How can I comment on the life of an icon, one who influenced me on many levels? I have rewritten Robin Williams biography, after his passing, a dozen times. I failed every time. I failed at conveying his truly unique talents, his generosity and his humanity. A man who gave so much, professionally, personally, and quietly, Robin was a personal role model and losing him has left a void that will be difficult for me.
This video clip was the last time I saw Robin. We were not friends. He hardly knew me, but like many, I always followed his work and public life. I was fortunate to have briefly and periodically interacted with him professionally and socially. These were moments I will always cherish.
I am incapable and unqualified to eulogizing him, but the loss I feel is enormous.
Robin, thank you, and I will miss you. God bless you and your family.
Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 ? August 11, 2014) started off as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid 1970s. He is credited with leading its "comedy renaissance". After rising to fame as Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978?82), Williams went on to establish a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting.
His film career included such films as Popeye (1980), The World According to Garp (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006). He appeared in the video "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin.
Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting. He received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and five Grammy Awards. TV producer George Schlatter, who first saw Williams doing stand-up comedy in 1977 and gave him his first TV spot in Laugh-In, recognized Williams's talent immediately, telling associates that Williams would be an important person in show business. Terry Gilliam, who directed Williams in two films, was impressed by his ability to "go from manic to mad to tender and vulnerable," stating that Williams was unique.
On August 11, 2014, Williams died of an apparent suicide at his home near Tiburon, California.