Robin Williams

Robin McLaurin Williams, popularly known as Robin Williams was a legendary American actor and comedian. He is regarded as one of the best comedians of all time. He started his career as a stand-up comedian in the mid-1970s and rose to prominence after he played the alien Mork in the sitcom, Mork & Mindy from 1978 to 1982. He later went on to star in numerous films, tv series, and sitcoms, to be named one of the greatest comedians of all time. For his contributions, he has received numerous honors and recognitions.

Sadly, Williams committed suicide in August 2014. It was later confirmed that Williams battled with Lewy body disease. He died at the age of 63.

What is Robin Williams Famous For?

  • Considered one of the best comedians of all time.

Where was Robin Williams Born?

Robin Williams was born on 21 July 1951. His birth name was Robin McLaurin Williams. His birth place is Chicago, Illinois in the United States. He held an American nationality. He was born to a father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, and a mother, Laurie McLaurin. He had two elder half-brothers: paternal half-brother Robert and maternal half-brother, McLaurin. He had English, French, German, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. He belonged to white ethnicity. His zodiac sign was Cancer. His mother was a practitioner of Christian Science, but he was raised in his father’s Episcopal faith.

Regarding his educational background, he attended Gorton Elementary School and Deer Path Junior High School. He overcame his shyness after he got involved with his high school drama department. He attended the private Detroit Country Day School after his father was transferred to Detroit in 1963. He was class president there and was on the school’s wrestling team. The family moved to Tiburon, California after his father retired. He was 16 years old at the time. He attended Redwood High School and graduated from there in 1969. He was voted “Most Likely Not to Succeed” and “Funniest” by his classmates.

Following his high school graduation, he attended Claremont Men’s College, where he studied political science. However, he dropped out of college to pursue acting. He studied theater for three years at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. He then received a full scholarship to the Juilliard school in 1973, where he studied until 1976. He was classmates with William Hurt and Mandy Patinkin and roommates with Franklyn Seales. He was close friends with Christopher Reeve until Reeve’s death in 2004. Reeves paid many of Reeve’s medical bills and gave financial support to his family.

He worked as a busboy at The Trident in Sausalito, California during the summers of 1974, 1975, and 1976. He left Juilliard during his junior year in 1976.

Robin Williams Career

  • Starting from 1976, Robin Williams began performing stand-up in the Francisco Bay Area.
  • He gave his first performance at the Holy City Zoo in San Francisco, where he also worked as a bartender.
  • Williams moved to Los Angeles, where he continued performing stand-up at clubs.
  • He made his television debut from television show, Laugh-In in 1977. TV producer George Schlatter saw him and offered to work.
  • He performed a show at the L.A. Improv for Home Box Office in 1977.
  • He continued performing stand-up at comedy clubs.
  • He landed a role in Happy Days spin-off, Mork & Mindy in 1978. It became his breakthrough and appeared on the sitcom until its conclusion in 1982.
  • He starred in HBO comedy specials, Off The Wall, An Evening with Robin Williams, and A Night at the Met in the 1980s.
  • He won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for the recording of his 1979 live show, Reality…What a Concept.
  • He started using drugs and alcohol due to the stress of performing stand-up.
  • He continued performing stand-ups until 2002.
  • He was voted 13th on Comedy Central’s list “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time”.
  • He took 6-year hiatus from stand-up and returned in August 2008.
  • He announced a 26-city tour, Weapons of Self-Destruction. His tour started in September 2009 and ended in December 2009.
  • He appeared on talk shows, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman for over 50 times.
  • He has guest appeared on several television series and sitcoms.
  • He starred in the lead role in the CBS series, The Crazy Ones in 2013. The show was canceled after one season.
  • Robin Williams made his film debut in a minor role in the low-budget comedy film, Can I Do It…’Til I Need Glasses? in 1977.
  • His first film in the lead role is in Popeye in 1980.
  • He made his breakthrough in films after he starred in the 1987 film, Good Morning, Vietnam. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.
  • Robin Williams films during the 1980s: The World According to Garp, The Survivors, Moscow on the Hudson, The Best of Times, Club Paradise. Seize the Day, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Portrait of a White Marriage, and Dead Poets Society.
  • His movies during the 1990s: Cadillac Man, Awakenings, Shakes the Clown, Dead Again, The Fisher King, Hook, Toys, Mrs. Doubtfire (Also producer), Being Human, Nine Months, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (Uncredited Cameo), Jumanji, The Birdcage, Jack, The Secret Agent (uncredited), Hamlet, Father’s Day, Deconstructing Harry, Flubber, Good Will Hunting, What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams, Jakob the Liar (also an executive producer), Bicentennial Man.
  • His movies during the 2000s: One Hour Photo, Death to Smoochy, Insomnia, The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch, The Final Cut, House of D, Noel (Uncredited), Robots, The Big White, The Night Listener, RV, Man of the Year, Night at the Museum, License to Wed, August Rush, World’s Greatest Dad, Shrink, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, and Old Dogs.
  • His movies during the 2010s: The Big Wedding, The Butler, The Face of Love, Boulevard, and The Angriest Man in Brooklyn.
  • He had voice roles in films, Happy Feet, Happy Feet Two, Everyone’s Hero, Robots, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Aladdin, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, and FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
  • He made his Broadway acting debut in Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo in 2011.
  • He had appeared in Off-Broadway, Waiting for Godot in 1988.
  • He hosted a talk show for Audible. It was premiered in April 2000.
  • His last television work was The Crazy Ones, where he appeared in the role of Simon Roberts.
  • His movies A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and Absolutely Anything, were released posthumously.

Robin Williams Awards, Honors, Achievements

  • Won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting in 1998.
  • He had earned 3 Academy Awards nominations for Best Actor for Good Morning, Vietnam (1988), Dead Poets Society (1990), and The Fisher King (1992).
  • Won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Carol, Carl, Whoopi, and Robin (1987), ABC Presents A Royal Gala (1988).
  • Won Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for Mork & Mindy in 1979.
  • Won Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Good Morning, Vietnam in 1988.
  • Won Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The Fisher King in 1992.
  • Honored with Special Golden Globe Award for Vocal Work in a Motion Picture for Aladdin in 1993.
  • Won Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Mrs. Doubtfire in 1994.
  • Honored with Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2005.
  • Won Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for Reality…What a Concept in 1980.
  • Won Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for A Night at the Met in 1988.
  • Won Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for Good Morning, Vietnam in 1989.
  • Won Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album for Pecos Bill in 1989.
  • Won Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Comedy Album for Robin Williams Live – 2002 in 2003.
  • Won Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor for Mrs. Doubtfire in 1994.
  • Won two MTV Awards for Best Comedic Performance in a Movie for Aladdin (1993) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1994).
  • Won Saturn Award for Best Film Supporting Actor for Aladdin in 1993.
  • Won Saturn Award for Best Film Lead Actor for One Hour Photo in 2003.
  • Won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture for The Birdcage in 1997.
  • Won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Good Will Hunting in 1998.
  • Won Jupiter Award for Best International Actor for Dead Poets Society in 1990.
  • Won National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (shared with Robert De Niro) for Awakenings in 1991.
  • Won Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting in 1998.

Robin Williams Wife

Robin Williams was married three times. He married his first wife, Valerie Velardi in June 1978. They shared a son, Zachary Pym “Zak” Williams. The couple divorced in 1988. He was previously in a live-in relationship with comedian Elayne Boosler, which failed.

He started dating Marsha Garces in 1986. They got married in April 1989. They shared two children, Zelda Rae Williams, and Cody Alan Williams. The couple divorced in 2010.

Williams then married his third wife, Susan Schneider in October 2011. She is a graphic designer. The two had been living in a Sea Cliff, San Francisco, California. They remained together until his death by committing suicide in 2014.

Williams fell into drug and alcohol addiction during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He turned to exercise and cycling to overcome his addiction. He credited cycling to save his life at the time. He started drinking again while working on a film in Alaska in 2003. He checked himself into a rehabilitation center in 2006. He failed to maintain sobriety but never used drugs (cocaine). He was hospitalized due to heart problems in 2009. He underwent successful surgery to replace his aortic valve, repair his mitral valve, and correct his irregular heartbeat in March 2009. He admitted himself into the Hazelden Foundation Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota to overcome alcoholism in 2014.

Williams committed suicide by hanging at his home in Paradise Cay, California on 11 August 2014. An autopsy report revealed that Williams had diffuse Lewy body dementia. He had been sober but was diagnosed with early-stage Parkinson’s disease. It contributed to his depression and suicide. The final autopsy report concluded that he “died of asphyxia due to hanging”. No alcohol or drugs were found in his body. His body was cremated at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Anselmo. His ashes were scattered over San Francisco Bay.

Robin Williams Height

Robin Williams stood at a height of 1.7 m i.e. 5 feet and 7 inches tall. He had a bodyweight of 170 lbs i.e. 77 kg. He had an average body build. His eye color was blue and his hair color was salt and pepper. His shoe size was 10(US). His sexual orientation was straight. He had a net worth of $50 million at the time of his death.

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