Possibly one of the most versatile actors on the planet, Robin Williams was an enigma in himself. His fun, jovial roles run parallel with his dark and sad family life. Even though his abilities and his creativity can never be put on the court, it is quite necessary for people to know what, or rather who Robin Williams was- the man behind Jumanji, Aladdin, and Good Will Hunting, among others.
Robin Williams was someone whose life contrasted nicely with his reel appearance. While he was a philanthropist at heart, he was not an inherently simple man. Accusations of infidelity, and substance abuse, and constant attacks on his family life, finally pushed the man to suicide. There have been several initiatives all around to get to know the real Robin Williams, from the reel Robin Williams.
Here are 10 facts about Robin Williams that may be obscure and hidden from the public.
1. “Least Likely To Succeed” Psssh.
If you have watched Central Intelligence, you would know of this award that high school gives called “Most Likely To Succeed”. But, Robin Williams apparently had his school give him an award called “Least Likely To Succeed”. Well, well, well what do they have here? An Oscar Winner, and leaders of several blockbuster movies.
Robin Williams claimed in an interview, that he was somewhat obese back in school, especially when he went to a summer camp. Since, as is the supposed norm, children are more tuned to isolating someone based on their body structure, and hence, Robin Williams was lonely. To entertain himself he would start speaking in different voices, which ultimately gave rise to a stellar career.
3. Solid Piece of Advice
While at Julliard, Williams had a good set of teachers, who saw his potential as a stand-up artist more than a mainstream actor. This is why they asked him to focus more on comedy, rather than turn out to be one of the rest. For Williams was anything but a member of the bandwagon.
4. Mimetic Representation of Art
Robin Williams wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. To earn money, he had to learn several tricks that weren’t strictly screen acting, for movies came far and few in the beginning. Hence, he turned into a mime artist, portraying the subtle nuances of art through his time.
5. Spatially Challenged
Williams was said to be having a very poor grasp on geography, for he had once declared in an interview that he was born in Scotland. The truth being, he was from plain old Chicago. Although, he had later disclosed that he was intoxicated when he had made the earlier claim. Spatial challenges or substance abuse?
6. Extra Terrestrial Visitor
Williams is known for movies like Jumanji, and Good Will Hunting, although his big break came in the 1978 movie Happy Days, where he played the role of an alien Mork. Ridiculous in the present generation, but something of a craze back in the 1970s, with movies like Star Wars, Williams was raised to stardom due to this movie, which also led to a spinoff series of Mork and Mindy.
Most of Robin Williams’ problems came from his addiction to drugs and alcohol. His addiction to cocaine and alcohol got so strong and inseparable, it took the death of his best friend John Belushi, and the birth of his oldest son that finally made him stop.
8. Too Deranged
People who have watched The Shining can agree that it is one of those movies that makes a mess out of your brains and gives you nightmares. The other is obviously Anthony Hopkins starring in the Silence of The Lambs. Surprisingly, when Stanley Kubrick was deciding whom to cast as the protagonist, he had to select Jack Nicholson, instead of Williams because Kubrick on watching Mork and Mindy, found Williams to be, and I quote, “Too psychotic.”
9. Improvisation Skills
Robin Williams was an improviser par excellence. While on the sets of Mork, and Mindy, the directors, and the screenplay used to leave blanks on the script because they realized Williams would make a better job out of it.
10. Robin and Reeve
Robin Williams was a close friend of Christopher Reeve, the original Superman. While at Juilliard, Williams claims that Reeve was basically his benefactor, feeding him, clothing him, because he didn’t have much money. Such a good friend, that when Reeve was paralyzed, Williams would entertain his friend as a stand-up clown, preventing him from getting more depressed.