After Velardi and Williams had divorced, rumors abounded regarding the reason behind the split.
The reason for this was, not long after the two had announced their separation, Williams was seen stepping out with Marsha Garces, who had been the married couple’s nanny for several years.Despite the rumors that were swirling around, Velardi confirmed herself that the relationship between Williams and Garces had only started after the separation.Williams also opened up about how hard he was working to keep the family unit peaceful and loving, despite the difficult circumstances.
Williams professional success continued with his performance of an inspirational English teacher at a preparatory school in Dead Poets Society (1989).
Though the role still showcased much of William’s comedic talent and manic energy, it was also notably a far more serious acting performance than his usual parts.This departure from his madcap performances that he was known for proved incredibly successful, wowing critics and earning him another Academy Award nomination.
It was the first glimpse into what a truly talented and versatile actor Williams really was.
Tying the Knot
As well as gaining more fans throughout the world by showcasing his varied skillset as an actor, Williams was also enjoying more happy times in his personal life.
After the sadness of his separation, he had found love in his new relationship with Marsha Garces, and the two married in 1989. Williams and Garces welcomed two children together, Zelda Rae Williams in 1989 and Cody Alan Williams in 1991.
Robin Williams settled into his new life as a family man—and his film roles were about to reflect this shift, too.
Perhaps because he was enjoying the new stability in his home life, in the early nineties Robin Williams began making a name for himself in a string of family friendly films. This is not to say that he dumbed down his performances—very much the opposite.
In 1992 he starred as the Genie in the Disney classic Aladdin, one of the most iconic roles in history. The following year he starred in an equally genre-defining classic, Mrs. Doubtfire, as a father going to great lengths to try and spend time with his kids.
As well as his role as super successful actor, husband, and father, there was also another, more little-known role that Williams also excelled at—that of a best friend.
Ever since their time together at Juilliard, Williams and Christopher Reeve had remained close friends. In 1995, the world was stunned when Reeve suffered a devastating accident, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.The Superman star revealed that it was Williams who helped him cope with the tragedy. “My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay,” he said.
Cast in Kindness
And it wasn’t just in his personal life that Williams left his family, friends, and fans deeply moved by his displays of kindness and empathy.
In 1997, Williams stunned the world in another stand-out serious role, playing a psychiatrist in the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning movie Good Will Hunting.
Williams’ performance remains one of the most moving in Hollywood history, and he won numerous awards for the role—including, after years of being nominated, an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Following on from his Oscar win, Robin Williams continued to capitalize on his storming success with a return from dramatic acting to his first love—stand-up comedy.
In 2002 he gave such a stellar stand-up performance that he ended up releasing both an album and a video, entitled Robin Williams: Live on Broadway.The stand-up special received rave reviews and was nominated for five Primetime Emmys. It also saw Williams named number 13 on Comedy Central’s list of “100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time”.
Having entertained children and young people for many years through his hilarious and heartfelt performances on both film and TV, Williams dedicated his life to making them happy in a variety of other ways, too.
Though he did not seek to draw attention to his amazing good deeds, Williams spent a huge amount of time supporting the famed Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which provides support and treatment to sick children free of charge.Throughout his life, Williams participated in celebrity events to raise money for the hospital, including 2003’s celebrity-studded Shower of Stars.
And that’s not the only charitable endeavor Robin Williams was involved in throughout his life.
In 2005, he joined the board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, a charity organization that had been founded by his dear friend Christopher Reeve, who had sadly passed away the previous year.
An official statement by the Foundation recalled how Williams had provided “unending support without fanfare or question… beyond the gift of laughter, he gave our family and the Reeve Foundation the gift of his simple, steadfast friendship. It’s a gift we’ll treasure forever.”
Despite his honorable and weighty actions performing amazing acts of charity and kindness for those in need, Williams still made time to star in several light-hearted and fun movies, providing humor on a more general basis for the world.
In 2006 he starred in the classic comedy Night at the Museum, which spawned two sequels, in 2009 and 2014.In the same year, he also starred in the animated classic Happy Feet, which also spawned a sequel in 2011.
It just shows how Robin Williams was dedicated to making the world a better place, one laugh at a time.
Raising the Troops
In 2007, Williams followed up his tradition of using laughter and entertainment to raise morale in places where it might be low. He travelled to Kuwait and entertained U.S. troops there, but he was not expecting the reception he got.
During his set, a siren sounded, and all the soldiers turned away from him to form a salute. Williams responded incredibly humbly, joining in with the salute and standing in silence. After the poignant and emotional moment, he lightened the mood perfectly with a well-timed joke.But there was a secret behind Williams’ incredible balance between tears and laughter.