Robin Williams. Date unknown.
Robin Williams on Wikipedia
Robin Williams on the Internet Movie Database
Robin Williams
Forecourt Ceremony held on Tuesday, December 22, 1998
Born: July 21, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois
Age at the time of the ceremony: 47
Died: August 11, 2014, in Paradise Cay, California, age 63
Robin Williams is the ever-manic comic sensation, who, making a huge splash on television, became a large draw at the movies. Growing older, his films moved in different directions, but always managed to showcase its star. Troubled by paranoia, he ended his life tragically short.

Shy as a youth, Williams grew up in the well-to-do neighborhood of Lake Forest, outside of Chicago, then in a huge house in Bloomfield Hills, outside of Detroit, where his father was an executive with the Ford Motor Company. Taking an early retirement, the family relocated to Tiburon, in Marin County, outside of San Francisco when Robin was 16.

Overcoming his shyness in the high school drama department, Robin enjoyed soccer and wrestling, becoming popular and being elected class president. Studying political science in college, he dropped out to study acting at the College of Marin, playing Fagin in the musical Oliver! Winning a full ride scholarship to Julliard in 1973, Williams was in a select master class taught by John Houseman, where his classmates were Christopher Reeve, William Hurt and Mandy Patinkin. His manic energy, ability with accents, and acting chops wowed everyone.

But Robin's take on things did not suit the Julliard program. Dropping out in 1976, Williams returned to the Bay Area and worked as a busboy in a restaurant. He began performing as a stand-up comic at the Holy City Zoo in San Francisco, then relocated to Los Angeles, appearing at The Comedy Store and other clubs. He appeared in the ensemble sketch film Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses? (released in August 1977).

Williams became a regular on the re-boot of Laugh-In aired over NBC for six episodes from September 1977 to February 1978. He taped his first HBO Special, Robin Williams: Off the Wall, at the Improv in Los Angeles in October 1978.

Substituting for an actor who dropped out of the role, Williams made his television debut as Mork in an episode of Happy Days aired over ABC in February 1978. The episode was so popular that it was spun off into another show. He co-starred with Pam Dawber in 94 episodes of Mork & Mindy airing over ABC from September 1978 to May 1982. Mork was everywhere.

During that time, Robin won a Grammy Award for his Reality. . . What a Concept album in 1980; he would win it four more times.

Williams made his big screen debut as the title character in Popeye (which World Premiered at the Chinese in December 1980) with Shelly Duvall. The bizarre and expemsive film flopped. Williams fared much better in the film of The World According to Garp (released in August 1982) with Mary Beth Hurt and Moscow on the Hudson (released in April 1984) with Maria Conchita Alonso.

Robin Williams: A Night at the Met became a Grammy winning album and top-rated HBO Special, aired in October 1986. Like all comedians, Williams was interested in trying more dramatic roles. His turn as a failed actor (!) in an adaptation of Saul Bellow's Seize the Day (released in May 1987), went nowhere, but he bounced back in the popular comedy / drama Good Morning, Vietnam (released in December 1987) with Forest Whitaker, and especially Dead Poets Society (released in June 1989) with Ethan Hawke.

Williams cotinued to make comedies with a dramatic tinge to them; as a car calesman in Cadillac Man (released in May 1990) with Tim Robbins, starring as a doctor working with encephalitics in Awakenings (released in December 1990) with Robert De Niro, played another doctor in Kenneth Branagh's thriller Dead Again (which played the Chinese in August 1991) and played a homeless wackadoodle in The Fisher King (released in September 1991) with Jeff Bridges.

Williams finally got to play Peter Pan for director Steven Spielberg in Hook (released in December 1991) with Dustin Hoffman, then did the voice for Batty Koda in FernGully: The Last Rainforest (released in April 1992). Liking animation and working with children's material, he did the voice for the Genie in Aladdin (released in November 1992), then enjoyed his biggest hit in director Chris Columbus's Mrs. Doubtfire (released in November 1993) with Sally Field, and did a small role as a doctor (!) for Chris Columbus in Nine Months (released in July 1995) with Hugh Grant.

Williams starred in the hit film Jumanji (released in December 1995) with Kirsten Dunst, then starred with Nathan Lane in Mike Nichols' remake of the French film La Cage aux Follies, The Birdcage (released in March 1996), and starred as a prematurly aged fifth grader in Francis Ford Coppola's Jack (released in August 1996) with Diane Lane.

He took the part of Osric in Kenneth Brannagh's epic film of Hamlet (released in December 1996), and starred in the re-make of The Absent-Minded Professor, Flubber (released in November 1997) with Marcia Gay Hamilton. He scored another huge hit (and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar) playing a doctor (!) working with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting (released in January 1998). Williams played the title role as doctor Patch Adams (released in December 1998), which became another hit.

Williams finally landed on Broadway with Robin Williams: Live on Broadway for three perfs in early July 2002, which was recorded, released on CD, won a Grammy, then was broadcast as an HBO Special in mid July 2002.

For once, and to great effect, Williams played a suspect in a murder case in Insomnia (released in May 2002) with Al Pacino, and played Wilbur and Orville Wright and General U. S. Grant in four episodes of Freedom: A History of Us aired over PBS in February 2003, and starred in the sci-fi thriller The Final Cut (released in October 2004) with Jim Caviezel.

He starred in the comic crime film The Big White (released in December 2005) with Holly Hunter, and played a radio talk show host in the mystery The Night Listener (released in August 2006) with Toni Collette. Williams did the straight-ahead comedy RV (which played the Chinese in April 2006) with Josh Hutcherson; in Man of the Year (released in October 2006) with Laura Linney, he played a comedian who accidentally gets elected president of the US.

Speaking of presidents, Williams played Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum (released in December 2006) with Ben Stiller, which became his biggest hit film ever. Williams did a 26 city tour called Weapons of Self-Descrtruction, ending in New York City in December 2009, which was taped for airing on HBO.

Then, a curious thing happened: Williams began starring in a string of low-budget "film festival" productions, interspersed with studio pictures. World's Greatest Dad (released in August 2019) directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, and Shrink (released in August 2009) with Kevin Spacey, were hardly released in the US, but Old Dogs (released in November 2009) with John Travolta, got a wide release.

Willams played a priest in the ensemble film The Big Wedding (released in April 2013), and played another US president — Dwight D. Eisenhower — in Lee Daniels' The Butler (released in August 2013). He was ideal as an owner of an ad agency in 22 episodes of The Crazy Ones aired over NBC from September 2013 to April 2014.

Williams committed suicide by hanging himself at his home in Paradise Cay on August 11, 2014. He was immediately cremated with the ashes being scattered across San Francisco Bay. He unreleased work slowly ebbed out: Boulevard (released in July 2015) with Kathy Baker, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn (released in May 2014) with Mila Kunis, and his performance as husband to Candice Bergan in A Merry Friggin' Christmas (released in November 2014) with John McHale.

His final credit is for doing the voice of Dennis the Dog in Absolutely Anything (released in May 2017) with Simon Pegg.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Robin Williams Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Tuesday, December 22, 1998. 48 x 43 inches.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Robin Williams Forecourt ceremony, Tuesday, December 22, 1998. Robin Williams yukks it up while placing his hands in the cement.
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