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Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Famous As: American stand-up comedian

Who was Robin Williams?

Robin Williams, the funnyman who made not just America but the whole world laugh at his wonderful antics, was an American actor and comedian loved equally by both kids and adults for his quirky expressions, charming clumsiness, and innocent yet witty dialogues. Even though more famous as a comedian, Williams was a very talented personality who could pull off a very serious role with the same ease as he performed a comedic one. Thrice nominated for the coveted Academy Awards, he won it once for his much acclaimed performance in the movie ‘Good Will Hunting’. The son of a senior executive, showbiz seemed to be an unlikely career path for the young Robin. As a boy he always joked around at school and made others laugh with his jokes, no doubt his classmates voted him the “Funniest”! He began his career as a stand-up comedian where he found success. One thing led to another and soon he was on television doing comedy shows. The hit sitcom ‘Mork & Mindy’ made him so popular that he realized that he was meant for greater success. Thus, he entered the world of movies and became the funnyman everyone fell in love with.

Career

He began his career performing stand up comedy shows during the 1970s. While he was performing at the Comedy Club in Los Angeles in 1977, he was spotted by the TV producer George Schlatter who asked him to appear on a revival of his ‘Laugh-In’ show.

His debut TV appearance happened in late 1977 where he performed an extension of his stand-up routines. Even though the Laugh-In was not a success, it definitely led to his talent getting recognized.

He auditioned for the role of Mork the Alien for the show ‘Happy Days’ in 1978. When asked to take a seat, he promptly sat on his head which really impressed the producer, Garry Marshall. The character was so successful that it set off a spin-off.

The American sitcom ‘Mork & Mindy’ was first broadcast in 1978 featuring Robin as Mork the Alien from the planet Ork. The show was a huge success and made him a popular figure in comedy. The show ran till 1982.

In 1979, he gave a live comedy show at the Copacabana in New York, ‘Reality… What a Concept’ the recording of which won him a Grammy Award.

Even though he had made his big screen debut in 1977 with the comedy movie, ‘Can I Do It ‘Till I Need Glasses?’, it wasn’t until 1980 that he got his first big break with ‘Popeye’ in which he played Popeye the Sailor Man.

More roles soon followed and in 1984 he found himself playing the role of Vladimir Ivanoff in the comedy-drama ‘Moscow on the Hudson’ for which he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

He portrayed a radio DJ on Armed Forces Radio Service in the 1987 war comedy film, ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’, a movie in which his character was loosely based on the life of radio DJ Adrian Cronauer.

In 1989, he appeared in the drama film ‘Dead Poets Society’ which was about the story of an English teacher in a conservative academy who inspires his students by teaching them poetry. The movie was a huge hit.

One of his most memorable comedy films was ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ (1993) in which he pretends to be a woman so that he can be closer to the kids he has with his ex-wife.

The year 1997 was a good one for him as he got the opportunity to star in the brilliant movie, ‘Good Will Hunting’ in which he plays the role of a therapist who counsels a troubled yet hugely talented young man. The movie won him many accolades.

The success of his career continued well into the new millennium where he performed in movies such as ‘One Hour Photo’ (2002), ‘Robots’ (2005), ‘License to Wed’ (2007), and ‘Old Dogs’ (2009).

Over the past few years his depression had been worsening and he was also having problems with alcoholism. He died suddenly in 2014; some of his movies like ‘Merry Friggin’ Christmas’ and ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ are scheduled for posthumous release.

Timeline

July 21, 1951
Robin Williams was born in Chicago.

Patents

Further Resources

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Who was Robin Williams? Everything You Need to Know

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