Robin Williams dead: 'Good Will Hunting' actor discussed heaven and the jokes God might tell during 'Inside the Actors studio' interview

Police believe the actor took his life on Monday

Hollywood actor Robin Williams, who died aged 63 on Monday, said in an interview that he hoped there would be laughter in heaven, if it exists.

Williams is believed to have taken his own life, after he was found asphyxiated at his home in California.

The versatile actor appeared films including Good Morning, Vietnam and Mrs Doubtfire. He had been dealing with severe depression recently, according to his press representative.

As an influential actor, Williams was invited to appear on Inside the Actors Studio in 2001, having won an Oscar for his depiction of a therapist in 1997 drama Good Will Hunting.

The show is hosted James Liption, the respected actor, writer and dean emeritus of the Actors Studio School at Pace University, New York, and has featured other acting heavyweights including Cate Blanchett, Morgan Freeman, Nicolas Cage and Williams’ Good Will Hunting co-star Matt Damon.

The programme approaches actors as masters in their field, rather than celebrities, but Lipton famously ends his discussions with the question: “If heaven exists what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?”

“There’s seating near the front,” replied Williams who was famed for his sharp improvisation skills.

“The concert begins at five and it’ll be Mozart, Elvis and one of your choosing,” he continued as the audience roared with laughter.

“Or if Heaven exists – just to know there’s laughter, that would be a good thing. Just to hear God go: “two Jews walk into a bar,” he added, smiling.

Read more: William's daughter pays tribute to her father
William's eccentric career in pictures
Robin Williams dead: A comic genius
President Obama leads star-studded tributes to actor
Best film moments from Good Will Hunting to Dead Poets Society

Williams found his break in 1970s TV comedy Mork & Mindy, in which he played a strange and lovable creature from outer space.

In many films, like Good Morning, Vietnam, Williams attracted widespread praise by successfully combining his gift for comedy with an exploration of more serious underlying themes.

The actor had struggled with addictions to drink and drugs in the past, and had entered a Minnesota rehabilitation centre last month to help him maintain sobriety.

Video: The death of Robin Williams

Following his death, Williams's third wife Susan Schneider released a statement in which she called her husband her “best friend” and one of the world’s “most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.

"I am utterly heartbroken," she said.

For any readers seeking confidential support, call Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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