5 Things You Didn't Know about Robin Williams

On August 11, 2014, Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams died at 63 by suicide. Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about this inventive comedian who was admired by millions....


Williams Led the Rush of Celebrities Who Voiced Animated Characters The Disney movie Aladdin was a resounding success in 1992, and Williams was the voice of Genie. Previously, voice actors had performed these roles. Following the success of Aladdin, other big names joined in doing the voices in animated films, including Shrek, Toy Story and The Lion King, while Williams went on to voice both the Happy Feet movies and one of the Aladdin sequels.

He Was a Central Park Mime at One Time In 1974, while Williams was a student at Julliard, attending on a full scholarship, he was caught by Daniel Sorine, the photographer, miming in Central Park. In the movie, Shakes the Clown, starring Bobcat Goldthwait, Williams appears as a mime instructor named Marty Fromage.


He Might Have Missed Out Playing Mork When The Hallmark Channel decided to cast the alien in “Mork and Mindy,” a different actor was chosen for the role of Mork. According to actor Anson Williams, the script was not only terrible, so was the original actor that was chosen to play the part. Williams had played the alien in the “My Favorite Orkan” episode on “Happy Days,” so he was a natural replacement on the show, which ran four seasons.

Charles Groden Beat Williams Out for a Role in Midnight Run In a 1988 interview with Rolling Stone, Williams talked about how he had to actively audition for parts and read for a role as a Mafia accountant in Midnight Run with Robert De Niro. He said they met up to four times and he thought he would get the role, but it was given to Charles Groden. The movie was released in July that year, but in 1990, Williams was granted his wish to work with De Niro in the movie, Awakenings.

His Classmates Vote Him Least Likely to Succeed Williams spent his high school senior year in Marin County, California, where he was voted least likely to succeed and the funniest person in the class. Williams had basically been an only child growing up, even though he had several much older siblings. The comic genius played by himself a lot as a child but showed signs of being funny even when young. Later in life, Williams won an Academy Award, four Golden Globes, two Emmys and five Grammys, so only half of the prediction made by his classmates’ came true.