The whole world has been struck by the sad news that Oscar-winning actor and popular comedian Robin Williams (63) died on Monday, August 11 in his Californian home. Let us take a moment to remember this extraordinary man and his amazing career with these 25 little known facts.
Robin Williams was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on December 12, 1990.
When he auditioned for the role of Mork from Ork on Happy Days (1974), producer Garry Marshall told him to sit down. Williams immediately sat on his head on the chair. Marshall hired him, saying that he was the only alien who auditioned.
When Williams was first starting out, he performed as a mime outside the New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to make money.
Throughout his successful career, Robin Williams received many awards including Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.
While best known for his thrilling humor, Robin Williams also explored darker characters and situations in movies. He played a creepy photo developer in "One Hour Photo“ (2002); a writer of pulp novels in "Insomnia“ (2002); and a weird radio host in "The Night Listener“ (2006).
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Robin Williams' make up in the 1993 comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire" took make up artists 5 hours each to achieve the transformation.
Williams devoted much of his time and energy to charities. For example, he supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and helped to rebuild the city of Christchurch after the 2010 earthquake in New Zealand.
Most of Williams' radio broadcasts in the 1987 war-comedy "Good Morning, Vietnam“ were improvised. Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for this movie.
Williams was a supporter of eco-friendly vehicles and owned over 50 bicycles.
Williams co-owned the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco with his friend Robert De Niro and fellow Bay area resident Francis Ford Coppola.
Robin Williams enjoyed cycling very much and occasionally even trained with his longtime friend Lance Armstrong. Williams also supported his cancer research charity.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams had an addiction to cocaine and alcohol. He said it was the death of his close friend John Belushi and the birth of his eldest son what prompted him to quit these bad habits.
As a child, Robin Williams was very overweight. Nobody would play with him so instead , he started talking in different voices to entertain himself.
When studying at Redwood High School in California, Williams was voted by his classmates "the least likely to succeed“...boy were they wrong.
He was frequently called up by Steven Spielberg when he was filming his movie Schindler's List in 1993. Spielberg would put him on speaker phone so he could tell jokes to the cast and crew to cheer them up.
Robin Williams dressed in scrubs and surprised his friend Christopher Reeve in the hospital following his career-ending accident. Reeve stated that it was the first time he laughed since the accident.
He is also the author of many both humorous and serious quotes such as: "Reality is just a crutch for people who can't cope with drugs.“ Or "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.“
Robin Williams’ favorite television shows were “Doctor Who” and “Star Trek”.
Williams appeared fully nude in two movies - The Fisher King (1991) and World's Greatest Dad (2009).
Robin Williams is famous for his TV movie roles but he also played in theatre. He appeared opposite Steve Martin at Lincoln Center in an Off-Broadway production of Waiting for Godot in 1988 or in Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo in 2011.
After having won the Academy Award for Good Will Hunting (1997), he sent Peer Augustinski (who was his standard German dubbing voice) a little Oscar replica with a note: "Thank you for making me famous in Germany."
Williams' ancestry included English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, German, and French. He spoke French fluently.
Robin Williams was one of the main candidates for the lead role of Joe Miller in “Philadelphia” but finally, Denzel Washington was preferred over him.
Williams was an avid enthusiast of video games and named two of his children after game characters. He named his daughter after Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda action-adventure game series. His son may have been named after Cody from the game Final Fight.
After the open heart surgery to replace his aortic valve in 2009, Robin Williams became a vegetarian.
Our hearts break at the passing of this great man. He has made the world laugh, cry, sing, and truly look at life from different perspectives. Robin Williams will be missed beyond words.