be successful in so many different mediums the way Robin Williams was able to.
LEMON: Yes, absolutely. And also dealing with some issues. We don't know exactly what went on. But his representative did think it was important enough to point out that he had been dealing with depression as of late.
STELTER: And I like what is pointed out as that as well, it was not something he hid from his fans and from the public. He did a lot of good by sharing that side of himself. Now, Ellen DeGeneres in twitter message just a few minutes ago said, he gave so much to so many people. I'm heartbroken. And one of the things he gave was his openness about his struggle over the years with drugs and alcohol and his depression.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you very much. Stick around with us.
I want to bring in now, Rob Shutter who is the host of the gossip table on VH1.
Rob, no other way by shocking, surprising, that we are here reporting this.
ROB SHUTTER, HOST, THE GOSSIP TABLE (via phone): Hey, Don. I can't believe it. I'm in a restaurant tonight with some friend of mine. Many of them in the media, there are couple that work for morning shows, one that works for "the Daily News." And we're all just got the message over our phones and we are all running back to our desks. Because of all of the newspapers, to do this story tomorrow.
Today, it has stunned the restaurant. And the news was just announced in the restaurant that I'm in Chelsea and it is complete silence. Music has been turned off. People are phoning their friends. This is a really eerie moment, Don. I don't think I have seen this since Michael Jackson's death. Like people now, forget people in the business, like me and you and my friend at "the Daily News" and the newspapers. Just you know, remember people here in the restaurant are absolutely stunned. And everybody's conversation changed from what they are having for dinner to this huge tragedy.
LEMON: I tell you what. The last time it was actually Whitney Houston which was, you know, two years after Michael Jackson's death. When as I was leaving the set, I had to walk back up and report that. And then just now, as we are in the middle of coverage about Iraq, we get the news about that.
Thank you. Rob, stick around. I have to get a break in. But I want to tell, the first thing that came to my mind was the first person was, you know, someone I love very much, and that's Whoopi Goldberg. And I reach out to Whoopi personally, she is not answering her phone. Her representative said she can't speak right now. And if there is a statement to be released.
So our thought and prayers go out to everyone who knew Robin. His, of course, close friends like Whoopi, and his wife as well and entire family.
The breaking news here on CNN, Robin Williams dead at age 63. More coverage on the other side of this break here on CNN.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
LEMON: Hello, everyone. Don Lemon here, 7:30 here on the East Coast.
Breaking news: Hollywood in mourning tonight. Oscar winning actor and comedian Robin Williams found dead at his home today from a suspected suicide. He was 63 years old.
According to his representative, the actor had been battling severe depression as of late. The reaction is pouring in tonight. We're going to get to that in just one moment here, including Larry King, who obviously interviewed Robin Williams on his show here on CNN.
Nischelle Turner will join us on CNN. She has been reporting on this since we first got confirmation of it.
Brian Stelter, who's a media reporter is here with me in studio as well. We're going to speak to all of them and also, give you some reaction to other people who are -- who had been tweeting and talking about it and reaching out to us about the death of Robin Williams.
But first, our Nischelle Turner looks at the life and career of Robin Williams.
TURNER (voice-over): His high octane brand of comedy was his trade mark public persona. But Robin Williams proved himself for an Oscar winner with a strong philanthropic side. Born in 1951, it was in his 20s, Williams was unleashed first as an American TV star.
ROBIN WILLIAMS, ACTOR: Mindy, run for your life! The emotions are coming.
TURNER: As Mork from the planet Ork in "Mork and Mindy", Williams became a household name. When the series ended after a four-year run in 1982, he showed he could do more than make people laugh.
WILLIAMS: My name is TS Garp.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's TS stand for?
WILLIAMS: Terribly sexy.
TURNER: The Julliard schooled actor unveiled his dramatic side for the first time in 1982's "The World According to Garp."
WILLIAMS: So, I was trained as an actor, so it's not like they have to medicate me.
TURNER: That serious side earned him Oscar nominations for "The Fisher King".
WILLIAMS: Good morning, Vietnam.
TURNER: "Good Morning, Vietnam" and "Dead Poet's Society."
WILLIAMS: He's the golden dude.
TURNER: He finally won his only Oscar statue in 1998 for "Good Will Hunting."
WILLIAMS: This one, yes. The others were just foreplay. It's extraordinary.
TURNER: But Williams never stopped being funny even when the topic seemed serious. He helped launch and co-hosted eight telethons over 20 years to help the homeless.
WILLIAMS: Men who sleep with chickens and the women who love them.
TURNER: Comic relief earned more than $50 million. And even when he talked about his battles with drugs and alcohol, he talked about it with humor.
LARRY KING, "LARRY KING LIVE" HOST: You were drunk?
WILLIAMS: Well, that's nice of you to say that.
TURNER: He took two trips to rehab, the most recent one in 2006. A process he talked about on "LARRY KING LIVE" in 2007.
WILLIAMS: What happens to people basically start the process of, you know, just saying no, and being among others. And learning that you're not alone and working on giving up.
KING: Do you lose your sense of humor in it?
WILLIAMS: No. You find it. You're there with people who have a great sense of humor.
KING: So, you're funny there too.
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, you got to be.
TURNER: In 2009, the Williams was rushed to the hospital with heart problems, forced to temporarily cancel his one-man show to undergo surgery. He talked about his recovery on "The Ellen" show.
WILLIAMS: You have you a heart surgery and they literally open you up. They crack the box. You are really vulnerable. Oh, a kitten, oh, God. It's -- the kitten -- and you get very, very emotional about everything. But I think that's a wonderful thing. It opens you up to everything.
TURNER: And with a new lease on life, Williams quickly spring back into action. In 2011, he made his Broadway acting debut, starring in Rajiv Joseph's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo." That same year, he would marry his third wife, graphic designer, Susan Schneider. In 2013, Williams would return to the small screen, starring in the
CBS sitcom "The Crazy Ones", where he would reunite with his old friend Pam Dawber, better known as Mindy.
PAM DAWBER, ACTRESS: Never as screwy as you. You're like an alien.
TURNER: From stand-up to sitcoms and beyond, he would delight audiences with a whacky humor and joyful energy. He was the definition of full of life. And even now, his comic legend is destined to endure.
LEMON: Robin Williams dead at age 63. We have just gotten confirmation just a short time ago here on CNN.
And we should also say that just this past July, he was also in rehab this past July as well. His representative releasing, saying in that statement he had been dealing with severe depression.
I want to go now to Larry King.
Larry, here we go again, talking about someone who is gone way too soon. You interviewed him many times. What are you going to remember most?
KING (via telephone): How wonderful a person he was, a genuine caring guy. Not just a funny man but a guy who cared about people. He's very close to Christopher Reeve, he hosted the memorial service for him. He and Christopher were roommates as kids.
We contributed a lot to charity. We did a benefit together in San Francisco for a big charity there. And he was always caring and wonderful, very friendly, very open -- very open with his humor. He idolized Jonathan Winters who he sort of worshipped and wound up putting Jonathan Winters on the show, "Mork and Mindy", you remember.
He was one of a kind. You know, they say, when certain people leave us, you won't see his likes again --
KING: -- you will not see his likes again.
LEMON: I completely agree with you.
Listen, Larry, his wife said I hope that he will be remembered, his life and career, will be remembered, and not necessarily the way he died.
But again, in statement from his representative, you know, it is being said that he was dealing with some issues, depression issues. Did you notice anything out of sorts with Robin Williams when you interviewed him and your meetings with him?
KING: He would openly discuss his depression. He was one of those people with depression. They say it is very good to come forward and talk about it.
He easily talked about that, about alcoholism, about his heart surgery. He was an extremely open, easily accessible star.
And depression is, I think, they estimate 20 million Americans have suffered for it knowingly, probably 20 million more have it and don't express it. It's a terrible disease. There are options, lots of pills, lots of treatments.
But when you get a severe depression as this, so many of us may not be depressed or may have bad moods, to contemplate that someone with all this talent and all this energy and obviously financial success, would take his own life is incomprehensible until you can only imagine what depression is like.
Dick Cavett told me once, I said give me a good example of depression. He said, when you're in depression, someone could come into the room and tell you that your late uncle just died and he left you $100 million. Or someone else could come in and tell you, that your entire fortune has been lost. Both news would be the same.
LEMON: Larry, and again, as we are getting more information here, I want to talk to you about, not many people get to have the kind of career that Robin Williams had. Very few people. When you think about it, as I said, I mentioned earlier, I mentioned Whoopi Goldberg, right? When you call him EGOT, people who won an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy, an Emmy, I'm not sure if Robin Williams was an EGOT, I'm not sure, but he definitely did Broadway. He was very successful on television. Very successful in movies.
He had done just about everything, not many people have a career like that.
KING: Yes. You wonder, why would someone be so successful, yet so sad? And we have not had the answers to that.
How could someone who seems to have everything, you know, that's the old story of, grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. There's a famous poem. Mr. Blackwell.
And the poem goes, Mr. Blackwell had everything. He was the richest man in town. He always treated the children well, he had parties every Halloween. His wife was wonderful and endearing. His children were caring and loveable.
Mr. Blackwell always had a kind word for everyone he saw on the street. He was president of the pink and the bank loaned money to people who didn't deserve it.
Mr. Blackwell was the most wonderful person we ever knew in town and one night, Mr. Blackwell went home and put a bullet in his head.
It's a great poem about trying to understand success and depression. And it's almost income -- as I said, incomprehensible to me to think that this man, this great man, is gone. LEMON: Larry King, it's an honor to have you on to speak about things
like this, because you know so much and you know so many intimate details about celebrities and about people like Robin Williams. And you add such flavor to it and such nuance. We appreciate it.
So, Larry, don't go anywhere. We'd love to have you come back throughout the evening here and talk about it.
In the meantime, as we wait to get back to Larry and others, I want to say, the outpouring for Robin Williams has just been unbelievable, especially on social media. I'm just going to read a couple of them. A couple of people releasing statements, many of them via Twitter.
This one is from Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen says, "I can't believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I'm heart broken."
The next one is from Glenn Close, saying in a statement to CNN, "I'm absolutely heartbroken. Robin was a national treasure and beautiful soul. My deepest sympathy goes to all his family."
And then, another one from Steve Martin, who tweeted this, "I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."
We're going to talk much more about what Larry spoke about, about depression, why this happen to someone who seemingly has everything.
Robin Williams, dead at the age 63, had been dealing with depression as of late. We're going to talk to our Dr. Drew in just a moment about what happens to people when they go into such depression. Why does this happen.
As well as other people here. We're going to speak to people who knew Robin Williams and talk more about his life.
We're back in a moment with a breaking news here on CNN.
LEMON: I would like to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Don Lemon.
You're watching the breaking news on the death of Robin Williams.
And this is the information that we have. This is according to the Marin County sheriff's office. I will give you all of it because I think it provides great detail as to what happened to Robin Williams.
It says, on August 11, 2014, approximately 11:55 a.m., Marin County communications received a 911 telephone call, reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence, in unincorporated Tiburon, California. The sheriff's office as well as the Tiburon fire department had southern Marin fire protection district dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 p.m., 12 noon. The male subject pronounced deceased at 12:02 p.m. has been identified was Robin McLaren Williams, 63-year- old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, California.
An investigation into the cause, manner and circumstances of the death is currently under way by investigations and coroner divisions of the sheriff's office. Preliminary information developed during the investigation indicates Mr. Williams was last seen alive at his residence where he resides with his wife at approximately 10:00 p.m. on August 10, 2014.
Mr. Williams was located this morning shortly before the 911 call was placed in Marin County communications. At this time, the sheriff's office coroner division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia by a comprehensive investigation -- but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made. A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014, with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.
So Dr. Drew, the host of HLN's "DR. DREW ON CALL", joins me now.
Asphyxia, dealing with depression, suicide, as of now, what can you tell us, Dr. Drew?
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: Well, as asphyxia means depleted oxygen due to some sort of impairment of breathing, something restricted his ability to breath. And that happens, you know, he was an alcoholic and struggling recently with addiction and some relapses. If he had had alcohol access or drug overdose, people can sometimes vomit and choke on their vomitos (ph), but then that goes down as an overdose, asphyxia due to overdose. And no one is suggesting anything like that.
Someone who's been struggling for a long time with depression and they say asphyxia, they are meaning some sort of restriction of the ability to breath. If it is suicide, it's self induced.
LEMON: Well, as we were speaking to Larry, you know, he talked about how openly Robin Williams would talk about his issues and in dealing with addiction issues as well.
But why would someone who seemingly had the keys to the kingdom can, you know, deal with some issues is unfathomable to many people.
PINSKY: That's right. And Larry put it beautifully. You know, I can't nuance it any better than he did. That it's almost unimaginable for someone who seems to have so much joy to his life, how he brings so much joy to others, could be in a state of misery. And this is a problem with depression.
Listen, I was just thinking to myself how many celebrities we have dealt with now that died of mental health related conditions. He had heart disease and yet that is not too what took him. It's the mental health conditions, we have to all remember are potentially fatal.
Larry pointed that out again, 20 million people with this disorder, a significant percentage depressed. But it's a brain disease. He had at least three things that can contribute t that: one, he may have a genetic heritage. He's been struggling with a long time. Two, he had heart surgery recently. Heart surgery, he even mentioned
in that tape you played, emotional vulnerability he felt. The emotionality goes to depression very often.
And then, finally, being somebody who had long period of sobriety struggling with relapse, that can often result in severe depression.
LEMON: And as we talk about when these things happen, Dr. Drew, it is time for us to get rid of stigma dealing with mental health.
Stand by, Dr. Drew, I want it bring if Dan Simon. Dan Simon, he is out in the Bay Area.
And Robin Williams lived there for quite sometime. What's the reaction from there? Take us through it.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you that he was a fixture here in the Bay Area, Don. He loved living here. He lived in a few different neighborhoods. You would see him on his bike, riding through different neighborhoods. He was always polite to his fans. He would stop and engage them in a little bit of chit chat.
So, obviously, it's just a huge shock for the San Francisco Bay community. I can tell you that he lived in the city of Tiburon, which is on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, a San Francisco suburb. You mentioned it that authorities are looking into the cause of death, as you said, as we all know at this point it does appear to be an apparent suicide.
But they do need to dot their I's and cross their T's, a forensic examination will be held tomorrow, an autopsy, if you will, to determine the official cause of death. But, obviously, everybody here in the neighborhoods are just in a complete state of shock, Don.
LEMON: All right. Dan Simon, Dr. Drew, stand by.
The breaking news here on CNN: Robin Williams dead at the age of 63. More after this break.
LEMON: The breaking news here on CNN, Robin Williams, actor, comedian legendary, dead at the age of 63, according to sources, his representatives, his family. It is because of an apparent suicide.
The outpouring from Robin Williams has really been amazing. Everyone from Pink to Glenn Close to Chris Rock. Chris Rock saying, "So sad, so funny", as he mentioned on his Twitter. Jason Alexander says, "Oh, Robin, I'm so sorry, the earth couldn't stay worthy of you. Hope, happiness awaits you. Fran Drescher tweeting, Henry Winkler, Mia Farrow, Valerie Bertinelli, anyone -- everyone that you can imagine.
And the last tweet, which is from his Twitter and from his Instagram it says, "Happy birthday to Ms. Zelda Ray Williams. Quarter of a century old today, but always my little girl. Happy Birthday, love you." And again, this from (INAUDIBLE) director. Brian Stelter here is our media correspondent.
Brian, this is unbelievable.
STELTER: People are now, at least the 2014 way to pay tribute, posting condolences on that Instagram photos.
Another 2014 tribute, even trending topic on Twitter is either his name or one of his movies, or one of his characters. You see Patch Adams, Mrs. Doubtfire. You also see the words, "My Captain" from the film "Dead Poet Society".
I was struck by a couple of posts from a couple of celebrities who knew him personally. Steve Martin wrote, "I could not be more stunned by this loss, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul."
And Steve Carell wrote, "Robin Williams made the world a little bit better."
LEMON: Yes, and he certainly did. As his wife said, she wants us to remember his life rather at that point way he died.
Thank you, Brian.
We'll be right back.
LEMON: The breaking news here on CNN, the death of Robin Williams at the age of 63. There will never be another like him. And Sesame Street, I think they got it right, sending out a tweet just moments ago, saying, "We mourn the loss of our friend Robin Williams who always made us laugh and smile." He certainly did.
Our coverage continues now with Anderson Cooper. "AC360" starts right now.