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Ode To Robin Williams- How I Miss Him So
Thank You, Robin
Who was Robin Williams?
Robin McLaurin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. His mother was a model, and her great grandfather was the governor of Mississippi. His father was an Executive with Ford. Robin lived a comfortable middle class lifestyle as a kid and often spent time with his family's maid as they traveled often. He was shy in grade school until he started becoming active in the drama department. His family moved to Detroit to a suburb called Bloomfield Hills where Robin attended a private high school and excelled. He was the class President and he was an extremely gifted student. He finished high school in California when his father was transferred again. He was voted 'funniest' by his classmates.
Robin first pursued a college degree in political science but dropped out to study acting. After attending community college for a few years, Williams was awarded a full scholarship to Julliard. There were only 20 people to received scholarships, and he was joined by actors Christopher Reeve and William Hurt. Julliard actually deemed Williams a 'genius' and suggested he leave the school his Junior year because there was literally nothing more the school could teach him.
Stand Up Years 'The Comedy Store'
Making His Way With Stand Up Comedy
Williams started his career, like so many comedians, doing stand up. He worked the San Francisco area and made a name for himself, and along with other comedians they sort of revised/created a new kind of stand up comedy. Williams moved to Los Angeles and started doing his routine at various places. He was asked to be a guest on the show 'Laugh In,' and later had a gig at The Improv. After his experiences on television, he kept his stand up routines going, although sometimes he found them draining. He continued to do specials for HBO despite his enormous success as an actor.
A Star is Born
Williams appeared as 'weirdo' Mork from Ork on Happy Days. He was a unique character who did weird things, including sitting on his head. The show spun off into 'Mork and Mindy' (it's kind of weird because Happy Days was set in the 50s, and Mork and Mindy was set in the present day at the time in Colorado). Williams continued to develop the Mork character and eventually was graced with the presence of his mentor and hero, Jonathan Winters as a cast member. Mork and Mindy ran it's course from 1978-1982 garnering sixty million viewers per week at it's prime. 'Na-noo-Na-noo' became a well known sign and 'Mork-ism' as did his famous talks to his 'leader' at the end of each episode. 'Mork calling Orson, come in Orson' was an intricate part and showed that Williams was not just a brilliant comedian, but that he had a soft side as well. North America fell in love with Williams and never looked back.
So Many Wonderful Memories
I have the fondest memories in the world of Robin Williams' movies. If you'd ask me, I'd have to say that by and far, I loved 'Good Will Hunting' the most. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor by believing in a phenomenal screenplay written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Next I would probably say that I adored Williams in 'Dead Poet's Society' where he portrayed a teacher at a private school who had unorthodox means of teaching the subject of poetry. That movie inspires me to this day. I would have to say another favourite would be 'The Bird Cage' where Robins portrayed a gay man trying to be straight while meeting his son's fiance's parents. Her father was a State Senator played by Gene Hackman. I still laugh until I cry when watching that film. I also loved Mrs. Doubtfire (who doesn't??), and so many more.
Here is a list of films Robin Williams acted in, courtesy of Wikipedia:
1977 Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses? Lawyer Man with Tooth Ache
1983 The Survivors Donald Quinelle
1984 Moscow on the Hudson Vladimir Ivanov
1986 Club Paradise Jack Moniker
1986 Seize the Day Tommy Wilhelm
1986 The Best of Times Jack Dundee
1988 Portrait of a White Marriage Air Conditioning SalesmanUncredited
1988 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen King of the MoonCredited as Ray D. Tutto
1989 Dead Poets Society John Keating
1990 Awakenings Dr. Malcolm Sayer
1990 Cadillac Man Joey O'Brien
1991 Dead Again Doctor Cozy Carlisle
1991 Shakes the Clown Mime Class Instructor
1991 The Fisher King Henry "Parry" Sagan
1992 FernGully: The Last Rainforest Batty Koda Voice
1992 Toys Leslie Zevo
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Daniel Hillard / Euphegenia Doubtfire Also producer
1994 Being Human Hector
1995 Jumanji Alan Parrish
1995 Nine Months Dr. Kosevich
John Jacob Jingleheimer SchmidtUncredited
1996 Hamlet Osric
1996 Jack Jack Powell
1996 The Birdcage Armand Goldman
1996 The Secret Agent AssassinUncredited
1997 Deconstructing Harry Mel
1997 Fathers' Day Dale Putley
1997 Flubber Professor Philip Brainard
1997 Good Will Hunting Sean Maguire
1998 What Dreams May Come Chris Nielsen
1999 Bicentennial Man Andrew Martin
1999 Jakob the Liar Jakob Heym / NarratorAlso executive producer
2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Dr. Know Voice
2002 Death to Smoochy "Rainbow" Randolph Smiley
2002 Insomnia Walter Finch
2002 One Hour Photo Seymour "Sy" Parrish
2002 The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch Hans Hänkie
2004 House of D Pappass
2004 Noel Charlie Boyd / The PriestUncredited
2004 The Final Cut Alan W. Hakman
2005 Robots FenderVoice
2005 The Big White Paul Barnell
2006 Everyone's Hero Napoleon Cross Voice Uncredited
2006 Happy Feet Ramon / LovelaceVoice
2006 Man of the Year Tom Dobbs
2006 RV Bob Munro
2006 The Night Listener Gabriel Noone
2007 August Rush Maxwell "Wizard" Wallace
2007 License to Wed Reverend Frank
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Theodore Roosevelt
2009 Old Dogs Dan Rayburn
2009 Shrink Jack Holden
2009 World's Greatest Dad Lance Clayton
2011 Happy Feet Two Ramon / Lovelace Voice
2013 The Big Wedding Father Monighan
2013 The Face of Love Roger
2014 A Merry Friggin' Christmas Mitch Released posthumously; dedicated in memory
2014 Boulevard Nolan Mack
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Theodore Roosevelt Released posthumously; dedicated in memory
2014 The Angriest Man in Brooklyn Henry Altmann
2015 Absolutely Anything Dennis the DogVoice; to be released posthumously
Which ones are your favourite? I also LOVED 'hook' and 'Awakenings' and Nine Months- he cracked me up so much in that movie!
Oh Captain, My Captain!
Good Will Hunting, Best Williams' Scene of All Time
Robin Williams, The Philanthropist
You may remember the HBO comedy show starring Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. It also featured other comedians and sometimes even politicians. Through their efforts, the 'Comic Relief' campaign to this day raised over 80 million dollars for charities, mostly the homeless. I love it when celebrities use their influence to raise money for awareness and humanitarian causes. Just another reason to love and miss Robin Williams and all he did.
HBO's Comic Relief
The Tragic Death of Robin Williams
Robin Williams had his share of medical issues through the years, including drug addiction and severe depression. Tragically, he ended his life by hanging (a more accurate word is asphyxiating) himself on August 11, 2014. He was 63 years old. He was suffering from depression and Parkinson's at the time, and I read somewhere (I can't cite it but I remember reading it), that Parkinson's had affected Williams' brain and doctors don't think he would have committed suicide if it weren't for the disease. It should be noted that he did not overdose, but he had anxiety issues and was having a hard time sleeping.
As a person who struggles with severe anxiety and depression, I understand the severity of what can happen if things spiral out of control. As I said before, the disease may have got the worst of him, but I truly believe that so many millions got the best of him for years, and I will forever be grateful for his endless hours of entertainment and his loving, touching, humanistic side as much as his hysterical, genius works. I am better for having known him in my life.