|Name||Robin McLaurin Williams|
|Date of Birth||July 21, 1951|
|Place of Birth||Chicago, Illinois|
|Residence||Paradise Cay, California|
|Famous For||Films such as Mrs. Doubtfire|
|Relatives||Zac Williams (son), Zelda Rae William (daughter), Cody Williams (son)|
|Spouse(s)||Valerie Velardi (married: 1978; divorced: 1988)
Marsha Garces (married: 1989; divorced: 2010)
Susan Scheider (married: 2011)
|Catchphrases||I don’t want to sell stuff; it’s the one thing I won’t do!
Life needs a touch of madness.
Shortly after being dubbed as the funniest person alive in 1997, Robin Williams shocked the world when he died in 2014 through suicide.
Amidst the tragic death of a very funny man, Robin Williams life and filmography are still revered by many generations up to this day. Known for his improvisational skills, he is remembered for his notable performances in films such as Good Will Hunting and Mrs. Doubtfire.
Robin Williams’ Life
Williams was born at St. Lukes Hospital in Chicago in July 21, 1951. He attended public schools for his elementary and middle school education. His family moved to Detroit when he was 12 due to his father’s work. There, he attended the Detroit Country Day School, a private school. When he was 16, his father took an early retirement and the family moved again to settle in Marin County in California.
His path towards acting and comedy started when he dropped out of political science to pursue an acting degree at the College of Marin in Kentfield, California. In 1973, Williams attended the prestigious Juilliard School under a full scholarship. He left Juilliard in 1976 and had his first acting break for feature films in 1980.
When he was a stand-up comedian, he was exposed to drugs and alcohol. In a 1999 interview, he said that he was using cocaine when he was on stand-up comedy but stopped immediately as it made him paranoid, rendering an intense, dark humor during his performances.
He shocked the world at the news of his death in August 11, 2014. Reports announced that he committed suicide in his Paradise Cay home in California. He was 63.
Robin Williams was born to Robert Fitzgerald Williams, a senior executive in the Lincoln-Mercury Motors Division of the Ford Company and Laurie McLaurin, a former model from Mississippi. He had two elder brothers from his parents’ previous marriages; Robert from his father and McLaurin from his mother.
He married thrice. The first one was with Valerie Velardi in 1976 and got divorced in 1988. They have a son, Zachary Williams. His second marriage was in 1989 to no other than Zac’s nanny, Marsha Garces who later on filed for divorce in 2010. He has two children with Garces, Zelda Rae, who is also an actress and Cody Alan. In October 2011, he married his third wife, Susan Scheider, a graphic designer.
Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s. His rise to fame commenced when he played the alien character of Mork in the late 70s sitcom Mork and Mindy. Through the many memorable character voices that he created, Williams established himself both in stand-up comedy and feature films.
His first feature film as lead actor was 1980 in Popeye. After that, he became a consistent figure in feature films as well as commercials. His films made $6B when combined. He was well known for his performances in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Good Will Hunting (1997) and Patch Adams (1998). He is the voice behind the genie in Aladdin (1992), was casted in the Night at the Museum Trilogy (2006-2014) and his last film before he died was the Angriest Man in Brooklyn.
With his prolific filmography, Williams was nominated for the Academy Awards for four times and won once as Best Supporting Actor in 1998 for his performance in Good Will Hunting. Throughout his career, he received two Primetime Emmy Awards, five Grammys including his comedy album in 1979, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and six Golden Globe Awards.
How did Robin Williams make money?
Robin Williams particularly capitalized on his acting through feature films, and standup comedy. In the duration of his career, it is projected that his movies have grossed more than $6B worldwide.
Aside from the millions worth of insurance and trust funds have been set up by him for his children, business sites also mention a film production company called the Blue Wolf Productions which he co-founded with his then wife, Marsha Garces, in 1991.
Net worth from 2010-2014
From 2010 to 2012, it is reported that Robin Williams had a net worth ranging from $130M to $150M. However, in 2013, Williams revealed that he was on the brink of bankruptcy following two expensive divorces amounting to more than $30M settlements. He then went to list his Napa Valley mansion for $35M to help him pay his debts.
There is much debate regarding the net worth of Robin Williams for 2014. At the time of his death, reports say that he was nearing bankruptcy and was reportedly worth $50M due to multiple divorce settlements. Some reputable business sites like Forbes however, report that the total value of the estates he left after his death ranges in between $50M to $100M.
How much does Robin Williams make in a day?
His first starring role in the film Popeye in 1980 gave him his first big earning amounting to $35,000 which in present day conversion would have been around $170,000. When his career catapulted into lucrative fame, Forbes report that from 1992-1995, he was making $5,000 a day. So far, this is the only record of what he makes in a day.
Houses and cars of Robin Williams
Robin Williams owned two mansions and one cottage. The first one which Williams called Villa of Smiles is located at Napa Valley. It stands in a 20,000 square feet in the middle of a 639 acre estate. The mansion has five bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a home theater, an infinity pool, horse barn and has vineyards and orchards. In 2013, he listed the villa for $35M but was sold at almost half the price at $18.6M in 2016 to French winemakers.
The other mansion is his six-bedroom and eight-bathroom Tiburon residence. He bought it in 2008 for $4M. After his death, the Tiburon residence was left at the care of his wife and her two teenage sons from her previous marriage. In 2009 Williams bought a two bedroom and two bathroom Tudor cottage at the Bronson Canyon area in Hollywood for $875,000. This estate was sold quietly in 2014 for $869,000.
As for cars, he only owned two: a Land Rover he bought in 1996 and a 2011 Toyota Prius. In lieu of car collections, he had a bike and watch collection which were sold in an auction at Sotheby for more than $6M in 2016.
3 Success lessons from Robin Williams
1. Family is everything.
In a 2013 press interview for his film The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, alongside Anne Hathaway, he mentioned that family is everything. He recounted his mistakes in the past and said that his children have always been his saving grace because they always give him a sense of wonder, noting that they have developed into extraordinary human beings.
2. Give back and be kind.
The philanthropic activities of Williams were something that he enjoyed privately. He founded the Comic Relief USA alongside fellow comedians, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Cristal and the Windfall Foundation along with his second wife. In one interview, he said, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
3. Remember to think about your future.
Greatly inspired by his role, Jack, in Dead Poets Society, he says in one interview, “if there is one lesson I carry in my heart everyday, that is to contemplate about the future and how to celebrate every day.”
5 Famous Robin Williams Quotes
No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.
What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.
I do believe in love; it’s wonderful – especially love third time around, it’s even more precious; it’s kind of amazing.
Sometimes you have to make a movie to make money.
I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.
More than his death, Robin Williams remains in the film and pop culture world as the funniest man who has ever lived along with his notable performances. Up to this day, he is still revered as an actor. Naming a San Francisco Tunnel and park after him is enough evidence of this reverence.