Owen Wilson: What Happened?

08/30/2007 at 12:00 PM EDT

Owen Wilson: What Happened?
Owen Wilson (in May)
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson

Great comics almost always create public humor from private pain. But in the decade since Owen Wilson ambled onto the Hollywood radar as a bumbling burglar in the cult comedy Bottle Rocket, the laid-back surfer dude with the crooked nose and the slow Texas drawl has always seemed different: wry, loopy, kind and light. "He's divine," says Rocket producer Polly Platt of her longtime friend. "Just an angel." So it was with true shock that Platt and Wilson's other friends and family learned that on Aug. 26, Wilson had slashed his wrists at his home in Santa Monica in an apparent suicide attempt.

"It's impossible," Platt told PEOPLE on Aug. 28. "He's far too full of life and is at the prime of his career." But another pal confirmed the worst about the crisis that landed him at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: "Owen was very despondent. He slit his wrists. He almost did not make it."

As stunning as the news was, others close to Wilson, 38, were not surprised to hear of the latest dark chapter in the life of a man who they say has battled his share of demons, which have included drug addiction. According to the Santa Monica Police Department, the 911 call that brought an emergency crew to his home shortly after noon on Sunday was classified as an "attempt suicide." The following day Wilson issued a statement saying, "I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time."

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