Monday, August 11, 2014
End of an inning?
"Some people are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some get it as a graduation gift." Robin Williams
Robin McLaurin Williams was born July 21 1951 in Chicago IL and sadly, died August 11 2014 of an apparent suicide. He attended Julliard, one of the most prestigious drama in the nation and after graduation, he developed a very successful Stand-up comedy routine. He stormed into our homes in 1978 when he landed the role of the crazy alien in the television series "Mork and Mindy."
Mork first appeared on the season 5 episode of Happy Days titled "My Favorite Orkan" and he was funny enough to warrant several more appearances on the show. The character of Mork was then spun-off into it's own show and Williams had the perfect place to showcase his brilliant humor. The program debuted in 1978 and ran through the 1982 season.
During that time, Williams started taking on film roles beginning with "Popeye" in 1981 and following that with several other successful movie roles that included "Good Morning Vietnam" in 1987 and "Dead Poets Society" in 1989.
He was already battling drug and alcohol addiction by this time, something that had developed as a problem while he was filming the "Mork and Mindy Show". He also was battling relationship demons during this time and by 1988, he and his wife Valerie Velardi were divorced. He married his son's nanny, Marsha Garces, in 1989 and she was pregnant with their first child.
Williams continued to make successful films such as "Mrs Doubtfire" in 1993, "The Birdcage" in 1996 and "Good Will Hunting" in 1997. He won his first Academy Award for his supporting role in that movie and the roles in movies just kept rolling in over the years. It was in 2002 that Williams stepped away from his usual roles and played some much darker characters. He played a murder suspect in "Insomnia" and a strange, creepy guy in "One Hour Photo." Some critics thought that Williams was taking the wrong path with both these roles but overall, he did a good job making the roles believable.
He seemed to have life under control until 2006 when he suffered a relapse of his drug problems and entered rehab again. He was back to work quickly after leaving rehab and still at the top of his game in movie roles. He and his second wife divorced in 2008, the same year that he had put together his one man show "Weapons of Self Destruction" and he kept himself busy with the tour of his show. Williams suffered heart problems in March of 2009 and had to have an irregular heartbeat and further testing revealed that he needed to have his aortic valve replaced. He had it replaced as well as having another valve repaired and seemed to be very well following the surgery. He hadn't been known to have heart problems before then but his older brother, Robert Todd Williams died from complications from heart surgery in 2007.
Williams married graphic designer Susan Schneider in October 2011 and it was she who released the statement today, "This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of it;s most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken." He had last been seen in the Tiburon CA he shares with his wife at around 10 pm Sunday night. The sheriff's department received a call at 11:55 am today that a male had been found there and he appeared to be unconscious and was not breathing. Williams was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:02 pm from what appeared to be asphyxia.
It will have to wait until the coroner's report is completed before we may know more about the manner of his death.
It came as a shock to most everyone who has enjoyed Robin Williams nearly forty years of talented work. We will always have his movies to watch and enjoy but we will never be able to see what more he could have given the world if he had not died so young.
“98% of all comedians feel obliged to be funny when interviewed. Less than 2% succeed.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Robin Williams will always be remembered for his ability to turn anything into something absolutely funny.......... the world had lost a comic genius far too soon..........
List of Robin Williams roles: