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Actor and comedian Robin Williams is known for his fast-paced, improvisational performance style, and for his performances in films like Good Will Hunting and Dead Poets Society.
Actor and comedian Robin Williams caught his first big break when he auditioned for the role of Mork on Happy Days. That one appearance would eventually land the actor with his own spin off show, "Mork & Mindy."
Actress-Director Rain Pryor talks about how her father Richard Pryor was a comedy pioneer with his raw stand-up performances and honest critiques of race.
In 1955 actor and comedian Steve Martin moved to the suburbs outside Los Angeles where he was just moments away from Disneyland where he would work for many years growing up.
Actress-Director Rain Pryor talks about her father Richard Pryor's comedic influences including Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Gleason and Bill Cosby and the comedians who have been inspired by him like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Steve Harvey.
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Famed actor and comedian Robin Williams was born on July 21, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. After developing his improvisational style as a stand-up comedian, Williams made his television debut on Mork and Mindy, and moved into film with Robert Altman's Popeye. He has played numerous memorable film roles, both comedic and dramatic, and won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in Good Will Hunting.
"I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you."
"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'"
"Politics: 'Poli' a Latin word meaning 'many'; and 'tics' meaining 'bloodsucking creatures'."
Actor and comedian Robin McLaurin Williams was born on July 21, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. One of America's funniest performers, Williams attended one of the most prestigious drama schools in the country, the Juilliard School in New York City. While at Juilliard, he made friends with Christopher Reeve. He later experimented with comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles, developing a successful stand-up act.
Robin Williams first became known to American audiences as the zany alien Mork on the television comedy series Mork and Mindy (1978-82). He made his big-screen debut playing the famous spinach-eating sailor, Popeye (1981). The movie led to a string of successful film roles for Williams, including Good Morning Vietnam (1987) and Dead Poets Society (1989), both of which earned the actor Academy Award nods.
While his career was taking off, Williams faced many personal challenges. He developed a drug and alcohol problem while working on the sitcom Mork and Mindy, and would struggle with addiction for more than two decades. He also became involved in several tumultuous romantic relationships; while married to actress Valerie Velardi, he was briefly involved with another woman. Williams and Velardi divorced soon after, in 1988. The following year, he married his son's nanny, Marsha Garces, who was pregnant with their first child together at the time.
Despite personal setbacks, Williams continued acting. He provided the voice of the genie in Disney's animated film, Aladdin (1991), and appeared in the hit films Awakenings (1990), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), and The Birdcage (1996). In 1997, his performance as the psychiatrist in Good Will Hunting (1997) won him an Oscar (best supporting actor). Then, in 2001, he would return to voice acting as the voice of Dr. Know in Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001).
After a series of comedic roles, Robin Williams took on some darker material. He played a creepy photo developer in One Hour Photo (2002); the murder suspect in Insomnia (2002); and a writer and radio host who gets caught up in the mystery surrounding a troubled fan in The Night Listener (2006). Williams returned to his comedic talents shortly after with Man of the Year (2006), a send-up of U.S. presidential politics.
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