Santa Barbara, Calif. -

Robin Williams’ brilliant career spanned over 40 years. The Academy Award winner’s ability to connect with audiences in a variety of different roles allowed him to become one of the most respected artists of his generation

Local resident Michael O’Brien was shocked to hear about Williams’ sudden death. "From “Mork and Mindy” to Aladdin, he was so talented as an actor."

According to Williams' publicist, the actor had been battling severe depression in recent months. He had also made at least two trips to rehab in recent years, including one earlier this summer.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Lisa Firestone knows the risks of depression and substance abuse. She has over 20 years of experience in suicide prevention. “Just coming out of the hospital or a facility, it's a very high risk time for people."

Williams’ death is still under investigation, but the coroner suspects the death was a suicide. “Addiction is a high-risk factor for suicides, especially alcohol. If you have someone in your life struggling, it’s important to reach out for help,” Firestone said.

Williams was a transcendent star whose bigger-than-life talent made him a favorite across the globe. Athena Koulourianou was visiting Santa Barbara from Greece. "He was a big star in Greece too. We loved him. He was such a funny guy. We will really miss him.”

Michael O’Brien: "We really lost a great actor today. It’s sad.”