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Obama, Hagel pay tribute to Robin Williams

President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel paid tribute to actor and comedian Robin Williams Monday. 

Williams, 63, was found dead in his northern California home Monday and officials said it appeared to be a suicide. 

Obama said in a statement issued Monday night that Williams "arrived in our lives as an alien — but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit," referring to Williams' late 1970s role in the TV show "Mork and Mindy." The president was on vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The president said the actor was generous with his comic talents for those who needed it, including troops abroad.

The statement said: "The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin's family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams."

Hagel, in Australia for meetings with his counterpart, called Williams a "true friend and supporter of our troops."

"From entertaining thousands of service men and women in war zones, to his philanthropy that helped veterans struggling with hidden wounds of war, he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform," Hagel said in a statement late Monday. "He will be dearly missed by the men and women of DoD - so many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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