Robin Williams Biography
Born: July 21, 1951
Date of Birth: July 21, 1951
Date of Death: August 11, 2014
From the moment this comedian jumped out of the TV screen at audiences as the lovable alien in Mork and Mindy, it seemed that a star had been born. What no one was sure of was whether his larger than life comedy would work on the big screen or not. At first it didn't seem likely as his films were only so-so. It wasn't until Moscow on the Hudson that the man some think the funniest comedian alive really came into his own.
The only child of a wealthy Chicago Ford Motor executive, Williams grew up in a milieu of wealth and privilege. He trained early as a stage actor and mime and remembers: "I was a mime in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where wealthy ladies would say, 'Get the #@%! away from me!' "
Once connected to the Hollywood party-go-roundit was said he snorted cocaine with John Belushi hours before that comedian's death of a drug overdoseWilliams says he no longer is on that ride. "I don't do the Hollywood party scene anymore," he jokes. "You can't come home and say to the kid, 'Hi, here's a little switch. Daddy's going to throw up on you.'"
In 1998 he won an Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also has five Golden Globe awards for various television and film roles. Recently, however, he has appeared in bombs such as Death to Smoochy (for which he received a Razzie nomination as Worst Supporting Actor). Although he won some acclaim for his role as a creepy photo lab employee in One Hour Photo (2002), it wasn't a box office success. Later, he starred opposite John Travolta in the comedy Old Dogs (2009), which was a modest success at the box office. More recently he starred in The Big Wedding alongside Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro. His was seen in Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013) where he starred alongside Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. More recently, he appeared in The Face of Love (2014) alongside Annette Bening.
Williams married first wife Valerie Velardi in 1978, with whom he has a son, Zachary. Following an affair with a cocktail waitress, who sued him in 1986 after discovering he'd transmitted the herpes simplex virus to her, he had an affair with his son's nanny, Marsha Garces. When the nanny became pregnant, Williams divorced his wife and married her. Garces and Williams have a daughter, Zelda, and a son, Cody, but she filed for divorce in 2008 due to his continued infidelity. In 2009, shortly before undergoing heart surgery, Williams met Susan Schneider, a 47-year-old graphic designer, whom he married on October 23, 2011.
Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide at his home in California on August 11, 2014.