In 1997, Williams received Academy and Screen Actors Guild Awards for his performance as Sean Maguire, the therapist who counsels Matt Damon's title character -a math genius - in Gus Van Sant's Good Will Hunting. The Motion Picture Academy previously nominated Williams for Best Actor in The Fisher King, Dead Poets Society, and Good Morning Vietnam. Williams garnered a special honor from the National Board of Review for his performance opposite Robert DeNiro in Awakenings. In 2004, Williams received the prestigious Career Achievement Award from the Chicago International Film festival and, in 2005, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association honored him with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.
Williams first captured the attention of the world as Mork from Ork on the hit series Mork & Mindy. Born in Chicago and raised in Michigan and California, he trained at New York's Juilliard School under John Houseman. Williams made his cinematic debut as the title character in Robert Altman's Popeye. Additional early motion picture credits include Paul Mazursky's Moscow on the Hudson, in which he played a Russian musician who decides to defect, and The World According to Garp, George Roy Hill's adaptation of John Irving's acclaimed best-selling novel about a writer and his feminist mother.
Williams' filmography includes a number of blockbusters. In 1993, he starred in Chris Columbus' Mrs. Doubtfire. For Mike Nichols, Williams portrayed Armand Goldman in The Birdcage, for which the cast won a SAG ensemble award. In 1996, both The Birdcage and Jumanji reached the $100 million mark in the U.S. in exactly the same week. Williams went on to assume the dual roles of Peter Pan/Peter Banning in Steven Spielberg's Hook, play a medical student who treats patients with humor in Patch Adams and star in Disney's Flubber.
In a departure from the usual comedic and family fare he is best known for, Williams collaborated with two accomplished young directors on dramatic thrillers. In Insomnia, for Christopher Nolan, he starred opposite Al Pacino as the reclusive novelist Walter Finch, the primary suspect in the murder of a teenaged girl in a small Alaskan town. In Mark Romanek's One Hour Photo, Williams played a photo lab employee who becomes obsessed with a young suburban family.
Using only his voice, Williams created one of the most vivid characters in recent memory -the Blue Genie of the Lamp in Disney's Aladdin. The performance redefined how animated movies were voiced. Recorded versions of his one-man shows as well as the children's record Pecos Bill, have won him a total of five Grammy Awards. Most recently Williams lent his vocal talents to the blockbuster hit animated feature Robots.
Williams' stage credits include a landmark production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Steve Martin and, most recently, a short run in San Francisco of The Exonerated, which tells the true stories of six innocent survivors of death row.
Williams, who began his career as a stand-up comedian, is well known for monologues in which he makes free-associative leaps punctuated by one-liners about subjects as varied as politics, history, religion, ethnic strife and sex. Williams did just that when he toured in a critically acclaimed indefatigable one-man show that visited 36 cities. The final performance was filmed by HBO and broadcast live from New York on July 14, 2002.
Offstage, Williams takes great joy in supporting numerous causes covering the spectrum from health care and human rights, to education, environmental protection and the arts. He has toured the Middle East three times in as many years to help raise morale among the troops and is perhaps best known philanthropically for his affiliation with Comic Relief, which was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization to help America's homeless.
Upcoming for Williams are Mark Mylod's The Big White a black comedy co-starring Holly Hunter, Woody Harrelson and Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Stettner's The Night Listener a drama co-starring Toni Colette and Man of the Year in which he is re-teamed with director Barry Levinson. Williams recently began shooting August Rush co-starring Freddie Highmore and Liv Tyler.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Robin Williams Facts
|Birth Name||Robin McLaurim Williams|
|Birthday||July 21, 1951 (72)|
|Birthplace||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Height||5' 8" (1m73) How tall is Robin Williams compared to you?|
|Awards||2005 Golden Globe Awards: Cecil B. DeMille Award|
|1998 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (for Good Will Hunting)|
|1998 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role (for Good Will Hunting)|
|1994 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for Mrs. Doubtfire)|
|1994 MTV Movie Awards: Best Comedic Performance (for Mrs. Doubtfire)|
|1993 Golden Globe Awards: Special Achievement Award (for Alladin)|
|1993 MTV Movie Awards: Best Comedic Performance (for Aladdin)|
|1992 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for The Fisher King)|
|1988 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical (for Good Morning, Vietnam)|
|1979 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (for Mork and Mindy)|
|House of D|
|Good Will Hunting|
|Beverly Hills Cop III|
|Aladdin: Diamond Edition|
|Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction|