Dateline Movie Spotlight: Robin Williams

Born in the State of Illinois in the City of Chicago on July 21, 1951, Robin McLaurin Wiliams was the son of a Ford Motor Company Senior Executive named Robert Fitzgerald Williams and former model mother Laura McLaurin. He grew up in an affluent community called Bloomfield Hills in Michigan.  

He studied in a private and secular school called the Detroit Country Day School. His later years as a teenager was spent in Woodacre, in Marin County in California.  He spent his secondary schooling in Redwood High School. Robin would spend a few years of college in Claremont Mckenna College and later leave in 1973 after obtaining full scholarship at the world-renowned music school, Julliard, which is located in New York City. 

His career started in the comedy variety show entitled The Richard Pryor Show in 1977. Unfortunately the show was cancelled after only four episodes.  In 1978, he appeared with the Cunningham family in the widely-received and highly-rated show Happy Days which was created by Garry Marshall. Robin Williams would appear in Season Five as an alien from the planet Ork named Mork in February 1978, and can be seen in two special episodes entitled My Favorite Orkan.  

The widely positive public reception to Williams appearance in these two episodes resulted to the spin-off to the hit television series Mork and Mindy together with Pam Dawber which would run from 1978 to 1982. 

His first film was a re-released comedy entitled Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses? directed by I. Robert Levy in 1980.  The movie entitled Good Morning Vietnam in 1987 earned for him a nomination in the Academy Awards. All-in-all Robin Williams made dozens of films during his lifetime, starred in many television series and specials, appeared in many magazine covers, voiced-over many popular cartoon movies most notably of which is in Happy Feet as Lovelace and as the Genie in Disney's Aladdin, has written television documentaries and specials, has done charitable works, and supported foundations and charitable institutions to the extent of even founding one called the Windfall Foundation.   


He has been nominated thrice as Best Actor in a Leading Role in the Academy Awards and won one Oscar as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in the drama movie Good Will Hunting in 1997 which featured Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and directed by Gus Van Sant.  (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck also won the Best Original Screenplay for this movie)

His last television series is The Crazy Ones under CBS which premiered last October 2013 but was cancelled with only one season of airtime.

He has been married thrice.  His first wife was Valerie Velardi and they were married on June 4, 1978.  Their marriage brought about Williams' first son named Zachary Pym "Zak" Williams who was born on April 11, 1983.  They divorced in 1988.

Robin's second marriage was with Filipina-American Marsha Garces and they were married on April 30, 1989.  They have two children, Zelda Rae Williams who was born on July 31, 1989 and Cody Alan Williams  who was born on November 25, 1991.  They divorced on March 2008.   On October 23, 2011, Williams married his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider.

Robin Williams is such a talented man.  In whatever role he portrayed in films or in the stage, be it a musical, drama, comedy, suspense, you name it, he surely left his mark.  The news of his death is such a shock to all of us. Deep in my heart, I would say that I am sad sad because the world lost such a great talent...,sad because a man who made us laugh, who has touched our lives in one way or the other is no longer with us.  I pray that you find peace Robin Williams.


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