Robin Williams – Biography – IMDB

Pulled from IMDB.


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (7) | Trivia (87) | Personal Quotes (32) |Salary (7)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 21 July 1951 , Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 11 August 2014 , Tiburon, California, USA  (apparent suicide)
Birth Name Robin McLaurin Williams
Height 5′ 7″ (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator Anselm J. McLaurin. Robin briefly studied political science, before enrolling at Juilliard School to study theatre. After he left Juilliard, he performed in nightclubs where he was discovered for the role of Mork on an episode of Happy Days (1974) and the subsequent spin-off Mork & Mindy (1978). Williams’ wild comic talent involved a great deal of improvisation, following in the footsteps of his idol Jonathan Winters. Williams has also proven to be an effective dramatic actor and received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Good Will Hunting (1997).

On August 11, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California USA, the victim of an apparent suicide, according to the Marin County Sheriff’s Department. A 911 call was received at 11:55 AM PST, firefighters and paramedics arrived at his home at 12:00 PM PDT, and he was pronounced dead at 12:07 PM PST.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Hamel

Spouse (3)

Susan Schneider (22 October 2011 – 11 August 2014) (his death)
Marsha Garces Williams (30 April 1989 – 2010) (divorced) (2 children)
Valerie Velardi (4 June 1978 – 6 December 1988) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (7)

Wild improvised stream-of-consciousness comedy dialogue where he will do cultural references, impersonations and one-liners with rapid switching.
Unique skill at imitating voices
Frequently plays offbeat and eccentric characters
Frequently plays fathers or family men
Often plays characters lacking in self-awareness
Often plays men who have suffered a trauma or loss
Often plays characters with mental instability and/or a deep capacity for violence (One Hour Photo, Insomnia)

Trivia (87)

Moved to San Francisco, California when he was 16.
Studied acting briefly at Julliard under John Houseman. Houseman told him he was wasting his talent at Juilliard and he should strike out on his own and do stand-up comedy.
Resided with his family in San Francisco’s Seacliff neighborhood for many years. before moving to San Francisco suburb of Tiburon in the 2000s, just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, California.
Was set to play Drew Barrymore‘s father in the film Home Fries (1998) and had the role during production, but pulled out of the part days before his scenes were to be shot.
October 1997: Ranked #63 in Empire (UK) magazine’s “The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” list.
1997: Voted funniest man alive by Entertainment Weekly.
When he auditioned for the role of Mork from Ork on Happy Days (1974), producer Garry Marshall told him to sit down. Williams immediately sat on his head on the chair. Marshall hired him, saying that he was the only alien who auditioned.
During the making of Mork & Mindy (1978), Williams departed from the scripts and ad libbed so many times and so well, that the producers stop trying to make him stick to the script and deliberately left gaps in the later scripts leaving only “Mork can go off here” in those places so Robin could improvise.
Album: “Reality… What a Concept” on Casablanca Records (1979).
Was set to appear on the Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episode, Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Matter of Time (1991), as the time traveler Professor Berlinghoff Rasmussen, but a schedule conflict forced him to drop out (the role eventually went toMatt Frewer). He was inspired to seek a Trek role by his friend, Whoopi Goldberg, who made several appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) as the bartender Guinan.
Was a huge fan of the sport of Rugby Union, and in particular New Zealand All Black starJonah Lomu, who flew to San Francisco and gifted him with a signed All Black jersey. On a recent visit to New Zealand they were reunited on national television, Williams humbly accepting another All Black jersey, except this time it had Jonah’s number 11 on the back.
Attended Claremont Men’s College, where he played soccer.
1998: Listed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 25 Best Actors.
Was a huge fan of the comedy series Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969).
Studied at Julliard with actor Christopher Reeve. The two remained good friends until Reeve’s death in 2004.
Enjoyed cycling and occasionally trained with Lance Armstrong.
After having won the Academy Award for Good Will Hunting (1997), he sent Peer Augustinski (who was his standard German dubbing voice) a little Oscar replica with a note: “Thank you for making me famous in Germany.”.
Graduated from Redwood High School in Larkspur, California, north of San Francisco. Other famous alumni from Redwood include Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990)) and Erin Gray (Kate from Silver Spoons (1982)), and Jason Branson, radio talk show guest/therapist and author.
2003: Won Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for “Robin Williams – Live 2002”.
1980: Hit #104 on the Billboard Singles Charts with “I Yam What I Yam” (Boardwalk 5701).
2003: Ranked #7 in Star TV’s Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s.
1996: He reached a unique milestone by having two of his films reach the $100-million mark in the United States exactly the same week: Jumanji (1995) and The Birdcage(1996).
Was voted “Least Likely to Succeed” by his fellow graduates at Larkspur.
Early in his career, he told a reporter that he was born in Scotland. His original press releases indeed listed Scotland as his place of birth. He admitted that he was “under the influence” at the time he said this. He was really born in Chicago.
He was voted the 50th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
One week after Christopher Reeve‘s tragic horseriding accident, Robin visited him in the hospital. However, he was dressed from head to toe in scrubs, spoke with a Russian accent, and had a surgical mask on. He was acting as if he was a real doctor and did a bunch of wacky antics. After he took off his mask, Reeve stated that, “That was the first time he laughed since the accident!”.
When “Blame Canada”, a song from South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999), was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award, it was Williams who performed the song at the ceremony because the actress who sang the song in the film, Mary Kay Bergman, had committed suicide a few months prior to the awards show.
Was considered for the role of Joe Miller in Jonathan Demme‘s Philadelphia (1993), which went to Denzel Washington.
Was an active supporter of the U.S. Democratic Party, he had been outspoken about his opposition to the war in Iraq. However, he became the most consistent entertainer of U.S. troops since the war began, leading some to dub him the new Bob Hope.
Had been seen in playing paintball at public reservations near his Northern California residences.
He was a very overweight child. As a result, nobody would play with him. He started talking in different voices to entertain himself.
2004: Dedicated his winning the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards to his good friend Christopher Reeve.
Most of his dialogue in Aladdin (1992) was ad-libbed.
Was a guest on Johnny Carson‘s next to last episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), along with Bette Midler.
Had English, French, Greman, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry.
He and his Being Human (1994) and Robots (2005) castmate, Ewan McGregor, have both shared a role with Alec Guinness. McGregor, of course, played the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. Williams appeared in Kenneth Branagh‘s Hamlet (1996), as Osric, a role that Guinness had played on stage opposite John Gielgud. Williams also shares that role with another Star Wars series actor, Peter Cushing, who played the same role in the same year in the film, opposite Laurence Olivier.
Co-owned the Rubicon Restaurant in San Francisco with Robert De Niro and fellow Bay area resident Francis Ford Coppola.
1993: Wrote the foreword to Gary Larson‘s book, “The Far Side: Gallery 4”.
2002: After a 20-year break from doing stand-up comedy, he came back with a show live on Broadway. It won a Grammy Award for best spoken word album in 2003.
Though he was highly regarded for his ability to perform numerous different voices, he only lent his voice to six animated features: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992),Aladdin (1992), Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), Robots (2005), Happy Feet(2006) and Happy Feet Two (2011). However, he did voice-over work for a cartoon onMrs. Doubtfire (1993), played a small role in the animated short A Wish for Wings That Work (1991), and had done narration for different rides and attractions at Disney World. He has also done the voice for the character “Doctor Know” in the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), which was not an animated movie.
Has one older half-brother: Todd Williams.
1976: Performed at the opening of the San Francisco Comedy Competition against Dana CarveyHarry Anderson and A. Whitney Brown.
Was a huge fan of Doctor Who (1963) and Star Trek (1966).
Invented the curse word “Shazbot”, first heard on the situation comedy Mork & Mindy(1978) (in which Mork says the expression during the opening credits). Later, it was used in an episode of The Simpsons (1989) (Treehouse of Horror VI) with the Production Code 3F04, which aired on 10/30/95. In 1998, it was used as a voice chat option in the very popular “Starsiege Tribes” game and was carried over into the sequels “Tribes 2” and “Tribes: Vengeance”. Incidently, “shazbot, nano nano” also remain the last recorded words of the legendary former singer of AC/DC Bon Scott (1946-1980), still available on the album “Highway to Hell”.
He considered Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor his comedic idols.
Was offered the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995), which eventually went toJim Carrey.
Was considered for the role of Bobby Wheeler in the situation comedy Taxi (1978), which went to Jeff Conaway.
Was the second choice for the role of Frank Ginsberg in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), which went to Steve Carell.
1993: Was turned down for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination in for his performance in Aladdin (1992), because he only voiced the Genie.
He liked computer and video games.
Owned a home and vineyard in Northern California’s St. Helena district, hence the quip, “I love the smell of Napa in the morning.”. Not-too-distant neighbors included football legend Joe Montana (Calistoga) and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (Rutherford), both of whom run their own vineyards.
Williams and Robert De Niro were the last stars to see John Belushi alive, albeit on separate visits to Bungalow #3 of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles that fateful day in March 1982.
Asked by James Lipton about what he would like to God say when he arrived in heaven, Williams answered that “There is a seat in the front.” in the concert of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Elvis Presley.
Was invited to the party Steve Martin was throwing that turned out to be his wedding.
Was one of the few celebrities to have a segment in Sesame Street that didn’t have any puppets or actors playing sesame street regular characters.
Had played both a fictional President in Man of the Year (2006) a real-life one in Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013).
He and his former second wife, Marsha Garces Williams frequently visited Australia during their holidays.
Met second wife Marsha Garces Williams when she was nanny for his and first wifeValerie Velardi‘s son, Zak Williams.
Lived in San Francisco, Tiburon, and Napa, California.
Spoke French fluently.
Was voted “Most Humorous” and “Least likely to succeed” in school.
Filed a lawsuit against Frank and Beans Productions, production company of a shelved movie called “A Couple of Dicks”. Williams claimed that he received $6 million in “fixed compensation”, meaning that he would receive the money whether the film was made or not. [October 2008]
Checked himself into rehab to be treated for alcoholism. He already overcome a drug and alcohol addiction in the 1980s. He left rehab in September 2006.
Recovered at the Cleveland Clinic after successful open heart surgery on March 13, 2009 to replace his aortic valve.
His role in August Rush (2007) was modeled after the character of Fagin from Oliver Twist (1948), who was played in David Lean‘s film by Alec Guinness. Guinness also played Osric in John Gielgud‘s theatrical production of Hamlet. Williams played the role inKenneth Branagh‘s film version.
Was frequently called up by Steven Spielberg when he was filming Schindler’s List(1993). He would put him on speaker phone so he could tell jokes to the cast and crew to cheer them up. He used his character in Aladdin (1992) most of the time.
During the course of recording the voice of Genie in Aladdin (1992), Robin improvised so much they had almost 16 hours of material. He also ad-libbed so many of his lines that the movie’s script was turned down for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination.
Appeared fully nude in The Fisher King (1991) and World’s Greatest Dad (2009).
Studied acting with Michael Howard in New York City.
Became a vegetarian following his open heart surgery.
Was close friends with John Travolta and Eric Idle.
Married for the third time to, Susan Schneider, a graphic designer, on October 23, 2011, at Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, California, among friends and family.
His great friend, Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, referred to Robin’s hairy arms as “Quest for Fire” opera gloves.
Was a huge fan of the “Legend of Zelda” series since the first game appeared in 1986, and even named his daughter Zelda, after the eponymous character. Both Robin and Zelda appeared in a commercial for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011).
Played the same character (Mork) in three different series: Happy Days (1974), Mork & Mindy (1978) and Out of the Blue (1979).
Became a father for the 1st time at age 31 when his 1st ex-wife Valerie Velardi gave birth to their son Zachary Pym (Zak) Williams on April 11, 1983.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 38 when his 2nd ex-wife Marsha Garces Williamsgave birth to their daughter Zelda Williams on July 31, 1989.
Became a father for the 3rd time at age 40 when his 2nd ex-wife Marsha Garces Williamsgave birth to their son Cody Alan Williams on November 25, 1991.
Appeared with Billy Crystal in four films: In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994), Hamlet (1996),Fathers’ Day (1997), Deconstructing Harry (1997) and a cameo on Friends (1994).
Worked with voice actor Frank Welker in five films: A Wish for Wings That Work (1991),Aladdin (1992), In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994), Jumanji (1995) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 12, 1990.
As of his death in 2014, he had appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990) and Good Will Hunting(1997).
Was the first choice for the role of Bob Wiley in What About Bob? (1991), but was forced to turn it down because he was finishing filming The Fisher King (1991), at the same exact time. The role went to Bill Murray instead.
Was declared dead at 12:02 PM on August 11, 2014, seven minutes after the call was received by 911 operators, and two minutes after paramedics arrived at his home in the unincorporated town of Tiburon, which is in Marin County, California, USA, just north of San Francisco. The cause was apparent suicide after a long bout with severe depression.
Upon his death, his wife, Susan Schneider said, “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our tie of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions”.
Mara Buxbaum was his long time press agent and publicist.
On the night his death was announced to the UK on the BBC News Channel, BBC Three had just broadcast the Family Guy episode where Peter Griffin wishes that everyone was Robin Williams, is struck by lightening and then has the power that everyone he touches turns into Robin Williams.

Personal Quotes (32)

Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you are making too much money.
…And now that you have a child you have to clean up your act, ’cause you can’t drink anymore. You can’t come home drunk and go, “Hey, here’s a little switch: Daddy’s gonna throw up on you!”.
Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet.
See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.
Ballet: Men wearing pants so tight that you can tell what religion they are.
You can start any Monty Python routine and people finish it for you. Everyone knows it like shorthand.
[about Canada] Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.
Comedy is acting out optimism.
[to troops in Iraq] I’m looking at a group of heavily armed people here. I’m telling myself “If you’re not funny, it’s a problem.”.
[about Popeye (1980)] If you watch it backwards, it has a plot.
Everyone has these two visions when they hold their child for the first time. The first is your child as an adult saying “I want to thank the Nobel Committee for this award.” The other is “You want fries with that?”.
A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills, no, no. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.
About comic lines written by Mark Shaiman being removed for innuendo (i.e. “Chip ‘n Dale are both strippers”) the week before for his presenting of Best Animated Film at the 77th Academy Awards: For a while you get mad, then you get over it. They’re afraid of saying Olive Oyl is anorexic. It tells you about the state of humor. It’s strange to think: how afraid are you? We thought that they got the irony of it. I guess not.
You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
They’re talking about partial nuclear disarmament, which is also like talking about partial circumcision – you either go all the way or forget it.
Countering the complaint that the juiciest roles go to younger actors: They (the roles) may not be financially enriching, but personally enriching? Yes. You are no longer under pressure. You don’t have to prove yourself on some levels, but you do have to [creatively] push yourself.
I started doing comedy because that was the only stage that I could find. It was the pure idea of being on stage. That was the only thing that interested me, along with learning the craft and working, and just being in productions with people.
[on his acting career]: All the new people you meet, it’s pretty amazing. The vampire needs new blood. And there is still a lot to learn and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.
Okra is the closest thing to nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra, tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns into string.
I believe I could do dance on ice, or play in a musical of Freud’s life called “It’s Your Mother” – or maybe one for the symbolists: “Jung at Heart”. There’s always the one about India: “The Gandhi Man Can”.
[While accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting (1997)] Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, “Wonderful. Just have a back-up profession like welding.”.
Australians are basically English rednecks. If Darwin had landed in Australia, he would have gone: “I’m wrong”.
I’d play the Riddler in the next Batman, although it’d be hard to top Heath Ledger as the villain, and I’m a little hairy for tights. Plus, the Batman films have screwed me twice before: years ago they offered me the Joker and then gave it to Jack Nicholson, then they offered me the Riddler and gave it to Jim Carrey.
[on entertaining the troops on USO tours] I enjoy it. I enjoy performing for heavily armed people. It’s easier than going to Georgia.
There’s so much to talk about. The fact that Donald Trump wants to see Obama’s birth certificate. I want to see his hairline first.
I was once walking in an airport and a woman came up to me and said, “Be zany!”. That’d be like walking up to Baryshikov and going, “Plie! Just do a plie! Do it! Do a releve right now! Lift my wife!”.
I went to rehab in wine country just to keep my options open.
Men can’t fake an orgasm, who wants to look that dumb, you know what I’m saying?
Stand-up is the place where you can do things that you could never do in public. Once you step on stage you’re licensed to do that. It’s an understood relationship. You walk on stage – it’s your job.
[on Jonathan Winters] Jonathan taught me that the world is open for play, that everything and everybody is mockable, in a wonderful way.
Jonathan Winters was my mentor. I told him that and he said, “Please, I prefer idol.”.
[on working with Al Pacino on Insomnia (1997)] I loved working with Pacino. Al does this Method thing where before every take he roars like a lion. So my first day working with him I bleated like a goat: “What was that?!” “Hi Al, I’m here, it’s just Robin, just playing.” Playing scenes with him was a little surreal, because I was like, “I’m watching Al Pacino!” and then I’d realize I had to act, too. I loved talking to him off-set. He plays all these incredible characters, but he claims most of the time he just wants to be in the Village having coffee and discussing Aristotle. Having worked with Robert De Niro (on _Awakenings_) I was kind of prepared for the idea of someone who’s that intense. (If I ever get to work with Robert Duvall, I’ll have the entire Godfather collector’s set. Except for Brando. But I got to meet Brando once, so I guess that qualifies.) But like Christopher Nolan, even though he’s very focused, he’s also prepared to try anything. At that time Al was flying back and forth from LA because his twins were just born, so I think he was way beyond Method acting: he really wasn’t getting any sleep. He was completely ragged, and that was perfect.

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