Robin Williams: biography and latest news!

  • Profession: actor, producer
  • Real name: Robin McLaurim Williams
  • Sign: Cancer
  • Date of birth: Saturday, July 21, 1951 (age: 63 years old)
  • Date of Death: Monday, August 11, 2014
  • Country: United States

Born on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Robin Williams is the son of automotive executive Robert Fitzgerald Williams and Laurie Williams, a New Orleans native of French descent. As an only child, he spent a solitary childhood in Illinois and then Michigan before the family moved to San Francisco, California. At university, he briefly studied political science, taking up the torch of a distant family heritage (his great-great-grandfather, Anselm Joseph McLaurin was governor of Mississippi). But the attraction for acting caught up with the student, a high-flying clown, who then joined the Juilliard School of Drama in New York to devote himself to the theater.

It was in the mid-70s, while performing in nightclubs, that Robin Williams began to be noticed. In 1974, the producer Garry Marshall, challenged by his sense of improvisation during an audition for the Happy Days series, gave him the role of Mork, an alien. In 1978, he took over the role in the spin-off of the series, Mork & Mindy. The series is a success and the performance of the young actor earned him the Golden Globe for best actor in a comedy series in 1979. The following year he made his debut on the big screen and played a Popeye truer than life for Robert Altman’s film. In 1987, his role as a crazy radio host in Barry Levinson’s Good Morning Vietnam revealed him to the general public and earned him a second Golden Globe. The actor then went on to play leading roles in cult films (Le cercle des poètes disparus, Hook, Madame Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting). In 1998, he received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Will Hunting. Robin Williams alternates the comic and dramatic registers and collaborates with the greatest directors (Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen).

A new chapter opens at the beginning of the years 2000: the actor, in his fifties, is confronted with darker roles. In 2002, he breaks his image as a comic actor and broadens his acting by playing psychotics and other killers in Death Smoochy, Photo Obsession and Insomnia. He then lends his voice to animated films (Robots, 2005) and Happy Feet (2006). In 2013, he sang the line for Sarah Michelle Gellar in the television series The Crazy Ones. He returns to comedy with the trilogy La Nuit au musée, whose latest opus – La nuit au Musée: le secret des Pharaons – will be released at the end of 2014.

In 2005, the actor received the Cecil B. DeMille, Golden Globe award for lifetime achievement. The actor dedicated his award to Christopher Reeve, who had died a few months earlier, an old friend he had met while they were students at the Juilliard School. The following year, the actor’s old demons caught up with him and he was admitted to rehab, twenty years after overcoming the alcoholism into which sudden fame had plunged him.

On the private side, Robin Williams has been married three times. In June 1978, he married Valerie Velardi with whom he has a son, Zachary (born on 11/04/1983). The couple divorced ten years later in December 1988. The actor then meets the producer Marsha Garces and the couple is united on April 30, 1989. Together they have two children; Zelda (born 31/07/1989) and Cody Alan (born 25/11/1991). But the couple divorced in 2010 and Robin Williams married Susan Schneider on October 22, 2011 at the age of 60. They spend their honeymoon in Paris. On August 11, 2014, the 63-year-old actor was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California.