Celebrities and Fans React to Death of Robin Williams

A private memorial service is being planned for actor Robin Williams.

Williams, 63, was found dead in his San Francisco home on Monday. (11 August) According to the preliminary result of the forensic investigation, his cause of death was asphyxiation by hanging.

Close friends and family have started arriving at his home town in Tiburon, California, for the service.

A source told E! News that the memorial "will be small," as the couple were "both very private people."

While most of the world is united in mourning the loss of the much-loved star, members of the controversial Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are planning a protest at the actor's memorial, over his portrayal of a gay man in the movie The Birdcage.

A message posted on the group's official Twitter page reads: "Westboro Baptist Church Hopes To Preach In Lawful Proximity To Robin Williams' Funeral - To Warn The Living: Repent Or Likewise Perish."

News of the demonstration has sparked widespread condemnation and prompted organisers at the global non-profit organisation Planting Peace, to launch a fundraiser to counter the church's plans.

A message from the charity's co-founder Aaron Jackson reads: "Robin Williams played many different roles in so many people's lives, and giving back to others was at the top of that list.

"His appeal crossed generational boundaries. I was personally impacted when I heard of his passing. This is a small gesture to honour his legacy and the difference he made to so many," he said.

Jackson said that when the WBC announced they were protesting the star's funeral, "we felt like launching a fundraiser for a charity Robin loved would be the perfect way to honour him and counteract the message of hate and intolerance that the WBC continues to convey."

The proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit St Jude Children's Hospital, which Williams supported during his life.

President Barack Obama led the tributes to Williams, describing him as "one of a kind," while Hollywood continues to mourn the death of the comic genius.

His children too, have each paid tribute to "their father and best friend."

Zelda Williams said: "Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I've ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colourful and less full of laughter in his absence. We'll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again."

The actor's wife Susan Schneider, revealed he was suffering the early stages of Parkinson's disease.

Individuals who are affected by this story can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

For confidential support in the UK call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit http://www.samaritans.org or Mind on 0300 123 3393 and Mind.org.uk