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Robin Williams Funeral Set For San Francisco, As Coroner Defends Decision To Reveal Death Details

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UPDATE: Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease when he was found dead on Monday, according to his widow Susan Schneider.

Robin Williams will be laid to rest at a "very private" funeral in San Francisco, just miles from his home in Paradise Cay, Calif., where he was found dead after committing suicide by hanging on Monday.

E! News reports the Oscar winner, and man of many manic impressions, will be honoured in an intimate memorial, restricted to family and friends, in the coming weeks. The 63-year-old's eldest son, Zak, 31, is among the few flying into the Bay Area ahead of the planned service, to finalize the burial arrangements, according to the Daily Mirror. Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, is also shepherding his funeral plans.

"It's not official yet, but that's the plan," said the source, to E! News. "It will be small. They were both very private people."

But, the same source says fans will have a chance to mourn the "Mrs. Doubtfire" star publicly. A yet-to-be-confirmed comedy benefit for Williams will take place at the Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, Calif. in the coming months. Other tributes for the actor are also under way, including one at the 2014 Emmy Awards, taking place on Aug. 25. Broadway also dimmed the lights for the star on Wednesday night, and the cast of the "Aladdin" musical sang an audience rendition of "Friend Like Me" in his honour.

Funeral details are expected to be confirmed shortly, and the controversial Westboro Baptist Church has already announced plans to picket the event, citing particular distaste for Williams' comedy.

These new details come in light of recent backlash from the deputy chief coroner's decision to disclose specific information surrounding the star's death.

On Tuesday, Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Coroner Keith Boyd revealed Williams hung himself with a belt, had cuts on his left wrist, and that his body was discovered by his personal assistant. The press conference, broadcast online and on television, is coming under fire for divulging graphic evidence of how the comedian reportedly took his own life.

Boyd also said Williams' body was "cool to the touch" when found.

In a statement, Boyd writes:

"The Sheriff's Office understands how the release of the kind of information you heard... may be viewed as disturbing by some, and as unnecessary by others, but under California law, all that information is considered 'public information' and we are precluded from denying access to it. These kinds of cases, whether they garner national attention or not, are very difficult for everyone involved.

"Frankly, it would have been our personal preference to withhold a lot of what we disclosed to the press... but the California Public Records Act does not give us that kind of latitude. For the same reasons, we will likely be required to release to the media the 911 phone call we received from Mr. Williams' residence and the fire dispatch tapes that resulted as well..."

Earlier this week, Boyd said the coroner's investigation and full autopsy reports that will show whether Williams had drugs or alcohol in his system could take two to six weeks to complete.

Did Boyd cross the line?


Are you in crisis? Need help? In Canada, find links and numbers to 24-hour suicide crisis lines in your province here.

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