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:

Absolutely Anything (post-production)
Dennis the Dog (voice)
 2012Louie (TV Series)
Barney/Never (2012) ... Robin (as Robin Willaims)
 2012Wilfred (TV Series)
Dr. Eddy
Progress (2012) ... Dr. Eddy
 2011Happy Feet Two
Ramon / Lovelace (voice)
 2009/IOld Dogs
 2006Happy Feet
Ramon / Lovelace (voice)
 2006Everyone's Hero
Napoleon Cross (voice, uncredited)
Bob Munro
Fender (voice)
Charlie Boyd / The Priest (uncredited)
 2003Life with Bonnie (TV Series)
Kevin Powalski
Psychic (2003) ... Kevin Powalski
 2003Freedom: A History of Us (TV Series documentary)
Wilbur / Oliver Wright / Josiah Quincy / ...
Safe for Democracy (2003) ... Wilbur / Oliver Wright
Liberty for All (2003) ... Missouri Farmer
 1999L.A. Doctors (TV Series)
Hugo Kingsley
Just Duet (1999) ... Hugo Kingsley
 1998Disney's Math Quest with Aladdin (Video Game)
Genie (voice)
 1998One Saturday Morning (TV Series)
Tube Dwellers (1998) ... Genie (voice)
Host to Munger ... Genie (voice)
 1997Great Minds Think for Themselves (TV Series)
The Genie
Albert Einstein ... The Genie
Barbara Rose Johns ... The Genie (voice)
Thomas Jefferson ... The Genie
George Washington Carver ... The Genie
Susan B. Anthony ... The Genie
 1997Friends (TV Series)
The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion (1997) ... Tomas (uncredited)
 1996The Secret Agent
Assassin (uncredited)
 1996Aladdin and the King of Thieves (Video)
Genie (voice)
 1995Aladdin on Ice (TV Movie)
Genie (voice, uncredited)
 1995To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (uncredited)
 1994In Search of Dr. Seuss (TV Movie)
The Father
 1992-1994The Larry Sanders Show (TV Series)
Robin Williams
Montana (1994) ... Robin Williams
 1994Being Human
 1994Homicide: Life on the Street (TV Series)
Robert Ellison
Bop Gun (1994) ... Robert Ellison
Genie / Merchant (voice)
 1992From Time to Time (Short)
Timekeeper (voice)
 1991Rabbit Ears: The Fool and the Flying Ship (Video short)
Narrator (voice)
 1991A Wish for Wings That Work (TV Short)
The Kiwi (voice, as Sudy Nim)
 1991Shakes the Clown
Mime Class Instructor (as Marty Fromage)
 1988Portrait of a White Marriage
Air Conditioning Salesman (uncredited)
 1988Rabbit Ears: Pecos Bill (Video)
Narrator (voice)
 1987Jonathan Winters: On the Ledge (TV Movie) 
 1987Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (TV Movie documentary)
Baby-san (voice)
 1986Seize the Day
Tommy Wilhelm
 1984Pryor's Place (TV Series)
Sax Education (1984) ... Gabby
 1983The Survivors
Donald Quinelle
 1982SCTV Network (TV Series)
Jane Eyrehead (1982) ... Various
 1982Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour (TV Series)
Mork (voice)
 1982Faerie Tale Theatre (TV Series)
The Frog / Prince Robin
The Tale of the Frog Prince (1982) ... The Frog / Prince Robin
 1978-1982Mork & Mindy (TV Series)
Mork / Himself
The Mork Report (1982) ... Mork
Gotta Run: Part 3 (1982) ... Mork
Gotta Run: Part 2 (1982) ... Mork
Gotta Run: Part 1 (1982) ... Mork
Cheerleader in Chains (1982) ... Mork
 1979Out of the Blue (TV Series)
Random's Arrival (1979) ... Mork
 1978-1979Happy Days (TV Series)
Mork Returns (1979) ... Mork
My Favorite Orkan (1978) ... Mork
 1978America 2-Night (TV Series)
Jason Shine
Olfactory Distosis Telethon (1978) ... Jason Shine
Jason Shine (1978) ... Jason Shine
 1977Eight Is Enough (TV Series)
 1977Laugh-In (TV Series)
 1977The Richard Pryor Show (TV Series)
Episode #1.2 (1977) ... Various
Episode #1.1 (1977) ... Various (uncredited)
 1977Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses?
Lawyer / Man with Tooth Ache

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