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Robin Williams | Lionbliss

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

Overview

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Known for his improvisational skills[1][2] and the wide variety of characters he created on the spur of the moment and portrayed on film, in dramas and comedies alike,[3][4] he is regarded as one of the best comedians of all time.[5][6][7] Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s,[8] and rose to fame playing the alien Mork in the ABC sitcom Mork & Mindy (1978–1982).[9] After his first starring film role in Popeye (1980), he starred in several critically and commercially successful films including The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Patch Adams (1998), One Hour Photo (2002), and World's Greatest Dad (2009). He also starred in box office successes such as Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Good Will Hunting (1997), and the Night at the Museum trilogy (2006–2014). He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting. He also received two Primetime Emmy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards. On August 11, 2014, at age 63, Williams died by suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California.


Williams once described the life of stand-up comedians:

It's a brutal field, man. They burn out. It takes its toll. Plus, the lifestyle—partying, drinking, drugs. If you're on the road, it's even more brutal. You gotta come back down to mellow your ass out, and then performing takes you back up. They flame out because it comes and goes. Suddenly they're hot, and then somebody else is hot. Sometimes they get very bitter. Sometimes they just give up. Sometimes they have a revival thing and they come back again. Sometimes they snap. The pressure kicks in. You become obsessed and then you lose that focus that you need.[8]: 34–35 

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