Conan O’Brien broke the tragic news of Robin Williams’ death to a shocked studio audience as he finished taping his show on Monday.
Conan O’Brien brokes the new of Robin Williams’ death to his studio audience during the Monday afternoon taping of “Conan” just a few hours before the show aired.
A clearly surprised and shaken O’Brien told those present:
“I’m sorry to anyone in our studio audience that I’m breaking this news.” The talk show host added, “This is absolutely shocking and horrifying.”
“This is absolutely shocking and horrifying and so upsetting on every level,” said O’Brien. “We’re at the end of the show and it felt like it needed to be acknowledged.”
In the video, audible gasps can be heard from some in the audience as realization of the actor’s death sank in.
At the time, O’Brien’s regular wingman Andy Richter and “Conan” guest Will Arnett were on stage. They offered condolences to the Williams family and their own memories of the comic actor.
“He was an amazingly kind and generous person,” said Richter. “And it’s got to be a terrible time for his family, and our thoughts go out to them.”
Arnett recalled, “As funny as he was, he was truly one of the all-time greats. He was even better as a person.”
He added: ” He was just one of the loveliest, sweetest, one of the kindest guys that I’ve ever worked with.”
As O’Brien ended the show, he stuttered slightly and appeared to fumble for words.
“We are just processing this information literally right at this moment,” he managed to say, “and so we are thinking of Robin’s family, we’re thinking about everybody who he touched around the world and throughout his life and we’re thinking about Robin tonight.”
The New York Daily News reports Williams appeared on “The Conan O’Brien Show” many times over his career, most recently in 2010.
Williams was reportedly found at his Tiburon, San Francisco home at 11:55 am [local time] by Marin County sheriff’s deputies. The last sighting of the beloved star was at around 10 pm Sunday.
An autopsy is due to be performed Tuesday. Law enforcement are scheduled to hold a news conference today at 11 AM PT to reveal details of William’s death.
Throughout his life Williams suffered from manic depression caused by the condition bipolar disorder.
The later star’s spokeswoman, Mara Buxbaum, told media outlets Williams had been “battling severe depression” recently.
Robin also struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and left his latest rehab stint on July 1.
In a statement, William’s wife, Susan Schneider, wrote: “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.”
Her statement continued:”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.”
Williams is also survived by three adult children, Zachary, 31, Zelda, 25, and Cody, 22.
Zelda posted a poignant tweet on Monday that included an image of a quote from “The Little Prince,” about someone living in a star who could make it seem as if the stars were laughing when a loved one looked up at the night sky.
“I love you. I miss you. I’ll try to keep looking up. Z,” read her caption.
Zelda’ social media tribute was one of a flood of celebrities’ comment on the death of Robin Williams, a legend, a family man and someone clearly in a great deal of pain.
President Obama, referencing Williams’ many iconic movie roles, said yesterday, he 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.”
(Photo: The actor in “The Listener” in 2006.)
[Image via Everett Collection/Page Six].