It will be an insult to call Robin Williams a comedian, because he was way beyond that. He did not make you laugh for a moment like clowns do, but kind of left a happy and warm feeling inside your heart. When it came to slapstick humor, no one could match his genius. With the roles of Sean Maguire, John Keating, Walter Finch, genie, and off course Mrs.Doubtfire, Robin Williams enthralled the audience of all genres, all ages, all regions and critics as well.
Not many knew the fact that behind the comical genius was the lesser known killer- depression; which eventually deprived the world of more entertainment from one of the all time top ranked actor, who we all loved equally. Let us check out with fond memories some lesser known facts about the man who in his wife’s words is the most beloved artist. NahnooNahnoo!
1. Generous to all
Robin Williams had a huge heart of Gold. His Comic Relief, Its Only Rock & Roll, and other charity work he undertook have helped many around the globe. He did not do the charity events for the sake of publicity or showing the press. In fact, the press had no clue that about the children’s hospitals he would visit with gifts at Christmas. He also participated in the local San Diego Triathlon challenge with the Challenged Athletes foundation. He had lent his continuous support to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
2. A childhood different from others
Robin Williams was overweight in his childhood. His condition made him shy and he did not have many friends during his growing up years. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he developed the skill of talking voices during his childhood to entertain himself. That gave the most amazing genie of all time.
3. His first award was rather an unusual one
Though Robin Williams has won Golden Globe, Grammy, Academy and many other awards in his career spanning over 3 decades his first award came during his high school days where he won a “Faisal” award for “Most Likely To Not Succeed”.
4. Struggle with addiction
Apart from the demon of depression, Robin Williams had fought his battle with cocaine addiction as well. In response to his cocaine addiction that lasted for a decade, he quoted “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you that you are making too much money.” It was the death of friend John Belushi along with the birth of his son that encouraged him to quit drugs.
5. A chronic drinker
After being sober for 20 years, Williams stumbled on drinking problem once again in 2003. He says it took him 3 years of shame, guilt and being disgusted by the stuff he did before he could be back in control.
6. Cycling enthusiast
Robin Williams was a great video gamer. It is known that he named his children Zelda and Cody after the gaming characters he loved playing. He was also enthusiastic about road cycling and is known to have owned 50 bicycles. He regularly participated with the US Postal and Discovery Channel Pro Cycling teams.
7. Emotional attachment with Christopher Reeve
Christopher Reeve and Robin Williams were buddies who continued their extraordinary friendship through their Hollywood careers and tragic accident after that. He was highly affected by the death of his school buddy Christopher Reeve and his wife, who died within a span of 1 year. Knowing them and their children closely, the tragic death this couple who were very close him took its toll on him emotionally. After Reeve’s death in 2004, Williams dedicated his Cecil B. Demille Award at the Golden Globes to him.
8. Donated blood to 9/11 victims
Following the 9/11 attack, Robin Williams is known to have donated his blood many times to help the victims.
9. Soldiers, here I come!
When United Service Organization entertained the U.S. Troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Robin Williams took part in the event as a performer.
10. The master comedian
He has been acclaimed as the Funniest Man Alive in 1997 by Entertainment Weekly, which also named him 50th Greatest Movie Star of All Time. The Empire Magazine’s list ranked him 63rd among the Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time.
11. Blessing the set of Schindler’s List
Steven Spielberg would call Robin Williams frequently during the filming of “Schindler’s List” so that he could cheer up the cast and crew with his jokes narrated in Genie voice.
Rest in peace Robin Williams! You spread smiles that were as big as your heart.