Robin Williams

       
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Real Name: Robin Williams
Birthday: July 21, 1952
Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
Education: The Juilliard School, New York, New York.
Family: Wife: Velardi, Valerie. Divorced. Current Wife: Garces Williams, Marsha. Married April 1989. Son: Zachary, Cody, Daughter: Zelda

 

Robin Williams Biography And Filmography:

A bouncing performer who made his name as part of the young Los Angeles comedy scene in the late 1970s, Robin Williams first grabbed the nation's attention as Mork from Ork, on the popular sitcom "Happy Days," which led to the spin off television show, "Mork and Mindy" (1978-1982). Once known as a stand-up comedian and a small screen star, he moved on to feature work where he has been successful in both dramatic and comic roles.

The only child of an automobile executive and a homemaker, he was raised in a well-off family and had no yearning to perform. He liked sports and studies until his family relocated to Marin County, California in 1968. While attending Claremont Men's College, he discovered theater and dropped out to seek an acting career, landing as a student at Julliard. After three years in New York, he returned to San Francisco and worked to find his spot in stand-up comedy. In 1976, he auditioned at the Improv and his career took off.

He made his television debut as a member of the cast of a revival of "Laugh-In" (1977-78). In February 1978, he was introduced as Mork, a hyper, fast talking space alien, on an episode of the sitcom "Happy Days.” Producer Garry Marshall was so overwhelmed, he executive produced the spin off series "Mork and Mindy,” which teamed Williams with Pam Dawber and quickly became a smash hit with Mork's catch phrase of "Nanu, Nanu" entering into our culture. 

The small screen could barely contain the actor comedian, and his free thinking style, and it was only a matter of time before he would try his skill in movies. Although his launch as a star in "Popeye" (1980), was a disappointment, viewers were impressed by the comedy. Box office success came three years later with "The World According to Garp" (1982) with Glenn Close. Except for for "Moscow on the Hudson" (1984), in which he played a Russian seeking sanctuary in America, his follow up movies were lame.

Although some of his best moments in "Good Morning, Vietnam" (1987) were the product of on set improvisations, his acting style was seen as a blockade to a film career, despite the Best Actor Oscar nomination he received. He made a dramatic appearance on television in "Seize the Day" (1987) and Peter Weir's "Dead Poets Society" (1989) cast him as a prep school teacher. While he sometimes showed his trademarked humor in the role, Robin proved a serious movie lead and gained a second Best Actor Academy Award nomination. 

Penny Marshall cast him as real life doctor Oliver Sacks in "Awakenings" (1990) and even with his great work, co-star Robert De Niro earned most of the credit. He earned a third Best Actor Oscar nomination for his role as a homeless man in "The Fisher King" (1991).

For much of the decade, he switched between drama and comedy. He made a great grown up Peter Pan in Steven Spielberg's "Hook" (1991) alongside Julia Roberts, but the actor had one of his finest and most successful movie experiences with the animated Disney feature "Aladdin" (1992). Providing the voice of the Genie, and freed from the physical world of live film acting, Williams took off on some great improvisations, impersonating lots of pop culture icons from Arnold Schwarzenegger to William F. Buckley. He later played the role in the second direct to video sequel, 1996's "Aladdin and the King of Thieves". 

Another box office smash hit resulted when he joined an influential group of actors (Dustin Hoffman, Jack Lemmon and the Monty Python comedy troupe, to name a very few), and wore a dress and wig to play an older nanny in the comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993) with Pierce Brosnan. He had hilarious cameos as an obstetrician in Columbus' "Nine Months" and as a used car salesman in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" (1995) before scoring another box office smash hit with "Jumanji" in 1995. 

As the adult version of a child who had escaped from a problematic relationship with his father into the fantasy world of a board game, he drew on his own childhood. A more laid-back performance as Armand, the nightclub owner with a drag queen lover (Nathan Lane), in "The Birdcage" (1996), Mike Nichols' version of 1978's "La Cage aux folles,” followed. That same year, he tried to save the sentimental "Jack", about a 11 year old boy with a genetic disorder, working with young Jennifer Lopez. He finished out the year, returning to his early roots to play the old Osric in Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet.”

Since the mid-1980s, Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal have hosted "Comic Relief,” HBO specials designed to raise funds to aid the homeless. In 1997, he and Crystal worked onscreen for "Father's Day", a poor adaptation of a French comedy. He rebounded with Disney's "Flubber" (1997), a remake of the 1961 Fred MacMurray movie "The Absent Minded Professor", that allowed the comic to get into his more hyperactive side. He went on to give one of his best performances yet, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, as a quiet therapist trying to help a troubled whiz kid in "Good Will Hunting" (1997) costarring with Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck  

After a small role as an actor whose life is so out of control he figuratively becomes out of focus in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry" in 1997 starring with Kirstie Alley, Demi Moore, Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Garner.

He then appeared in the wild fantasy "What Dreams May Come" and the well received "Patch Adams" (1998), before returning to a dramatic lead with "Jakob the Liar" (1999), about a man who protects a child from the Nazis during World War II..

2002 was a return to comedy for Williams, providing many laughs in the Danny Devito directed, "Death To Smoochy," featuring Edward Norton as a vengeance seeking children’s' television show host who is fired and replaced by a purple rhino named Smoochy.

The actor next appeared in two dramatic roles, as an assassin in "Insomnia" and a stalker in "One Hour Photo" (2002). He followed up with the challenging science fiction adventure thriller "Final Cut" (2004), playing an authority at editing people's memories to give them more desirable personal histories, and who discovers a dark and disturbing memory from his own childhood. Not one of his better movies, “Final Cut” sank into box office collapse. He then stood pout in “Robots” (2005) with Halle Berry, as the voice of Fender, a robot whose body parts like to fall off at inopportune moments.

In his next project, “House of D” (2005), David Duchovny’s first feature as a director, Robin played a mentally handicapped delivery man who finds himself losing his best friend, a 13-year-old boy (Anton Yelchin) while discovering the opposite sex for the first time. He then returned to the movie world with the comedy, “RV” (2006), playing an over worked executive who at the last minute changes his family’s Hawaiian vacation into a road trip from hell to Colorado in an RV he barley knows how to operate. Along the way, they come across a group of devoted RV lovers, forcing them to join together and become a family again, if they can avoid driving each other insane. Despite poor reviews, “RV” took its opening weekend with a $25 million draw at the box office.

Next, he starred in “The Night Listener” (2006), a psychological thriller about Gabriel Noone, a late night radio host who develops an intense on-air relationship with Pete (Rory Culkin), a 14 year old boy living with AIDS. But he soon questions Pete’s identity and his past, thanks to the bizarre behavior of the boy’s strict and overprotective mother (Toni Collette), leading Noone down a distressing path to find the truth. 

Robin then starred in “Man of the Year” (2006), playing an admired talk show host whose fake run for president shocks the country, and himself,  when he actually wins. Returning to animation, he once again graced us with his vocal talents along with Nicole Kidman in “Happy Feet” (2006), a family comedy about Mumble, an Emperor Penguin whose inability to sing is overcome by his talent as a dancer.

In “Night at the Museum” (2006), he portrays former president Theodore Roosevelt, a wax exhibit who gives advice to the new security guard (Ben Stiller) at the Museum of Natural History where everything come to life in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, the comedian signed on to appear in several more 2007 features, including “License to Wed” teaming with Mandy Moore, a romantic comedy about a young couple’s wedding plans being interrupted when a priest orders them to complete a two week prenuptial course and “August Rush”, a comedy about an orphaned prodigy (Freddie Highmore) who seeks to find his parents through their shared musical gifts.

Next, he appeared in the comedy "Old Dogs" (2009) with John Travolta and Seth Green, about two friends and business partners who find their lives turned upside down when strange circumstances lead to them being placed in the care of 7-year-old twins. And finally, the actor graced the family comedy "The Krazees" (2009) about a psychologist who is unable to deal with his daughter reaching puberty and has to get a handle on his emotions, which have come to life as different characters.

 

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