Entertainment News

  • 13 August 2014, 6:12

San Francisco Neighbours Mourn Robin Williams

"He would come in here, sit at the bar with his wife and have a cappuccino," says John Mills, a waiter at the Servino restaurant in Tiburon.

This is a neat and tidy town which reaches south into the San Francisco Bay.

With a population of nearly 9,000 it is where Robin Williams and his third wife, Susan Schneider, chose to live in a modest bungalow which the actor inherited from his mother in 2001.

"He was always a nice guy, a kind man who always had time to talk to people," said John, 53.

"It's a real shock what's happened. I just saw him as one of the residents here, you know."

A short drive from the town centre around winding roads which track the rocky shores of the bay is Paradise Cay.

Rounding the bend onto an unassuming residential street with well-kept lawns and clean cars are the satellite trucks of the US news networks.

They are lined up outside the actor's house reporting the latest lines from the County Sheriff's office.

Williams was found hanged. His wife was the last to see him alive. He was found by is personal assistant.

An audience of neighbours and locals watch on. Some take photographs of the flowers and the cards, others just stand in silence.

One card, written by a child to his movie hero, reads: "Love you Robin, Jack."

Talk turns to the actor's battle against depression and the revelation that in recent weeks he had been seeking treatment.

"It's sad because his family would have been trying to help him, but ultimately he could not escape his demons," says Mandy Shaw, a neighbour.

Martin Shultz, a local cycling enthusiast, tells me he used to see Williams out on his bike at the local theatre. He has a tear in his eye as he speak about the 63 year-old's death.

"He was a childhood idol, for me. Sad to see him go. Too early."

Asked if this has had a big effect on him, he replies: "Oh yeah, I think a lot of people."

At places made famous by scenes in some of his most iconic films, flowers have also appeared.

The park bench in Good Will Hunting, which won Williams his first and only Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and the house which provided the backdrop to Mrs Doubtfire.

At a morgue in nearby Napa Valley, autopsy and toxicology tests are being carried out.

The results will be available in weeks, but understanding why Williams decided to take his own life may never be known.

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