Robin Williams was an American actor and comedian. He was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1951. There are some reports claiming he was actually born in Scotland and other reports claiming he was born in 1952 but these reports are not true. After appearing on the Short lived Richard Pryor Show, Robin was cast as the lovable alien Mork on Happy Days. He appeared on two episodes during the 1977-1978 season. In September 1978, starred in his own TV series Mork and Mindy which was a spin off from Happy Days. The show lasted only four seasons before it was cancelled because of low ratings. In the early 1980’s, he lent his voice for the Saturday morning cartoon series Mork and Mindy, Laverne and Shirley and the Fonz hour. Before he became well known he appeared on Fernwood Tonight in the mid 1970’s which was a late night variety/talk show. He played a male escort.
Robin was married three times. On June 4, 1978, he married Valerie Velardi. They have one son Zachary who was born on April 11, 1983. During his first marriage, he had an affair with a cocktail waitress named Michelle Tish Carter who he had a sexual relationship with. She sued him in 1986 claiming he didn’t tell her he was infected with the herpes simplex virus before their affair began in the mid 1980’s. The case was settled out of court. According to the biography Robin Williams, Carter tested negative for the herpes simplex virus. Robin and Valerie divorced in 1988.
On April 30, 1989 he married Marsha Garces. She was Zachary’s nanny. She was several months pregnant with his child at the time. The have one daughter Zelda who was born July 31, 1989 and one son Cody who was born November 25, 1991. In 2008, Marsha filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
Robin married his third wife graphic designer Susan Schneider on October 23, 2011 in St. Helena, California. They lived together in the house he inherited from his mother in Tiberon, California outside of San Francisco.
During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Robin had an addiction to cocaine and alcohol which he’s stated he quite shortly after the death of his close friend John Belushi. The death of his friend and the birth of his son prompted him to quit drugs.
On August 9, 2006, he checked himself into a substance abuse rehabilitation center after 20 years of sobriety later admitting he was an alcoholic. In March 2009, he was hospitalized due to heart problems. During this time, he was on his one man tour Weapons of Self Destruction which he postponed to undergo surgery to replace his aortic valve. The surgery was successfully completed on March 13, 2009 at the Cleveland Clinic.
In 1973, Robin was one of 20 students to be accepted into the freshman class at the Juilliard School and one of two accepted by John Houseman into the advanced program. The other student was Christopher Reeve. Robin and Chris became best friends and remained friends for the rest of Chris’s life. They were often in classes together where they were the only students. In his dialects class, Robin had no trouble mastering all dialects quickly. He left Juilliard in 1976.
After Mork and Mindy was canceled in 1982, Robin focused on his movie career which probably wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for the success of Mork and Mindy in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. His first movie Popeye was followed by The World According to Garp. You can find a list of all his movies on the filmography page of this blog.
In September 2013, Robin returned to television for the first time in 32 years in the short lived show called The Crazy Ones which only lasted for one season before being canceled in May 2014. I guess viewers weren’t too crazy about The Crazy Ones. You can currently watch The Crazy Ones on Comedy Central. Check with your cable or satellite provider for time and channel. The Face of Love and The Angriest Man in Brooklyn are now available on blue ray and dvd. A Merry Friggin Christmas is available on limited blue ray and dvd. Night at the Museum Secret of the Tomb will be available on blue ray and dvd in March of 2015. Absolutely Anything will be released in theaters in England in the spring of 2015.
Tragically and sadly, the world lost Robin to depression on August 11, 2014. Fans of all ages set up public memorials to him at his star in Hollywood, California, the houses used in Mork and Mindy and Mrs. Doubtfire and the park bench in Boston, Mass. where the award winning scene from Good Will Hunting was filmed.
Robin left everything to his kids in his will. He left the house he and Susan lived in to her and the money to keep the house in shape. Unfortunately, she tried to get more then he left her by taking his kids to court. I guess she wasn’t happy with what he left her so she want to try to get more. His kids won the court case and they now have what he left to them including his money.
Last November, Susan spoke out about his heartbreaking final months. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it on youtube. There was a tunnel named after him in San Francisco last year. There’s a book of photos of him called Robin Williams A Singular Portrait that was released in July 2016 which you can order on amazon.