He moved to San Francisco, CA, when he was 16.
He studied acting briefly at The Juilliard School under John Houseman. Houseman told him he was wasting his talent at Juilliard and he should strike out on his own and do stand-up comedy.
He resided with his family in San Francisco's Seacliff neighborhood for many years. before moving to San Francisco suburb of Tiburon in the 2000s, just across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County, CA.
He was set to play Drew Barrymore's father in Home Fries (1998) and had the role during production, but pulled out of the part days before his scenes were to be shot.
In October 1997 he was ranked #63 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
In 1997 he was voted funniest man alive by Entertainment Weekly.
When he auditioned for the role of Mork from Ork on Happy Days (1974), producer Garry Marshall told him to sit down. Williams immediately sat on his head on the chair. Marshall hired him, saying that he was the only alien who auditioned.
During the making of Mork & Mindy (1978), he departed from the scripts and ad-libbed so many times and so well that the producers stopped trying to make him stick to the script and deliberately left gaps in the later scripts, leaving only "Mork can go off here" in those places so he could improvise.
He released the album: "Reality... What a Concept" on Casablanca Records (1979).
He was set to appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation: A Matter of Time (1991), as the time traveler Prof. Berlinghoff Rasmussen, but a schedule conflict with Hook (1991) forced him to drop out (the role eventually went to Matt Frewer). He was inspired to seek a Trek role by his friend, Whoopi Goldberg, who had a recurring role on the series as the bartender Guinan.
He was a huge fan of the sport of Rugby Union, and in particular New Zealand All Black star Jonah Lomu, who flew to San Francisco and gifted him with a signed All Black jersey. On a recent visit to New Zealand they were reunited on national television, Williams accepting another All Black jersey--except this time it had Jonah's #11 on the back.
For his first year of college he attended Claremont Men's College (renamed Claremont McKenna College in 1981), in Claremont, California with the intent to study political science. While there he played soccer and took an improvisational theater class because it was the only one open to both men and students from the nearby women's school, Pitzer College. Both colleges later became coeducational in the 1970s. He soon stopped going to the political science classes and his father said he would no longer pay for college so Williams returned home and studied theater at College of Marin junior college in Marin County. He later transferred to The Juilliard School in New York City.
In 1998 he was listed by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 25 Best Actors.
He was a huge fan of the BBC comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). The admiration was mutual. Paying tribute after his death, Michael Palin said that Williams was "up there" with his all-time heroes, Spike Milligan and Peter Cook, and performing with him "would have been like being invited to play in a jazz band when you couldn't play an instrument". However, Palin also added that Williams was "possessed" by "the devil of comedy", which he said "must have been hard to live with".
He studied at The Juilliard School with actor Christopher Reeve. The two remained good friends until Reeve's death in 2004.
He enjoyed cycling and occasionally trained with Lance Armstrong.
After having won the Academy Award for Good Will Hunting (1997), he sent Peer Augustinski (who was his standard German dubbing voice) a little Oscar replica with a note: "Thank you for making me famous in Germany.".
He graduated from Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA, north of San Francisco. Other famous alumni from Redwood include Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990)) and Erin Gray (Kate Summers from Silver Spoons (1982)), and Jason Branson, radio talk show guest/therapist and author.
In 2003, he won Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for "Robin Williams - Live 2002".
In 1980, hit #104 on the Billboard Singles Charts with "I Yam What I Yam" (Boardwalk 5701).
In 2003 he was ranked #7 in Star TV's Top 10 Box Office Stars of the 1990s.
He reached a unique milestone by having two of his films reach the $100-million mark in the US exactly the same week: Jumanji (1995) and The Birdcage (1996). 
He was voted "Least Likely to Succeed" by his fellow graduates at Larkspur.
Early in his career he told a reporter that he was born in Scotland. His original press releases indeed listed Scotland as his place of birth. He admitted that he was "under the influence" at the time he said this. He was really born in Chicago.
He was voted the 50th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
One week after Christopher Reeve's tragic horse-riding accident, Williams visited him in the hospital. However, he was dressed from head to toe in scrubs, spoke with a Russian accent, and had a surgical mask on. He was acting as if he was a real doctor and did a bunch of wacky antics. After he took off his mask, Reeve stated, "That was the first time he laughed since the accident!".
When "Blame Canada", a song from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award, it was Williams who performed the song at the ceremony because the actress who sang the song in the film, Mary Kay Bergman, had committed suicide a few months prior to the awards show. Sadly, Williams himself would also commit suicide fifteen years later.
He was considered for the role of Joe Miller in Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia (1993), which went to Denzel Washington.
He was an active supporter of the Democratic Party and had been outspoken about his opposition to the war in Iraq. However, he became the most consistent entertainer of U.S. troops since the war began, leading some to dub him the new Bob Hope.
He had been seen playing paintball at public reservations near his Northern California residences.
He was a very overweight child. As a result, nobody would play with him. He started talking in different voices to entertain himself.
In 2004 he dedicated his winning the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globe Awards to his good friend Christopher Reeve.
Most of his dialogue in Aladdin (1992) was ad-libbed.
He was a guest on Johnny Carson's next to last episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), along with Bette Midler.
He had English, French, German, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry.
He and his Being Human (1994) and Robots (2005) castmate Ewan McGregor have both shared a role with Alec Guinness. McGregor, of course, played the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels. Williams appeared in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), as Osric, a role that Guinness had played on stage opposite John Gielgud. Williams also shares that role with another Star Wars series actor, Peter Cushing, who played the same role in the same year in the film, opposite Laurence Olivier.
He co-owned the Rubicon Restaurant in San Francisco with Robert De Niro and fellow Bay area resident Francis Ford Coppola.
In 1993, he wrote the foreword to Gary Larson's book, "The Far Side: Gallery 4".
Though he was highly regarded for his ability to perform numerous different voices, he only lent his voice to six animated features: FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Aladdin (1992), Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), Robots (2005), Happy Feet (2006) and Happy Feet Two (2011). However, he did voice-over work for a cartoon on Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), played a small role in the animated short A Wish for Wings That Work (1991), and had done narration for different rides and attractions at Disney World. He has also done the voice for the character "Doctor Know" in the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), which was not an animated movie.
Half-brother of McLaurin Smith.
In 1976 he performed at the opening of the San Francisco Comedy Competition against Dana Carvey, Harry Anderson and A. Whitney Brown.
He was a huge fan of Doctor Who (1963) and Star Trek: The Original Series (1966).
He invented the curse word "Shazbot", first heard on the situation comedy Mork & Mindy (1978) (in which Mork says the expression during the opening credits). Later it was used in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror VI (1995). In 1998 it was used as a voice chat option in the very popular "Starsiege Tribes" game and was carried over into the sequels "Tribes 2" and "Tribes: Vengeance". "Shazbot, nano nano" also remain the last recorded words of the legendary former singer of AC/DC Bon Scott.
He considered Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor his comedic idols.
He was offered the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever (1995), which eventually went to Jim Carrey.
He was considered for the role of Bobby Wheeler in the situation comedy Taxi (1978), which went to Jeff Conaway.
He was the second choice for the role of Frank Ginsberg in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), which went to Steve Carell.
In 1993 was turned down for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Award nomination in for his performance in Aladdin (1992), because he only voiced the Genie.
He owned a home and vineyard in Northern California's St. Helena district, hence the quip, "I love the smell of Napa in the morning." Not-too-distant neighbors included football legend Joe Montana (Calistoga) and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola (Rutherford), both of whom run their own vineyards.
Williams and Robert De Niro were the last stars to see John Belushi alive, albeit on separate visits to Bungalow #3 of the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles on the day Belushi died of a drug overdose in March 1982.
Asked by James Lipton about what he would like to God say when he arrived in heaven, Williams answered that "There is a seat in the front" in the concert of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Elvis Presley.
He was invited to the party Steve Martin was throwing that turned out to be his wedding.
He was one of the few celebrities to have a segment on Sesame Street (1969) that did not have any puppets or actors playing "Sesame Street" regular characters.
He had played both a fictional President in Man of the Year (2006) and a real-life one in Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013).
He and his former second wife, Marsha Garces Williams, frequently visited Australia during their holidays.
He met second wife Marsha Garces Williams when she was nanny for his and first wife Valerie Velardi's son, Zak Williams.
He lived in San Francisco, Tiburon and Napa, CA.
He was voted "Most Humorous" and "Least likely to succeed" in school.
In October 2008 he filed a lawsuit against Frank and Beans Productions, production company of a shelved movie called "A Couple of Dicks". The film was later given to Gold Circle Films and the title was changed to Cop Out (2010). Williams claimed that he was to receive $6 million in "fixed compensation", meaning that he would receive the money whether the film was made or not.
He checked himself into rehab to be treated for alcoholism. He had already overcome drug and alcohol addiction in the 1980s. He left rehab in September 2006.
He recovered at the Cleveland (OH) Clinic after successful open-heart surgery on March 13, 2009, to replace his aortic valve.
His role in August Rush (2007) was modeled after the character of Fagin from Oliver Twist (1948), who was played in David Lean's film by Alec Guinness. Guinness also played Osric in John Gielgud's theatrical production of "Hamlet". Williams played the role in Kenneth Branagh's film version of Hamlet (1996).
He was frequently called up by Steven Spielberg when he was filming Schindler's List (1993). He would put him on speaker phone so he could tell jokes to the cast and crew to cheer them up. He used his character in Aladdin (1992) most of the time.
During the course of recording the voice of Genie in Aladdin (1992), Robin improvised so much they had almost 16 hours of material. He also ad-libbed so many of his lines that the movie's script was turned down for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination.
He had appeared fully nude in The Fisher King (1991) and World's Greatest Dad (2009).
He studied acting with Michael Howard in New York City.
He became a vegetarian following his open heart surgery.
He married for the third time to Susan Schneider, a graphic designer, on October 23, 2011, at Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, California, among friends and family.
His great friend, Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, referred to Robin's hairy arms as "Quest for Fire" opera gloves.
He was a huge fan of the "Legend of Zelda" series since the first game appeared in 1986, and even named his daughter Zelda, after the eponymous character. Both Robin and Zelda appeared in a commercial for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011).
He had played the same character (Mork) in three different series: Happy Days (1974), Mork & Mindy (1978) and Out of the Blue (1979).
He became a father for the first time at age 31 when his ex-wife Valerie Velardi gave birth to their son Zak Williams on April 11, 1983. He became a father for the second time at age 38 when ex-wife Marsha Garces Williams gave birth to their daughter Zelda Williams on July 31, 1989. He became a father for the third time at age 40 when his ex-wife Marsha gave birth to their son Cody Williams on November 25, 1991.
He had appeared with Billy Crystal in four films: In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994), Hamlet (1996), Fathers' Day (1997), Deconstructing Harry (1997) and a cameo on Friends (1994).
He had worked with Frank Welker in five films: A Wish for Wings That Work (1991), Aladdin (1992), In Search of Dr. Seuss (1994), Jumanji (1995) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. on December 12, 1990.
As of his death in 2014, he had appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990) and Good Will Hunting (1997).
He was the first choice for the role of Bob Wiley in What About Bob? (1991), but was forced to turn it down because he was finishing filming The Fisher King (1991), at the same exact time. The role went to Bill Murray instead.
He was declared dead at 12:02 p.m. on August 11, 2014, seven minutes after a call was received by 911 operators and two minutes after paramedics arrived at his home in the unincorporated town of Tiburon, which is in Marin County, CA, just north of San Francisco. The cause was apparent suicide after a long bout with severe depression.
Upon his death, his wife Susan Schneider said, "This morning I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.".
Mara Buxbaum was his longtime press agent and publicist.
On the night of his death it was announced to the UK on the BBC News Channel., BBC Three had just broadcast Family Guy: Family Guy Viewer Mail #2 (2012), where Peter Griffin wishes that everyone was Robin Williams, is then struck by lightning and gets the power that everyone he touches turns into Robin Williams.
He was a huge fan of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995).
He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, MI (suburban Detroit). He attended Detroit Country Day School until his senior year of high school when his father retired from the Ford Motor Co. and moved the family to San Francisco, CA.
Due to the seven feature films he shot in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1990s, he was made an Honorary Member of IATSE Local 16 in San Francisco.
A statement was released by his wife Susan Schneider after his death in which she said that Robin's sobriety was intact and that he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety as well as early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
His remains were cremated after his death and his ashes were scattered along the San Francisco Bay Area.
His final moments were spent at his seafront home overlooking San Francisco Bay (St. Thomas Way, Tiburon, CA).
When his Inside the Actors Studio (1994) interview was being taped, a man in the audience had to be hospitalized after acquiring a hernia from laughing so hard.
ABC News ran the announcement about the family wanting their privacy to grieve on a webpage that also featured a link to a live stream of aerial footage of Williams' home. This link was removed after a campaign by outraged Twitter users.
He slipped in phrases from his stand-up comedy into his serious movie roles, such as: "Gravity Works," (from An Evening with Robin Williams (1983)) in The Fisher King (1991) and FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). "Drive her/you to China," in Club Paradise (1986) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). "Harder than Chinese algebra," in Shrink (2009). Why Freud "did enough cocaine to kill a small horse," in Good Will Hunting (1997). "That won't look good on a resume," in Club Paradise (1986) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Referencing "a waste processing plant next to a recreation area" in Bicentennial Man (1999). Referencing tattoos of Chinese/Kanji symbols for happiness and laughter in Shrink (2009).
He used a specific hand salute--with his thumb touching (or near) his nose, as in "thumbing your nose"--in television appearances and movies, among them: Mork & Mindy (1978), I Love Liberty (1982), The Survivors (1983), Club Paradise (1986), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Toys (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Patch Adams (1998), The Night Listener (2006) and Night at the Museum (2006).
He was considered for the Genie in Aladdin (1992) from the scripting stage. Disney animators even modeled his face into the Genie's.
Though he was right-handed, he batted and golfed left-handed Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Old Dogs (2009), The Crazy Ones (2013)).
From August 16-18, 2014, Disney honored him by airing Aladdin (1992) on their three children's channels (Disney Channel on Saturday, Disney XD on Sunday, and Disney Junior on Sunday evening and Monday morning), twice on each channel. At the end of the movie, just before the credits, they put up an image that read, "In Memory of Robin Williams, who made us laugh." using Eric Goldberg's (the movie's animator) tribute to him as a backdrop.
He died only 13 days before his Hamlet (1996) co-star Richard Attenborough.
More than 400 fellow celebrities, friends and co-stars gave condolences and paid tribute to him upon his tragic death. Internet surveys showed his name was the most "looked up" thing in 2014.
He became very close with Sarah Michelle Gellar who played his daughter on The Crazy Ones (2013) and described him as a "surrogate father".
He had expressed interest in playing the Riddler in Batman Forever (1995) and was a fan favorite to do so, until Joel Schumacher took over the project and reworked the concept. He was also considered for the role of Hagrid in the Harry Potter series.
He was fond of going to comedy clubs and taking pictures with the club owners to be displayed on the walls, which made the clubs more popular and encouraged aspiring stand-ups to audition there.
He became extremely close with Lisa Jakub and Mara Wilson who played his daughters in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and stayed in touch with them over the years. Mara described him as a source of great comfort after the death of her mother.
An autopsy revealed he suffered from Lewy Body Dementia, a neurodegenerative disorder with a rapid onset, which has a higher prevalence in men and occurring after the age of 50. It is often mistaken for Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. Symptoms can include difficulty with alertness, hallucinations, slowing of movement, difficulty walking (ataxia or dystaxia), and rigidity. Restlessness during sleep and mood changes like depression are also common in Lewy Body Dementia.
A best seller at most Episcopal camps or gift shops is "Robin Williams: 10 Reasons to be Episcopalian".
Before making Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Chris Columbus had already seen Williams in comedy clubs in Los Angeles. He was blown away at his energy, saying Williams was one of the most brilliant minds he had ever come across in terms of comedy.
He did interviews as the title character in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) to promote the film, and sometimes played the interviewer also.
He appeared in three films with Billy Crystal: Hamlet (1996), Fathers' Day (1997) and Deconstructing Harry (1997).
Chris Columbus was amazed how far Williams took his performance in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). First, he would play each scene as scripted two to three times and then was allowed to improvise. Columbus allowed him to do a lot of improv because that was where the film's funniest material came from; Scenes were shot from 15-22 times because Williams wasn't satisfied until he had the scene worked out of his system. Columbus admitted he never knew where Williams was going to take the character next.
When making Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Williams and director Chris Columbus would often clown around between takes, like Mrs Doubtfire introducing Columbus as her son.
There are several versions of Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) because of the sheer volume of Williams' improv, so it was difficult to edit the film to something resembling the script. Chris Columbus likened it to editing a documentary. These other versions were unworkable because tonally they were all over the place.
During the restaurant scene in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) when her false teeth fell into a wine glass, the cast didn't know Williams would do that, and their reactions on film were genuine, mirroring the shock of the crew.
He named the British rock group Genesis as his favorite band and inducted them for the VH1 Rock Honors (2007). He had previously shared a scene with the band's lead singer and drummer Phil Collins in the film Hook (1991).
He was the favorite actor of Omarion.
He helped pay for his friend Christopher Reeve's physical therapy and other medical expenses after Reeve's horse-riding accident.
He was close friends with Pam Dawber, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Paul Reubens, Fred Travalena, Jim Varney, and Kristin Chenoweth.
He accepted the offer to voice the Genie in Aladdin (1992) as he wanted to be part of the animation tradition. Fearing that his contribution would be exploited commercially, he accepted a minimum salary on the conditions that his voice would not be used in the film's merchandise, nor would the Genie be overused in the film's advertising. When both conditions were broken by Disney's chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, Williams refused to work with Disney again. He was therefore absent as the Genie's voice in The Return of Jafar (1994) or the Aladdin (1994) TV show. After Katzenberg was fired and the new CEO Joe Roth publicly apologized to him, he changed his mind and returned to do Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996).
As a comic book lover, Williams happily accepted an offer to play The Joker in Batman (1989) after Jack Nicholson was hesitant to take on the part. Upon hearing that Williams had committed to the part, Nicholson immediately signed on, and Warner Bros. let the former go. Williams was so upset about being used as leverage to get Nicholson on board that he refused to do movies for Warner Bros. for years afterwards, until the studio had apologized to him.
Chris Columbus likened Williams to "an impressive ball of fire" he was blown away by when he saw him doing stand up in comedy clubs in Los Angeles and pronounced him "one of the most brilliant minds he had ever come across in terms of comedy". They later worked together on films like Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Nine Months (1995) and Bicentennial Man (1999).
He was offered the lead roles in City Slickers (1991) and Drop Dead Fred (1991), but he was busy with Hook (1991).
Was best friends with Steven Spielberg.
Son of Laurie Williams.
His maternal great-great-grandfather Anselm Joseph McLaurin (1848-1909) was a United States Senator (1894-1895; 1901-1909), and Governor of Mississippi (1896-1900).
Former uncle of Jennifer Garces.
Younger half-brother of Dr. Toad.
Enjoyed playing pen and paper board games and played monthly with a group of close friends in San Francisco.
His 1st grandchild McLaurin Clement Williams was born on May 22nd 2019 to son Zak and his fiance Olivia June.