Robin Williams is one of the most legendary and successful actors of all time. A true national treasure and Hollywood icon, the world was devastated when he passed away in 2014.
The celebrated comedian was famous for his hilarious acting roles, as well as some more serious and heartfelt performances.Though his death hit the headlines around the world, there is a lot about his amazing life story that many people still do not know.
Let’s take a look back at the incredible and inspiring story of this comedy legend.
A Star is Born
Robin Williams was born Robin McLaurin Williams on July 21, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, worked for Ford’s Lincoln-Mercury Division as a senior executive, and his mother, Laurie McLaurin, worked as a fashion model.
It was clear from an early age that the young Williams had a talent for comedy—his loved ones’ earliest memories of him were of making people laugh.
However, no one could have predicted just how big of a star he would become.
It may surprise you to learn that While Robin Williams was growing up, he wasn’t actually the most popular guy in his class or friendship group. In fact, he struggled to make friends and was even picked on.
The young Williams quickly learned to use humor as a way to deflect attention from being teased. He had a particular talent for doing different voices and accents, so he used this skill to deflect attention from being teased. He had a particular talent for doing different voices and accents, so he used this skill to entertain his classmates and win them over.
Little did he know that he would soon use this to win over the whole world.
As the young Robin Williams grew into a teenager, he started to settle himself in his environment. Having made a name for himself within his high school scene, his world was turned upside down when his father decided that it was time for the family to relocate.
After Robert Fitzgerald Williams had retired, he wanted to settle in sunnier climes. So, when Robin Williams was about 16, the family headed for a new life in Tiburun, California.
No one had any idea that this would be the young funnyman’s springboard to stardom.
Despite the upheaval of moving from Chicago and over to the west coast, the young Williams found his feet the only way he knew how—by making people laugh.
After graduating from Redwood High School in the nearby town of Larkspur, Williams enrolled at Claremont Men’s College in Claremont, California.Williams studied for a degree in political science, but that wasn’t the only passion of his during his college years.Around this time, he also started taking improvisation classes—something that would later see him become one of the biggest stars in the world.
Even though Williams was an incredibly intelligent young man and a good student, in the end his love for acting and performing overcame his desire for academic studies. He dropped out of Claremont, but he didn’t leave education completely.
At first, he studied acting at the College of Marin—before receiving an offer he couldn’t refuse. Williams was offered a scholarship to attend the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, and so he dropped out of Marin and headed to the Big Apple.
Here he would cement his future in showbiz in more ways than one.
Attending the prestigious performing arts conservatory, Williams knew that Juilliard was the place to hone his craft and his natural talent.Williams was one of only 20 students to receive a spot at the famous school, and in fact was one of only two students to make it onto the advanced level.
The other student was Christopher Reeve, who would go on to receive worldwide fame for his portrayal of Superman.
The two budding actors struck up a friendship that would see them weather the ups and downs of thespian life together—as well as the heady heights of fame.
After graduating from Juilliard, Williams was now a well-educated and knowledgeable man in the art of performing, acting, and of course, his raison d’être—making people laugh.
Though he knew what he was doing in terms of an educational basis, it was now time to put that to the test—and start performing in the real world.
In the early 1970s, Williams moved back to California, where he started performing in a variety of comedy clubs across the West Coast.
Laugh a Minute
After several years making a name for himself on the independent comedy circuit, Williams started to find himself getting noticed by more than just gig bookers.In the mid-1970s, Williams had also started appearing on TV, with performances on programs such as The Richard Pryor Show and Laugh-In.
It was clear that Williams was a talented comedian, but no one could have predicted the stellar level of fame that was about to come his way—and the amazing way in which it would come about.
Continue reading on next page