08/14/2014 10:20 EDT | Updated 08/14/2014 10:59 EDT

Michael J. Fox 'Stunned' By Robin Williams' Parkinson's Diagnosis


Like millions of others, Michael J. Fox was “stunned” to learn that late actor and comedian Robin Williams was living with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease before his death.

The Edmonton-born actor reacted to revelations of Williams’ diagnosis on Thursday, taking to Twitter to pay homage to “a true friend.”

According to the Williams’ widow, Susan Schneider, the 63-year-old actor was recently struggling with depression and anxiety, adding his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis was something 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,” she said in a statement earlier in the day.

Williams was found dead on Monday in his Tiburon, Calif. home. Marin County Sheriff Chief Coroner Keith Boyd confirmed the actor hung himself and died of asphyxiation.

Funeral details have not yet been finalized, but a source told E! News: "It will be small. They were both very private people," referring to Williams and his wife.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, but did not go public with his diagnosis until 1998. In 2000, the “Spin City” actor founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation and has since raised more than USD $450 million to find a cure for the progressive disease.

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