TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)
|Also Known As:||Ray D. Tutto, Robin Mclaurim Williams, George Spelvin, Marty Fromage||Died:||August 11, 2014|
|Born:||July 21, 1951||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Chicago, Illinois, USA||Profession:||actor, comedian, comedy writer, producer, director, mime, restaurateur, restaurant worker|
Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY
pushy priest in the lowbrow romantic comedy "License to Wed," and "August Rush," a critically panned melodrama about an orphan who seeks to find his parents through their shared musical gifts. Williams was slated to return to star billing in 2009 with another family comedy, "Old Dogs," but all the film work in the world could not soften the blow, when in March 2008, after nearly 20 years of marriage, Garces-Williams filed for divorce from her husband - rumored to have resulted from enduring her husband's substance abuse relapse. Diving into work to possibly ease the pain, the famed film actor took on a small but highly publicized role of a dark and disturbed killer on an episode of "Law & Order: SVU" (NBC, 1999- ). The following year, Williams was busy with a reprisal of his Theodore Roosevelt role for the sequel, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (2009), while joining John Travolta for the poorly received, but mildly successful comedy, "Old Dogs" (2009). But in March 2009, Williams suffered a health setback when he was hospitalized for heart problems. After postponing his one-man stand-up comedy act to replace his aortic valve, Williams returned with to the road with a vengeance for...
pushy priest in the lowbrow romantic comedy "License to Wed," and "August Rush," a critically panned melodrama about an orphan who seeks to find his parents through their shared musical gifts. Williams was slated to return to star billing in 2009 with another family comedy, "Old Dogs," but all the film work in the world could not soften the blow, when in March 2008, after nearly 20 years of marriage, Garces-Williams filed for divorce from her husband - rumored to have resulted from enduring her husband's substance abuse relapse. Diving into work to possibly ease the pain, the famed film actor took on a small but highly publicized role of a dark and disturbed killer on an episode of "Law & Order: SVU" (NBC, 1999- ). The following year, Williams was busy with a reprisal of his Theodore Roosevelt role for the sequel, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (2009), while joining John Travolta for the poorly received, but mildly successful comedy, "Old Dogs" (2009). But in March 2009, Williams suffered a health setback when he was hospitalized for heart problems. After postponing his one-man stand-up comedy act to replace his aortic valve, Williams returned with to the road with a vengeance for a 26-city tour that September. Ending later that December, the act was filmed for the HBO comedy special, "Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction" (2009), which earned three Emmy Award nominations, including one for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
Williams steered clear of screen work for awhile, opting to star in his first Broadway production Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo during 2011. Around the same time, he contributed his voice to the animated sequel "Happy Feet Two," and the following year, he popped up on the irreverent TV comedies "Louie" (FX, 2010- ) and "Wilfred" (FX, 2011-2014). Returning to film in 2013, most notably as President Dwight Eisenhower in "Lee Daniels' The Butler," Williams made his biggest mark of the year by taking on a lead part in the sitcom "The Crazy Ones" (CBS 2013-14) co-starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, with the duo playing father/daughter executives at an advertising agency. The show, created by TV mainstay David E. Kelley, received mixed reviews and struggled to maintain an audience; it was canceled after one season. Williams next starred in the small indie drama "Boulevard" (2014) opposite Bob Odenkirk, and Phil Alden Robinson's comedy-drama "The Angriest Man In Brooklyn" (2014), in which he played a cranky middle-aged man who discovers he has 90 minutes to live.
Throughout his career, Robin Williams was relatively open about his struggles with substance abuse and depression, which included several stints in rehab for drug addiction and alcoholism. On the afternoon of August 11, 2014, after his body was found in his Marin County home, Williams' publicist said in a prepared statement that the actor and comedian had been battling severe depression recently. He had undergone counseling in a rehab facility in Minnesota in July of that year. Robin WIlliams was 63 years old.teamed onscreen for the lamentable "Father's Day," a weak remake of a French farce. He rebounded - literally and figuratively - in another comic character-based family hit, Disney's "Flubber" (1997), which was a remake of 1961's considerably tamer "The Absent Minded Professor." Taking another turn toward the dramatic, Williams went on to deliver one of his best performances, earning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as a tough-love therapist trying to help a troubled genius (Matt Damon) in Gus Van Sant's "Good Will Hunting" (1997). It was a stunningly human portrait that unquestionably put Williams at the top of the list of Hollywood's most accomplished and versatile actors - and he owed it all to the two Hollywood newcomer screenwriters, Affleck and Damon - which many found ironic, Williams included. After a brief role as an actor whose life is so messy he literally becomes out of focus in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry" (1997), Williams undertook the treacly fantasy "What Dreams May Come" and the shamelessly manipulative but crowd-pleasing "Patch Adams" (1998) - another character-based comedy about a clowny physician who uses comedy to ease the suffering of terminally ill children. It was the latter role which, for many, put an end to Williams' good will on the big screen, with fans calling foul on such pandering, ponderous drivel.
In danger of being typecast in broad family fare and yearning to expand his unending creativity into new realms, Williams made some unexpected, if uneven, choices at the turn of the new century. He lent his voice to the holographic Dr. Know in Stanley Kubrick's unsettling sci-fi tale "Artificial Intelligence: A.I." (2002) before a chilling role as a manipulative crime writer involved in a murder in "Insomnia" (2002), co-starring Al Pacino. The black comedy "Death To Smoochy" (2002) featuring Williams as a revenge-seeking children's' television show host replaced by a purple rhino, was a notorious box office flop but destined for cult status thanks to its satirical take on the TV business and an all-star cast including Edward Norton, Danny DeVito (who also directed) and Jon Stewart. The boldest departure from his film persona and one of his most memorable roles, Williams delivered an incredible three-dimensional performance as a quietly insane stalker in "One Hour Photo" (2002). Meanwhile, he directed his comic chops back to the stand-up arena after a long absence from the stage, inspired by a post-September 11th state of the world he wanted to address directly with audiences.
In 2004, Williams toured the country with his first full stand-up act in decades, devoting four months to appearances in small, theatrical venues, as well as entertaining troops with the USO in Iraq. That year, he also appeared as a mentally challenged janitor in David Duchovny's indie directorial feature debut "House of D," which also featured Williams' teenage daughter Zelda in the cast. The comic devoted another several months to touring in 2005, but he also returned to the family film fold with his show-stealing role in "Robots" (2005), voicing Fender, a robot whose body parts fall off at inopportune moments. In 2005, he was a memorable practitioner of vivid improvisation in the documentary film "The Aristocrats" (2005), a study of a legendarily filthy show biz joke dating back to vaudeville days. In addition to another U.S. comedy tour, Williams appeared in a staggering six features in 2006, beginning with "RV" (2006), a predictable family road trip comedy that somehow raked in over $80 million in box office receipts - $16 million on its opening weekend alone. It truly seemed like public acceptance of Williams on the big screen simply depended which way the wind blew, at times.
In August of 2006, Williams starred in "The Night Listener" (2006), a psychological thriller about a late-night radio host who develops an on-air relationship with a 14-year-old boy living with AIDS (Rory Culkin), until he begins to question his true identity and his past. Off the screen, Williams suffered his own identity crisis when, after 20 long years of sobriety, he began drinking again. He entered an in-patient rehab program that summer and was newly sober for the release of "Man of the Year" (2006), an unsuccessful political satire about a talk show host whose mock presidential run turns into an actual win. "Happy Feet" (2006), an animated family comedy banking on the penguin craze, was a modest hit but nothing compared to the blockbuster holiday release "Night at the Museum" (2006). Williams portrayed a wax exhibit of former president Theodore Roosevelt-come-to-life who dispenses advice to Museum of Natural History security guard (Ben Stiller).
Williams returned to the Iraq to entertain troops in 2007, and eschewed any big-budget starring roles in favor of a supporting role as an
Filmographyclose complete filmography
CAST: (feature film)
Milestones close milestones
Some sources list 1951 as the year of Mr. Williams' birth.
While attending Juilliard, Williams roomed with actor Christopher Reeve.
In 1989, he was named Man of the Year by the Harvard Hasty Pudding Club
With Robert De Niro, he is part owner of the San Francisco eatery Rubicon
"Sure comedy is a defense, and I've used it as that. It's a way of keeping people from coming at you."---Robin Williams quoted in The Sidney Morning Herald, January 2, 1998.
"People often overlook the fact that he's an incredible actor as well as comedian. They think he channels ... in fact it's the culmination of such an extraordinary work ethic and effort. He will do 30 takes just to give [a director] options in the editing room."---Matt Damon, co-writer and co-star of "Good Will Hunting", quoted in USA Today, November 27, 1997.
"When your name's above the title, there's a lot of pressure on you. When you're a supporting actor, you're just free to do the character."---Williams to TV Guide, August 3, 1996.
"Money's never been the reason for me to recommend anything. Unless the entire country collapses, we have as much as we'll ever need. I'm more interested in looking at what Robin hasn't done and seeing what's next. I'm prejudiced, but I've never seen anyone with his range."---Marsha Garces Williams quoted in New York Magazine, November 22, 1993.
"His is a different rhythm altogether [from Jeff Bridges'], much more improvisory, but he has that quality of seeing and listening too, a free-wheeling pas de deux. When he is acting and not doing stand-up, you see the pentimento of the Juilliard student who did Shakespeare and you see a technique and discipline exclusively an actor's."---Mercedes Ruehl evaluating working with Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges in "The Fisher King" (1991), as quoted in Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1991.
Williams is the first comic to command the stage at Lincoln Center with his show, "Robin Williams Live at the Met."
"It's been a sequence. With 'Good Morning, Vietnam', people said, 'Ah, at last he's found a way to be funny and still be a little restrained.' With 'Dead Poet's Society', they went, 'Oh, this is interesting, he's even more restrained.' And with 'Awakenings', it'll be 'Look! He's medicated! He's gone even further. What's he playing next? He's playing a door. And after that? A black hole'."---Robin Williams quoted in Rolling Stone, February 21, 1991.
Williams is a primary force in the annual "Comic Relief" benefit to aid the homeless.
He received a honorary doctorate from Juilliard in 1991.
With Kevin Costner, shared the 1991 the Hollywood Women's Press Club's Golden Apple Award as male star of the year for enchancing Hollywood's image.
"Stand-up is the place where you can do things that you could never do in public. I couldn't go out on the street right now and talk for five minutes about eating p----y without people going Officer!"---Robin Williams quoted in Entertainment Weekly, August 16, 2002.
Companions close complete companion listing
Bibliography close complete biography
Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.Click here to contribute