A veteran actor with an infectious comedic gift, Robin Williams was loved by his family and will be mourned by generations of fans.
Born in Chicago on July 21 1951, Williams described himself as a quiet child who overcame his shyness in his high school drama class. He went on to attend Juilliard in New York City. As he developed his acting into his own improvisational style, Williams entered into his career as an alien, making his television debut as Mork in the TV series Happy Days, which led to him starring in Mork and Mindy (1978-1982).
He continued to fuel imaginations with 1991’s Hook, where he starred as an adult Peter Pan, and made himself memorable for his roles in Mrs Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), Patch Adams (1998), as well as voicing the character of Genie in Disney’s Aladdin (1992).
As well as breathing life into light-hearted roles, Williams also explored darker characters in movies like Insomnia (2002) and One Hour Photo (2002).
Williams, throughout his career, went on to win many prestigious awards, including an Oscar for best supporting actor in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also won two Emmy awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild awards and five Grammys.
Williams’ personal life was tumultuous. He and his actress wife, Valerie Velardi, divorced in 1988. The following year Williams remarried his son’s nanny, Marsha Garces. They had two children together before the pair divorced in 2008, with Williams remarrying in 2011 to his third wife, Susan Schneider. The actor and designer lived in San Francisco until Williams’ death.
The American actor was open about his struggles with depression and substance abuse that eventuated in his death on August 11.
If anyone is suffering any problems with depression and anxiety, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636. – Greta Levy
Top photo from Robin Williams’ Facebook page.