Robin Williams Biography
Birth Name - Robin McLaurim Williams
Date of Birth - 21 July 1951
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Height - 5' 8" (1.73 m)
Robin Williams photo gallery
Williams briefly studied political science before enrolling at Juilliard to study theatre. After graduation, he performed in night clubs where he was discovered for the role of Mork on an episode of "Happy Days" (1974) and the subsequent "Mork & Mindy" (1978) TV series. Williams' wild comic talent involves a great deal of improvisation, following in the footsteps of his idol, Jonathan Winters. Williams has also proven to be an effective dramatic actor.
bio by: Ray Hamel
Marsha Garces Williams (30 April 1989 - present) 2 children
Valerie Velardi (4 June 1978 - 1988) (divorced) 1 child
Wild improvised stream-of-consciousness comedy dialogue where he will do cultural references, impersionations and one liners with rapid switching.
Is typically clean-shaven in his comic roles and bearded in his serious ones.
More information on Robin Williams
Moved to San Francisco 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.
Resides with his family in San Francisco's Seacliff neighborhood.
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.
4/11/83: Son Zachary Pym, with Valerie Velardi, was born.
7/31/89: Daughter Zelda Ray, with Marsha Garces Williams, was born.
11/25/91: Son Cody Alan, with Marsha Garces Williams, was born.
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 who 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 an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987) as the time traveler Prof. Berlinghoff Rasmussen, but a schedule conflict forced him to drop out (the role eventually went to Matt 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.
Is a fan of the sport of Rugby Union, and in particular New Zealand All Black star Jonah 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 TV, 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.
He is a 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.
Enjoys cycling and occasionally trains with Lance Armstrong.
After having won the Academy Award for Good Will Hunting (1997), he sent Peer Augustinski (who is 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.
Shares birthday with Josh Hartnett.
1996: He reached a unique milestone by having two of his films reach the $100-million mark in the US 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 do indeed list Scotland as his place of birth. He admits now 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 horse riding 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!".
Helped his long-time friend Christopher Reeve pay his medical bills during his final years following the horse riding 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.
He was considered for the role of Joe Miller in Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia (1993). Denzel Washington was cast instead.
An active supporter of the US Democratic Party, he has been outspoken about his opposition to the war in Iraq. However, he has become the most consistent entertainer of US troops since the war began, leading some to dub him the next Bob Hope.
Has been seen in playing paintball at public reservations near his Northern California residence.
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 Globes to friend Christopher Reeve.
Most of his dialogue in Aladdin (1992) is ad-libbed.
Was a guest on Johnny Carson's last episode of the "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962), along with Bette Midler.
Is of Welsh and Scottish heritage.
He and his Being Human (1993) and Robots (2005) cast mate, 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 part that Guinness had played on stage opposite John Gielgud. Williams also shares that part with another Star Wars series actor, Peter Cushing, who played the same role in the same year in the film, opposite Laurence Olivier.
Co-owns 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 for best spoken word album in 2003.
Though he is highly regarded for his ability to perform numerous different voices, he only has lent his voice to five animated features: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Aladdin (1992), Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1995) (V), Robots (2005), and Happy Feet (2006). However, he did have the occupation of doing voice-over work for a cartoon on Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), played a small role in the TV animated short A Wish for Wings That Work (1991) (TV), and has done narration for different rides and attractions at Disney World. He has also done the voice for the character "Dr. Know" in the movie Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001), which is in itself not a animated movie.
Has an older half brother, Todd.
1976: Performed at the opening of the San Francisco Comedy Competition against Dana Carvey, Harry Anderson and A. Whitney Brown.
Is a fan of "Doctor Who" (1963).
He's a "Star Trek" (1966) fan.
Invented the curse word "Shazbot", first heard in 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 voicechat option in the very popular "Starsiege Tribes" game and was carried over into the sequels, "Tribes 2" and "Tribes: Vengeance".
Considers Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor as his comedic idols.
Was offered the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995). It eventually went to Jim Carrey.
Was considered for the Bobby Wheeler role in the TV series "Taxi" (1978). It went to Jeff Conaway.
Was the second choice for the role of Frank in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), but he turned it down.
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 likes computer and video-games.
Owns 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 include 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 L.A.'s Chateau Marmont hotel that fateful day in March 1982.
Asked by James Lipton about what he would like to God say when he arrives in the 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.
He is 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.
Personal quotes from Robin Williams
Cocaine is God's way of telling you you are making too much money.
"Williams is 'the Tasmanian devil of comedy'." - Entertainment Weekly
...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.
"I'm looking at a group of heavily armed people here. I'm telling myself 'if you're not funny, it's a problem'" - to troops in Iraq
"If you watch it backwards, it has a plot." - about Popeye (1980)
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."
God gave us a penis and a brain, but not enough blood to use both at once.
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] 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.'
Robin Williams Filmography
The Krazees (2009) (in production)
Old Dogs (2008/I) (post-production)
August Rush (2007) .... Maxwell 'Wizard' Wallace
License to Wed (2007) .... Reverend Frank
Night at the Museum (2006) .... Teddy Roosevelt
Happy Feet (2006) (voice) .... Ramon / Lovelace
Man of the Year (2006) .... Tom Dobbs
Everyone's Hero (2006) (voice) .... Napoleon Cross
RV (2006) .... Bob Munro
... aka RV: Runaway Vacation (Australia) (UK)
... aka Chaoscamper RV, Die (Germany)
The Night Listener (2006) .... Gabriel Noone
The Big White (2005) .... Paul Barnell
Robots (2005) (voice) .... Fender
... aka Robots: The IMAX Experience (USA: IMAX version)
Noel (2004) (uncredited) .... Charlie Boyd/The Priest
House of D (2004) .... Pappass
The Final Cut (2004) .... Alan W. Hakman
... aka The final Cut - Dein Tod ist erst der Anfang (Germany: DVD title)
"Life with Bonnie" .... Kevin Powalski (1 episode, 2003)
- Psychic (2003) TV episode .... Kevin Powalski
"Freedom: A History of Us" .... Gen. Ulysses S. Grant / ... (4 episodes, 2003)
- A War to End Slavery (2003) TV episode .... Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
- Liberty for All (2003) TV episode .... Missouri Farmer
- Safe for Democracy (2003) TV episode .... Wilbur/Oliver Wright
- Wake Up America (2003) TV episode .... Josiah Quincy
Insomnia (2002/I) .... Walter Finch
Death to Smoochy (2002) .... Rainbow Randolph
... aka Tötet Smoochy (Germany)
One Hour Photo (2002) .... Sy Parrish
Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001) (voice) .... Dr. Know
... aka A.I. Artificial Intelligence (USA: poster title)
Bicentennial Man (1999) .... Andrew Martin
... aka 200 Jahre Mann, Der (Germany)
Jakob the Liar (1999) .... Jakob
... aka Jakob le menteur (France)
"L.A. Doctors" .... Hugo Kingsley (1 episode, 1999)
... aka L.A. Docs (USA: promotional title)
- Just Duet (1999) TV episode .... Hugo Kingsley
Patch Adams (1998) .... Hunter 'Patch' Adams
What Dreams May Come (1998) .... Chris Nielsen
Aladdin's Math Quest (1998) (VG) (voice) .... Blue Genie
... aka Disney's Math Quest with Aladdin (USA)
Good Will Hunting (1997) .... Sean Maguire
Flubber (1997) .... Professor Philip Brainard
... aka Disney's Flubber: The Absent Minded Professor (promotional title)
Deconstructing Harry (1997) .... Mel/Harry's Character
Fathers' Day (1997) .... Dale Putley
"Friends" .... Thomas (1 episode, 1997)
- The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion (1997) TV episode (uncredited) .... Thomas
"Great Minds Think for Themselves" (1997) TV series (voice) .... The Genie
Hamlet (1996) .... Osric
... aka William Shakespeare's Hamlet
The Secret Agent (1996) (as George Spelvin) .... The Professor
... aka Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent
Jack (1996) .... Jack Charles Powell
The Birdcage (1996) .... Armand Goldman
... aka Birds of a Feather
Jumanji (1995) .... Alan Parrish
Aladdin on Ice (1995) (TV) (voice) (uncredited) .... Genie
... aka Disney's Aladdin on Ice (USA: complete title)
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) (uncredited) .... John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
Nine Months (1995) .... Dr. Kosevich
Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1995) (V) (voice) .... Genie
In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994) (TV) .... The Father
"Homicide: Life on the Street" .... Robert Ellison (1 episode, 1994)
... aka Homicide (USA: informal short title)
- Bop Gun (1994) TV episode .... Robert Ellison
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) .... Daniel Hillard / Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire
Being Human (1993) .... Hector
Toys (1992) .... Leslie Zevo
Aladdin (1992) (voice) .... Genie
From Time to Time (1992) (voice) .... Timekeeper
... aka Timekeeper
... aka Visionarium, Le (France)
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) (voice) .... Batty Koda
... aka FernGully 1 (USA: short title)
Hook (1991) .... Peter Banning
The Fisher King (1991) .... Parry
Shakes the Clown (1991) (as Marty Fromage) .... Mime Class Instructor
Dead Again (1991) .... Doctor Cozy Carlisle
Rabbit Ears: The Fool and the Flying Ship (1991) (V) (voice) .... Narrator
A Wish for Wings That Work (1991) (TV) (voice) (as Sudy Nim) .... The Kiwi
Awakenings (1990) .... Dr. Malcolm Sayer
Cadillac Man (1990) .... Joey O'Brien
Dead Poets Society (1989) .... John Keating
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) (as Ray D. Tutto) .... King of the Moon
... aka Abenteuer des Baron von Münchhausen, Die (West Germany)
Rabbit Ears: Pecos Bill (1988) (V) .... Narrator
Portrait of a White Marriage (1988) (uncredited) .... Air Conditioning Salesman
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) .... Adrian Cronauer
Jonathan Winters: On the Ledge (1987) (TV) .... Various Characters
Seize the Day (1986) .... Tommy Wilhelm
Club Paradise (1986) .... Jack Moniker
The Best of Times (1986) .... Jack Dundee
"Pryor's Place" .... Gabby (1 episode, 1984)
- Sax Education (1984) TV episode .... Gabby
Moscow on the Hudson (1984) .... Vladimir Ivanoff
The Survivors (1983) .... Donald Quinelle
"SCTV Network 90" .... Various (1 episode, 1982)
... aka SCTV Comedy Network (USA: new title)
... aka SCTV Network (USA: new title)
- Jane Eyrehead (1982) TV episode .... Various
"Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour" (1982) TV series (voice) .... Mork
"Faerie Tale Theatre" .... Prince Robin / ... (1 episode, 1982)
... aka Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre (USA)
- The Tale of the Frog Prince (1982) TV episode .... The Frog/Prince Robin
The World According to Garp (1982) .... T. S. Garp
"Mork & Mindy" .... Mork (94 episodes, 1978-1982)
- The Mork Report (1982) TV episode .... Mork
- Gotta Run: Part 3 (1982) TV episode .... Mork
- Gotta Run: Part 2 (1982) TV episode .... Mork
- Gotta Run: Part 1 (1982) TV episode .... Mork
- Cheerleader in Chains (1982) TV episode .... Mork
"The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour" (1 episode, 1982)
- Episode #1.1 (1982) TV episode
Popeye (1980) .... Popeye
Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall (1980) (V) (uncredited) .... Andy's Grandmother
"Out of the Blue" .... Mork (1 episode, 1979)
- Random's Arrival (1979) TV episode .... Mork
"Happy Days" .... Mork (2 episodes, 1978-1979)
... aka Happy Days Again (USA: syndication title)
- Mork Returns (1979) TV episode .... Mork
- My Favorite Orkan (1978) TV episode .... Mork
"America 2-Night" .... Jason Shine (2 episodes, 1978)
- Olfactory Distosis Telethon (1978) TV episode .... Jason Shine
- Jason Shine (1978) TV episode .... Jason Shine
"Eight Is Enough" (1 episode, 1977)
- The Return of Auntie V (1977) TV episode
"Laugh-In" (1 episode, 1977)
- Episode dated 5 November 1977 (1977) TV episode