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Robin Williams was an American actor and comedian who starred in dozens of notable films and TV shows over the course of more than four decades, during which he rose to international fame for portraying a wide range of memorable characters, from his memorable comedic roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Morning, Vietnam to the more serious roles in Good Will Hunting and The Dead Poets Society. In August 2014, Williams was found dead at his home in California at age of 63 in an apparent case of suicide.
Williams began his acting career in 1977 guest starring on TV shows such as The Richard Pryor Show and Eight Is Enough. His break-out role was the alien Mork on the TV show Mork & Mindy which ran from 1998 to 1982, which he won a Golden Globe for Best TV Actor (Musical/Comedy) in 1979. His first big screen role was the starring role in Popeye in 1980. He starred in a several comedic dramas in the 1980s including The World According to Garp (1982) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). He starred in several family and children’s comedies in the 1990s including Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and Flubber (1997). In the early 2000s he starred in several dark films including One Hour Photo (2002), Death to Smoochy (2002) and World’s Greatest Dad (2009).
Social Media Presence
As of August 2014, Williams’ Twitter account has gained over 1.3 million followers and his Facebook account has gained over 6.5 million likes. His Instagram account has gained over 320,000 followers
Kim Kardashian Tweet
On May 7th, 2013, Williams tweeted out a side by side picture of Kim Kardashian in the dress she wore at the Met Gala next to a picture of Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire in a similar dress. Within a year the tweet gained over 320,000 retweets and over 220,000 favorites. Several websites covered the tweet the next day including The Huffington Post and The Daily Mail.
What Year Is It?
What Year Is It is the caption of an image macro featuring a photo of Robin Williams’ disheveled-looking character from the 1995 film Jumanji. In rage comics, it is often used in similar fashion to the my face when reaction faces to convey the disoriented sense of time experienced when waking up.
Williams was most well known for his exceptional fluency in ad libitum, improvisational acting and impersonation skills, both on-screen as an actor and on-stage as a stand-up comedian, as well as his distinct style of delivering jokes in rapid-fire succession.
Williams received his first Academy Award nomination in 1988 for his performance in Good Morning, Vietnam. He received three more nominations, winning one for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1998 for Good Will Hunting. He received 11 Golden Globe nominations, winning five. He also received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2005.
Williams was born on July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. He briefly attended Claremont McKenna College and Juilliard School.
Robin Williams died on August 11th, 2014, with police suspecting his death to be caused by suicide through asphyxiation. That day several websites posted retrospectives of his work, including The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. The same day, Mashable posted a video retrospective for Williams, within 24 hours it gained over 340,000 views.
Zelda Williams’ Response
On the night of the announcement of Williams’ death, Zelda Williams, the late actor’s only daughter, tweeted a message of gratitude to everyone who sent their condolences, along with a quote from Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s classic children’s book The Little Prince in remembrance of her father:
That same night, Williams also issued a brief statement sharing her own memories of her father via her Tumblr blog, while addressing the issue of negative messages she had received from trolls on Twitter.
Then in the early hours of August 13th, Williams tweeted another message urging her followers to report two Twitter users, @PimpStory and @MrGoosebuster, who had apparently sent her photoshopped images depicting her father supposedly after his death.
“Please report @PimpStory @MrGoosebuster. I’m shaking. I can’t. Please. Twitter requires a link and I won’t open it. Don’t either. Please."
Susan Schneider statement
Several days after Williams’s suicide his wife, Susan Schneider, released a statement revealing for the first time that Williams had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for some time prior to his death. She also confirmed that “his sobriety was intact” at the time of his death.
Henry Rollins Rant
On August 21st, 2014, LA Weekly published an opinion piece by Henry Rollings titled “Henry Rollins: Fuck Suicide.” The piece explains Rollins does not think anyone with children has the right to kill themselves, explaining his thought process:
" I think as soon as you have children, you waive your right to take your own life. No matter what mistakes you make in life, it should be your utmost goal not to traumatize your kids. So, you don’t kill yourself."
The article begins with Rollins referencing Williams’ suicide and goes on to explain Rollins thinks less of people, and if they are artists, their work, if they commit suicide.
The piece immediately sparked a backlash from other writers accusing Rollins of not understanding depression.
Also on August 21st, UpRoxx published a post titled “Henry Rollins Wrote A Confusing Rant About Robin Williams, Depression And Suicide” which featured celebrities on Twitter criticizing Rollins’ piece.
On August 22nd, Flavorwire published an opposition essay titled “Fuck Suicide? No, Henry Rollins, Fuck You.”
The Huffington Post – Robin Williams Dead: Beloved Actor Dies In Apparent Suicide
The Huffington Post – Robin Williams, Kim Kardashian: Who Wore It Better