Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Infobox Comedian
name = Robin Williams

caption = Williams entertaining the crew of USS "Enterprise" in the Persian Gulf in December 2003 wearing T-shirt saying "I Love ♥ New York" in Arabic.
birthname = Robin McLaurim Williams
location = Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
influences = Richard Pryor
Jonathan Winters
Peter Sellers
Mel Brooks
Stanley Kubrick
influenced = Frank Caliendo [cite news | last=Elber | first=Lynn | title=Caliendo hopes 'Frank TV' makes good first impression | work=Pantagraph | url= |date=2007-09-24 | accessdate = 2007-12-26]
Conan O'Brien
Paul Livingston
active = 1973 - present
genre = Improvisational comedy,
spouse = Valerie Velardi (1978-1988)
Marsha Garces Williams (1989-2008)
academyawards= Best Supporting Actor
1997 "Good Will Hunting"
emmyawards= Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program
1987 "Carol and Carl and Whoopi and Robin"
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1987 "Good Morning, Vietnam"
1991 "The Fisher King"
1993 "Mrs. Doubtfire"

1978 "Mork and Mindy"
Cecil B. DeMille Award (2005)
sagawards = Best Cast in a Motion Picture
1996 "The Birdcage"
Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1997 "Good Will Hunting"
grammyawards=Best Comedy Album
1980 "Reality...What a Concept"
1988 "A Night at the Met"
1989 "Good Morning, Vietnam"
Best Spoken Comedy Album
2003 "Robin Williams - Live 2002"
americancomedyawards=Funniest Male Performer of the Year
1987, 1988
Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic
1987, 1988, 1989
Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special
1987 '
1988 "Comic Relief '87"
1990 "Comic Relief III"
Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)"'
1988 "Good Morning, Vietnam"
1994 "Mrs. Doubtfire"

Robin McLaurim Williams (born July 21, 1951 or 1952)Sources conflict. The print biographies "The Life and Humor of Robin Williams: A Biography" and "Robin Williams: A Biography" give his birth year as 1952. "The Robin Williams Scrapbook" also gives a birth year as 1952, as does "Encyclopedia Britannica". Williams refers to himself as being "55" in an interview published July 4, 2007. cite news | title=Marriage 101 with Robin Williams | work=StarPhoenix | url= | date = 2007-07-04 | first = Katherine | last = Monk] is an American television, stage and film actor and comedian who has won an Academy Award for his performance in "Good Will Hunting", as well as six Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and three Grammy Awards. His film career began in 1980 following his success in the television series "Mork & Mindy", and he remains active as a film actor and stand-up comedian. He was voted 13th on Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time.


Early life

Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Laura McLaurim (née Smith, 1922–2001), was a former model from Jackson, Mississippi. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams (September 10, 1906–October 18, 1987) was a senior executive at Lincoln-Mercury Motorship in charge of the Midwest area. Williams was raised in the Episcopal Church, though his mother practiced Christian Science, [cite news | last = Gristwood | first = Sarah | title = Bobbin' Robin | url = | publisher = Mail & Guardian Online |date=1998-06-18 | accessdate = 2007-12-26] [cite web | last = Topel | first = Fred | title = Robin Williams on License to Wed | url = | publisher = CanMag | date=2007-07-03 | accessdate = 2007-12-26] and he grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where he was a student at the Detroit Country Day School, [ [ Detroit Country Day: Frequently Asked Questions ] ] and Marin County, California where he attended the public Redwood High School. He has two half-brothers: McLaurin and the late Todd (deceased August 14, 2007). [cite web | last = McLellan | first = Dennis | url = | title = R. Todd Williams, 69; winery founder, comic's brother | publisher = Los Angeles Times | date = 2007-08-18 | accessdate = 2008-02-10 | format = pdf]

Williams has described himself as a quiet child whose first imitation was of his grandmother to his mom. He did not overcome his shyness until he became involved with his high school drama department. [cite episode | title = Robin Williams: 'The Night Listener' | url = | medium = Radio | network = National Public Radio | airdate = 2006-08-03 | series = Fresh Air from WHYY | credits = Terry Gross (host)] In high school, he won an award for "Most Likely To Not Succeed". [mentioned on the November 17, 2006 "The View" interview]


In 1973, Williams was one of only 20 students accepted into the freshman class at Juilliard. Williams, along with Christopher Reeve, were the only students accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year. Reeve and Williams had several classes together in which they were the only two students. In their dialects class, Williams had no trouble mastering all dialects quickly, whereas Reeve was more meticulous about it. Williams's manic comedy did not impress all of his teachers, but his dramatic performances impressed everyone. Williams and Reeve developed a close friendship, and they remained good friends for the rest of Reeve's life. Williams visited Reeve after the horseback riding accident that paralyzed him from the neck down and cheered him up by pretending to be an eccentric Russian doctor (similar to his role in "Nine Months"). Williams claimed that he was there to perform a colonoscopy. Reeve stated that he laughed for the first time since the accident and knew that life was going to be okay.citation | last = Reeve | first = Christopher | title = Still Me | publisher = Random House | location = New York | date = 1998 | isbn = 978-067945235-5| pages = 167–172]

After appearing in the cast of the short-lived "The Richard Pryor Show" on NBC, he was cast by Garry Marshall as the alien Mork in a guest role in the TV series "Happy Days". [ [ YouTube - Happy Days - Richie Meets Mork ] ]

As Mork, Williams improvised much of his dialogue and devised plenty of rapid-fire verbal and physical comedy, speaking in a high, nasal voice. Mork's appearance was so popular with viewers that it led to a spin-off hit television sitcom, "Mork and Mindy", which ran from 1978 to 1982. Williams became an overnight sensation, and Mork was featured on posters, coloring books, lunchboxes, and other merchandise.

Starting in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Williams began to reach a wider audience with his standup comedy, including three HBO comedy specials, "Off The Wall" (1978), "An Evening with Robin Williams" (1982), and "Robin Williams: Live at the Met" (1986). His standup work has been a consistent thread through his career, as is seen by the success of his one-man show (and subsequent DVD) "Robin Williams Live on Broadway" (2002). He was voted 13th on Comedy Central's list "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time" in 2004. [cite web | url = | title = Comedy Central Presents: 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time | publisher = Internet Movie Database | accessdate = 2007-12-26]

After some encouragement from his friend Whoopi Goldberg, he was set to make a guest appearance in the 1991 "" episode, "A Matter of Time", but he had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict; [cite web
first =
coauthors =
title = Biography for Robin Williams
publisher = Internet Movie Database
url =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-04-13
] Matt Frewer took his place as a time-traveling con man, Professor Berlingoff Rasmussen.

Williams also appeared on an episode of the American version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (Season 3, Episode 9: November 16, 2000). During a game of "Scenes from a Hat", the scene "What Robin Williams is thinking right now" was drawn, and Williams stated "I have a career. What the hell am I doing here?" [cite episode
title = Episode 9
series = Whose Line Is It Anyway?
serieslink = Whose Line Is It Anyway?
airdate = 2000-11-16
season = 3

Cinema career

The majority of Williams' acting career has been in film, although he has given some memorable performances on stage as well (notably as Estragon in a production of "Waiting for Godot" with Steve Martin). His performance in "Good Morning, Vietnam" (1987) got Williams nominated for an Academy Award. Many of his roles have been comedies tinged with pathos, for example "The Birdcage" and "Mrs. Doubtfire".

His role as the Genie in the animated film "Aladdin" was instrumental in establishing the importance of star power in voice actor casting. Later, Williams once again used his voice talents in "", as the holographic Dr. Know in the 2001 feature "", the 2005 animated feature "Robots", the 2006 Academy Award winning "Happy Feet", and an uncredited vocal performance in 2006's "Everyone's Hero". Furthermore, he was the voice of The Timekeeper, a former attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort about a time-traveling robot who encounters Jules Verne and brings him to the future.

Williams has also starred in dramatic films, earning himself two subsequent Academy Award nominations: First for playing an unorthodox and inspiring English teacher in "Dead Poets Society" (1989), and later for playing a troubled homeless man in "The Fisher King" (1991); that same year, he played an adult Peter Pan in the movie "Hook". Other acclaimed dramatic films include "Awakenings" (1990) and "What Dreams May Come" (1998).

In 1998, he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his role as a psychologist in "Good Will Hunting". However, by the early 2000s, he was thought by some to be typecast in films such as "Patch Adams" (1998) and "Bicentennial Man" (1999) that critics complained were excessively maudlin. In 2006 Williams starred in "The Night Listener", a thriller about a radio show host who realizes he's developed a friendship with a child who may or may not exist.

He is known for his wild improvisational skills and impersonations. His performances frequently involve impromptu humor designed and delivered in rapid-fire succession while on stage. According to the "Aladdin" DVD commentary, most of his dialogue as the Genie was improvised. He is a talented mimic and can jump in and out of characters and various accents at an extremely fast pace.

In 2006, he starred in five movies including "Man of the Year" and was the Surprise Guest at the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. He appeared on an episode of "" that aired on January 30, 2006.

At one point, he was in the running to play the Riddler in "Batman Forever" until director Tim Burton dropped the project. Williams had earlier been a prime candidate to play the Joker in "Batman". He had expressed interest in assuming the role in "The Dark Knight", the sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins", [cite news | last = Otto | first = Jeff | title = Robin Williams, Joker? | url = | publisher = IGN |date=2006-06-26 | accessdate = 2007-12-26] although the part of the Joker was taken by Heath Ledger.

He was portrayed by Chris Diamantopoulos in the made-for-TV biopic "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Mork & Mindy" (2005), documenting the actor's arrival in Hollywood as a struggling comedian and becoming an overnight star when he landed the role in "Mork & Mindy".

tand-Up Career

Robin Williams has done a number of stand-up comedy tours since the early 1970's. Some of his most notable tours include An Evening With Robin Williams (1978), Robin Williams: At The Met (1986) and Robin Williams LIVE on Broadway (2002). The latter broke many long held records for a comedy show. In some cases, tickets were sold out within thirty minutes of going on sale.

In August 2008, Williams announced a brand new 26-city tour titled "Weapons of Self Destruction". After a six year break from his record breaking tour, Robin decided the time was right to perform again due to the material that could be generated by a presidental election. Also, he was quoted as saying that this was his last chance to make cracks at the expense of the current Bush Administration. []

Personal life

His first marriage was to Valerie Velardi on June 4, 1978, with whom he has one child, Zachary Pym (Zak) (born April 11, 1983). During Williams' first marriage, he was involved in an extramarital relationship with Michelle Tish Carter, a cocktail waitress whom he met in 1984. She sued him in 1986, claiming he gave her herpes without notifying her. The case was settled out of court. [cite news | last = Hoffman | first = Jan | title = THE SEXES; Pillow Talk | url = | publihsher = The New York Times |date=1992-08-09 | accessdate = 2007-12-26]

On April 30, 1989, he married Marsha Garces, his son's nanny who was already several months pregnant with his child. They have two children, Zelda Rae (born July 31, 1989) and Cody Alan (born November 25, 1991). However, in March 2008, Garces filed for divorce from Williams, citing irreconcilable differences. [ [ Robin Williams' wife files for divorce after nearly 19 years ] ]

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams had a serious addiction to cocaine; he has since quit. Williams was a close friend and frequent partier alongside John Belushi. He says the death of his friend and the birth of his son prompted him to quit drugs: "Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too".cite episode | title = Robin Williams | series = Inside the Actors Studio | season = 7 | number = 710 | airdate = 2001-06-10 | network = Bravo | url = | credits = James Lipton (host)] He was also quoted as saying, "Cocaine is God's way of telling you, you're making too much money." [cite news |url= |title=Tour de Frantic |last=Griffin |first=Nancy |date=2006-11/2006-12 |publisher="AARP The Magazine" |accessdate=2008-05-20]

On August 9, 2006, Williams entered himself into a rehabilitation center for alcoholism. His publicist delivered the announcement: "After 20 years of sobriety, Robin Williams found himself drinking again and has decided to take proactive measures to deal with this for his own well-being and the well-being of his family. He asks that you respect his and his family's privacy during this time. He looks forward to returning to work this fall to support his upcoming film releases." [cite news | title = Robin Williams Enters Rehab for Alcohol | date=August 9, 2005 | publisher = People | url =,26334,1224730,00.html | accessdate = 2007-04-28]

On August 20, 2007, Williams' elder brother, Robert Todd Williams, died of complications from heart surgery performed in July.

Other interests

Williams is an avid enthusiast of games, enjoying pen-and-paper role-playing games and online video games, recently playing "Warcraft 3", "Day of Defeat", "Half-Life", [ [ Interview at] ] and the first-person shooter "Battlefield 2" as a sniper. [cite web | url = | title = Mork & Me | work = The Archies | date = 2005-12-05] On January 6, 2006, he performed live at Consumer Electronics Show during Google's keynote. [ [] ] In the 2006 E3, on the invitation of Will Wright, he demonstrated the creature editor of "Spore" while simultaneously commenting on the creature's look: "This will actually make a platypus look good." [ [ Robin Williams plays Spore ] ] He also complimented the game's versatility, comparing it to "Populous" and "Black & White".

Robin Williams has gone on record as a fan of the anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion", and incorporated a scene referencing it in "One Hour Photo" where he purchases an action figure of it as a gift.

A fan of professional road cycling, he was a regular on the US Postal and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling team bus and hotels during the years Lance Armstrong dominated the Tour de France. [cite news | last = Murphy | first = Brian | title = Tour de Lance: 100 percent pure | url = | publisher = "ESPN" | accessdate = 2007-06-29]

He also enjoys Rugby Union and is a big fan of former All Black, Jonah Lomu.

Charity work

Williams and his former wife, Marsha, founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many different charities. Williams devotes much of his energy doing work for charities, including the Comic Relief fund-raising efforts. In December 1999, he sang in French on the BBC-inspired music video of international celebrities doing a cover of the Rolling Stones's "It's Only Rock & Roll" for the charity Children's Promise. [cite news | title = Stones cover enters festive race | url = | publisher = BBC NEWS | date = 1999-12-10]

Williams has performed for four years with the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.



Williams sings a version of "Come Together" with Bobby McFerrin on "In My Life", a Beatles tribute album produced by George Martin. He also sings "A Mi Manera (My Way)", on the "Happy Feet" soundtrack. For the 1993 soundtrack of Mrs. Doubtfire, and the film, he sings a rendition of a fragment of Gioacchino Rossini's "Largo al factotum" from "The Barber of Seville".

Williams also appeared in the music video of Bobby McFerrin's hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". [ [ Bobby McFerrin Homepage] ]
*"Reality...What a Concept" (1979)
*"Throbbing Python of Love" (1983)
*"A Night at the Met" (1986)
*"Pecos Bill" (1988)
*"Live 2002" (2002)

DVDs and videos

*"An Evening with Robin Williams" (1982, VHS)
*"Robin Williams: Live at the Met" (1986, VHS)
*"Robin Williams: Live on Broadway" (2002)

Television guest appearances

*As "Robert Ellison" on "" (1994)
*As "Thomas" on "Friends" (1997)
*"Whose Line is it Anyway?" (2000)
*"That's Fucking Historical" episode of "Mind of Mencia" (2006)
*"Real Time With Bill Maher" (2006)
*CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" It Helps To Laugh (2006)
*TV Land's "Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg" (2007)
*CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" (2007)
*BBC's "Men Who Do Comedy" (2007)
*CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" (2008) (First show after start of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike)
*ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" 2008 (Segment titled "I'm Fuckin' Ben Affleck")
*"The Russian Idol" on American Idol's 2008 "Idol Gives Back" special
*As Merritt Rook on (2008)


* [ "Road Trip with Robin"]
* [ "Robin Williams mimic ends 'fraud'"] (BBC News)
* [ "Robin Williams' impersonator stopped"] (
* [ "Robin Williams Enters Rehab"] , August 9, 2006 (Access Hollywood)
*Lovece, Frank, "New York Newsday" (April 27, 2006)


*citation|title=The Life and Humor of Robin Williams: A Biography|author=Jay David|publisher=Quill|location=New York|date=1999 |isbn=978-068815245-1
*citation|title=Robin Williams: A Biography|author=Andy Dougan|publisher=Thunder's Mouth Press|date=1999 |isbn=978-156025213-9
*citation|title=The Robin Williams Scrapbook|author=Stephen J. Spignesi|publisher=Carol Pub.|location=Secaucus, NJ|date=1997 |isbn=978-080651891-6

External links

*amg name|
*tcmdb name|206858
* person|888
*voice actor|2438
*ymovies name|1800013042
* [ Robin Williams Interview] ("License to Wed")
* [ Robin Williams interview for License to Wed at]
* [ Charlie Rose - A conversation with Robin Williams]

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
title=Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
for "Good Will Hunting"
before=Cuba Gooding, Jr.
for "Jerry Maguire"
after=Michael Caine
for "The Cider House Rules"
succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Series
for "Mork & Mindy"
before=Ron Howard and
Henry Winkler
for "Happy Days"
after=Alan Alda
for "M*A*S*H"
succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for "The Fisher King"
before=Gérard Depardieu
for "Green Card"
after=Tim Robbins
for "The Player"
succession box
title=Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for "Mrs. Doubtfire"
before=Tim Robbins
for "The Player"
after=Hugh Grant
for "Four Weddings and a Funeral"

NAME= Williams, Robin
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Williams, Robin McLaurim
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Academy Award-winning American actor and comedian
DATE OF BIRTH= 1952-7-21
PLACE OF BIRTH= Chicago, Illinois, USA

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robin Williams — (2004) Williams …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robin Williams — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda No confundir con el cantante Robbie Williams. Robin Williams Robin Williams en 2007 Nombre real …   Wikipedia Español

  • Robin Williams — (21 de julio de 1951) es un actor estadounidense. Nació en Chicago, en el estado de Illinois, como hijo único de un ejecutivo de la industria del automóvil. Creció en un ambiente económicamente holgado y no mostró en su infancia y primera… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robin Williams — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Williams. Robin Williams …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Robin Williams — ➡ Williams (VII) * * * …   Universalium

  • Robin Williams — …   Википедия

  • Robin Williams — (born 1952) famous American comedian and movie actor …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Robin Williams (disambiguation) — Robin Williams may refer to:* Robin Williams (born 1951), American actor and comedian * Robin Williams (writer) (born 1953), American educator and writer of computer related books * Robin Williams (folk musician), American folk musician * Robin… …   Wikipedia

  • Robin Williams (writer) — Infobox Writer imagesize = 150px name = Robin Patricia Williams caption = Robin Williams pseudonym = birthdate = Bda|1953|10|09 birthplace = Berkeley, California deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Non fiction writer; graphic designer; teacher; …   Wikipedia

  • Robin McLaurin Williams — Robin McLaurim Williams (* 21. Juli 1951 in Chicago, Illinois) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler und Komiker. Robin Williams (2004) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”