Robin Williams had Parkinson's disease, wife says

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Susan Schneider, Robin Williams' widow, released a statement Thursday, saying the actor had early stage Parkinson's disease.

Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease and was sober at the time of his apparent suicide, according to a statement released by his wife, Susan Schneider.

Williams was found dead at his home in unincorporated Tiburon, California, Monday morning. Schneider said her husband was struggling with depression, anxiety and the Parkinson's diagnosis at the time of his death.

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.

Schneider said that those who loved Williams are taking solace in the outpouring of affection and admiration for him.

Her entire statement is below:

"Robin spent so much of his life helping others. Whether he was entertaining millions on stage, film or television, our troops on the frontlines, or comforting a sick child - Robin wanted us to laugh and to feel less afraid.

Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.

Robin's sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.

It is our hope in the wake of Robin's tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid."

Michael J. Fox tweeted Thursday afternoon about the revelations: "Stunned to learn Robin had PD (Parkinson's Disease). Pretty sure his support for our Fdn (foundation) predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace."

PHOTOS: Robin Williams through the years

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