(Featured image from dailyfinance.com)
While the world mourns the loss of one of our time’s greatest comics and legendary actor, Robin Williams, we thought we’d drop some interesting facts about him. Sure, we know him best for his roles in “Mrs. Doubtfire“, “Jumanji“, and “Patch Adams“, just to name a few. But did you know that he studied theatre at Juilliard (one of the world’s preeminent performing arts conservatories) and his roommate was Christopher Reeve? They maintained their friendship until the day Christopher Reeve died.
These little known Robin Williams facts will make you smile and perhaps laugh:
1. Comedic from the start
Born on 21st July 1952 in Chicago, Illinois, Robin McLaurim Williams was a very precocious child. His parents always believed he had been born with a special gift because at 5 years old, he enjoyed trying to get the people around him to laugh. As a young boy, he used to enjoy listening to and memorising comedy albums.
2. Studying humour and putting it into practice
When Robin Williams was in school, he earned money by miming with white face paint outside of art museums in NYC for tips and applause. On a good day, he’d take home about USD40. He also learnt immensely about comedy and timing from watching “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Those experiences would later lead him to his successful career.
3. Most unlikely yet one of the most celebrated
Robin Williams was voted “Most Funny, but Least Likely to Succeed” in high school. Well, he sure proved them wrong, considering the amount of awards that he has won and was nominated for in the past. This includes “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy/Musical” for “Mrs. Doubtfire”.
4. The sports lover inside
He spent a portion of his free time adoring sports! Robin Williams was a huge rugby fan and a fan of Jonah Lomu in particular, a former New Zealand rugby union player. He was also a cycling enthusiast and often bikes 30 – 40 miles. Who would’ve thought, eh?
5. Super friends with “Superman”
When Christopher Reeve was paralysed from the neck down in a horse-riding accident, Robin promised to pay all hospital expenses not covered by insurance. Immediately after the accident, when Reeve had been informed he would never walk again and was surrounded by solemn faces, Williams turned up dressed as a doctor and pretending to be Reeve’s proctologist (“Patch Adams“, anyone?). It was the first time Reeve smiled after the fall.
6. A talent for impromptu work
Robin Williams was known to seamlessly pull off impromptu dialogue and acting. The writers of “Mork & Mindy” actually left huge gaps in the screenplay so he could go crazy with improvising while playing the part. Also, in the Disney film “Aladdin”, he ad-libbed a majority of his dialogues as the Genie.
Genie, you’re free. pic.twitter.com/WjA9QuuldD
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) August 12, 2014
7. Robin and “The Legend of Zelda”
Robin has 3 children, Zachary, 31; daughter Zelda, 25 and son Cody, 22. He named his daughter Zelda after the classic Nintendo game, “Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword“. Such a cute Robin Williams-like thing to do though! In June 2011, both Zelda and Robin featured in a television commercial for the Nintendo 3DS game, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D”.
8. A man with good taste
We gotta admit, all of us have our favourite TV shows, but very few of us have a good choice. Whether you believe it or not, “Doctor Who” and “Star Trek” are listed as 2 of Robin Williams’ favourite television shows.
9. His very own “Punk’d”
After playing a Russian circus-musician on Paul Mazursky’s “Moscow On The Hudson”, Robin gained an Eastern European accent. He used it to spectacularly trick John Travolta. In 2002, he posed as Travolta’s chauffeur, pretended to be foreign, and deaf, and took numerous wrong turns, finally causing Travolta to call for help when he offered him a slug of vodka from an open bottle.
10. Immortalised and remembered forever
Robin Williams received a “Hollywood Walk of Game” star in 1990. Receiving a star is still to this day considered a huge honour. He is also one of the many legendary celebrities to leave handprints and footprints outside the famous Grauman’s (now Mann’s) Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. He left his mark in December 1998 and signed it, “carpe diem”.
Always in our hearts, Robin Williams.
Rest in peace.