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Hollywood lionizes great comic as suicide probed

SAN FRANCISCO -- A new generation of Hollywood royalty led by Oscar-winners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon joined the greats of stand-up comedy Tuesday in hailing Robin Williams, after his apparent suicide.

In a tribute to the 63-year-old comic actor's influence on younger celebrities, Williams' co-stars from “Good Will Hunting” — the film that won him his Oscar — joined the global outpouring of emotion.

“Heartbroken. Thanks chief - for your friendship and for what you gave the world,” said Affleck.

“Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made Matt and my dreams come true. What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything.”

Damon, in a separate statement, said: “Robin brought so much joy into my life and I will carry that joy with me forever. He was such a beautiful man.”

Further from the rarefied air of Hollywood, the stand-up performers who shared the comedy circuit with Williams also chimed in.

“Goodbye pal. Thanks for everything,” wrote Louis C.K., who cast Williams to play himself in an episode of his sitcom.

“So sad. So funny,” added Chris Rock, one of the few stand-ups who could fill an arena-sized venue like Williams.

The doctor and clown whose life story formed the basis of the 1998 movie “Patch Adams,” for which Williams earned a Golden Globe nomination, also paid tribute.

“The terrible news of the passing of Robin Williams reached me here in the Peruvian Amazon late last night with tremendous sadness,” Hunter Doherty Adams wrote on Facebook.

Williams was also saluted by many military veterans, hailed as one of the most dedicated of the performers to tour overseas war theaters like Iraq and Afghanistan to entertain US troops.

Hanged Himself with Belt: Sheriff

A formal investigation is under way, but the local sheriff's office in Marin County, California said all the evidence points to Williams having taken his own life by hanging himself with his belt.

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Flowers, photographs and candles surround the star of actor-comedian Robin Williams forming a makeshift memorial along the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Aug. 12. (AP)

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