As a performer, Williams possessed a mastery and deep understanding of his craft. Despite struggling with personal demons that led to alcohol and drug addiction, he went on to cultivate a remarkably successful career both on-screen and on the stage as a stand-up comedian.
Williams won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in “Good Will Hunting,” and starred in hits, like “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Aladdin” and “Dead Poets Society.” His innovative approach to entertainment and robust joy for life will continue to inspire those around the globe for the rest of time.
Despite his untimely departure, he led a fulfilling and successful life. Here are some things you may not have known about the entertainment genius:
He was voted “Least Likely to Succeed” by his high school class.
Williams attended Red Wood High in Larkspur, California. His classmates bestowed upon him the superlative “Least Likely to Succeed.” Williams was able to get the last laugh… by making the world laugh.
He ad-libbed most of his lines “Aladdin.
”The Genie in “Aladdin” would not have been the same if Robin Williams didn’t provide his voice and wit. The fast-talking, straight-shooting, sly Genie had line after line of comedic gold, and we have Williams’ keen improvisation ability to thank for that.
He struggled with alcohol and drug addiction throughout his career.
Williams’ demons were no secret. “You feel warm and kind of wonderful. And then the next thing you know, it’s a problem, and you’re isolated,” Williams’ described his addiction to The Guardian in 2010.
Williams struggled with abuse since the ’80s, and after 20 years of sobriety, checked into rehab in 2006 and again in 2014.
Entertainment Weekly voted him The Funniest Man Alive in 1997.
The publication gave Williams the number one spot, referring to him as, “A mad ad-libber for the sound-bite generation.”
As an avid cyclist, he trained with Lance Armstrong.
Williams trained side-by-side with Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner. The two remained close friends. Armstrong tweeted out his sympathies, referring to Williams as a “hell of a friend.”
He was overweight and lonely as a child, and developed different voices to stay entertained.Williams admitted to being bullied as a child. Overweight and lacking in friends, he would invent a range of voices to entertain himself, realizing he could gain respect by making others laugh.
He survived open heart surgery in 2009.In 2009, Williams underwent a three and half hour surgery to replace his aortic valve.
Williams played the character of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams in the 1998 film “Patch Adams.” Dr. Adams famously dressed as a clown and used humor to treat his patients.
He was recruited by Steven Spielberg to tell jokes to the cast of “Schindler’s List” to keep spirits up.If you’ve seen “Schindler’s List,” you understand the depressing nature of the film. Director Steven Spielberg called Williams during production to tell jokes to the cast. Surely, it helped, just as his humor has helped so many others throughout his brilliant career.