Robin Williams

Robin Williams

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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. On August 11th, 2014, at age of 63, Williams committed suicide at his home in Paradise Cay, California.

Acting Career

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).

Online History

Social Media Presence

As of August 2014, Williams' Twitter account[2] has gained over 1.3 million followers and his Facebook account[3] has gained over 6.5 million likes. His Instagram account[4] 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[13] and The Daily Mail.[14]

Robin Williams Follow @orobinwilliarr I think I wore it better! Reply t. Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 327,991 225,962 11:32 PM-7 May 2013 Flag media

Google Search Queries

Upon the breaking news of his death from suicide in August 2014, millions of internet users searched for information relating to Robin Williams. According to Google Trends, "the impact of his death was so great that it prompted people to seek information about mental health. Searches for 'depression’ increased by 3x, followed by ‘depression symptoms' and 'depression test.'" In December 2014, Google Trends recognized "Robin Williams" as the fastest rising search term (for any individual) of the year.

·depression · depression test' · 'depression symptoms' wuuluu LLLLllullLL Jul/2014 Sep/ 2014

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.

Personal Life

Williams was born on July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. He briefly attended Claremont McKenna College and Juilliard School.


Robin Williams died[6] 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[7] and Buzzfeed.[8] The same day, Mashable posted a video retrospective for Williams, within 24 hours it gained over 340,000 views.

On the following day, several websites published a collection of celebrities reacting to his death on Twitter, including ABC News[11] and Mashable.[12]

Mara wilson @MaraWritesStuff Following Very sad, very upset, very glad I did not have to hear about this though Twitter. Probably going to be taking some time off it for a while. Reply Retweet ★ Favorite RETWEETSFAVORITES 3,1475,490 7:12 PM-11 Aug 2014 More Michael J. Foxe @realmikefox * Follow Famously kind, ferociously funny, a genius and a gentle soul. What a loss. #RobinWilliams Reply t. Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWBETS 4,585 6,848 H 8:02 PM-11 Aug 2014 FAVORITES Steve Martin @SteveMartin ToGo # Follow I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul わReply Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETS FAVORITES 47,480 61,222 7:16 PM-11 Aug 2014

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[16] from Antoine De Saint-Exupery's classic children's book The Little Prince in remembrance of her father:

Zelda Williams @zeldawilliams Follow わReply t3Retweeted * Favorite More "You - vou alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night...You - only you - will have stars that can laugh.'" Antoine De Saint-Exupery I love you. I miss you. I'll try to keep looking up.

That same night, Williams also issued a brief statement sharing her own memories of her father via her Tumblr blog[15], while addressing the issue of negative messages she had received from trolls on Twitter.

Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls Ive ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. Well just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again. -My only statement. My brothers, are also online. Thank you for all your kindness, and goodbye for awhile guys. xo To those he touched who are sending kind words, know that one of his favorite things in the world was to make you all laugh. As for those who are sending negativity, know that some small, giggling part of him is sending a flock of pigeons to your house to poop on your car Right after youve had it washed. After all, he loved to laugh too

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."

Shortly thereafter, Williams deleted the tweet and issued another statement via her Twitter[17] and Instagram[18] accounts that she will take a hiatus from social media activities.

Follow Zelda Williams @zeldawilliams I'm sorry. I should've risen above. Deleting this from my devices for a good long time, maybe forever. Time will tell. Goodbye. 1:49 AM- 13 Aug 2014 1,163 RETWEETS 2,960 FAVORITES
Follow zeldawilliams 12 hours ago I will be leaving this account for a but while I heal and decide if l'll be deleting it or not. In this difficult time, please try to be respectful of the accounts of myself, my family and my friends. Mining our accounts for photos of dad, or judging me on the number of them is cruel and unnecessary. There are a couple throughout, but the real private moments I shared with him were precious, quiet, and believe it or not, not full of photos or 'selfies'. I shared him with a world where everyone was taking their photo with him, but I was lucky enough to spend time with him without cameras too. That was more than enough, and I'm grateful for what little time I had. My favorite photos of family are framed in my house, not posted on social media, and they 'll remain there. They would've wound up on the news or blogs then, and they certainly would now That's not what I want for our memories together. Thank you for your respect and understanding in this difficult time. Goodbye. Xo Leave a comment...

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.[20]

Henry Rollins Rant

On August 21st, 2014, LA Weekly[23] 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[21] published a post titled "Henry Rollins Wrote A Confusing Rant About Robin Williams, Depression And Suicide" which featured celebrities on Twitter criticizing Rollins' piece.

Judd Apatow @JuddApatow Follow .@coslive Henry Rollins moronic comments about Robin Williams reveal why most people don't connect with his work. He's a fool and a blowhard Reply t. Retweet ★ Favorite More RETWEETSFAVORITES 97 204 5:00 PM-21 Aug 2014

On August 22nd, Flavorwire[24] published an opposition essay titled "Fuck Suicide? No, Henry Rollins, Fuck You."

Search Interest

External References

[1] IMDB – Robin Williams

[2] Twitter – Robin Williams

[3] Facebook – Robin Williams

[4] Instagram – Robin Williams

[5] CNN via wayback machine – Robin Williams leaves behind four films to be released

[6] The Huffington Post – Robin Williams Dead: Beloved Actor Dies In Apparent Suicide

[7] The Huffington Post – Robin Williams Quotes That Will Stay With Us

[8] Buzzfeed – 29 Great Performances By Robin Williams

[9] Mashable – Remembering Robin Williams: His Best Appearances on TV and Film

[10] ABC News – Ben Affleck, Nathan Lane Pay Tribute to Robin Williams

[11] ABC News – Ben Affleck, Nathan Lane Pay Tribute to Robin Williams

[12] Mashable – Entertainers React to the Death of Robin Williams on Twitter

[13] The Huffington Post – Robin Williams, Kim Kardashian: Who Wore It Better

[14] The Daily Mail – 'I wore it better!' Funnyman Robin Williams weighs in on Kim Kardashian's floral horror by comparing her outfit to Mrs. Doubtfire

[15] Tumblr via wayback machine – Zelda Williams' Post

[16] Twitter – Zelda Williams' Tweet

[17] Twitter – Zelda Williams' Tweet

[18] Instagram (via Wayback Machine) – Zelda Williams' Photo

[19] BuzzFeed – Zelda Williams Leaves Social Media After Receiving Abuse Over Her Father’s Death

[20] Salon – Robin Williams’ wife reveals beloved actor had Parkinson’s

[21] UpRoxx – Henry Rollins Wrote A Confusing Rant About Robin Williams, Depression And Suicide

[22] The Daily Dot – Henry Rollins says 'f**k suicide,' Internet says 'f**k Henry Rollins'

[23] LA Weekly (via Wayback Machine) – Henry Rollins: Fuck Suicide

[24] Flavorwire – Fuck Suicide? No, Henry Rollins, Fuck You

[25] Google Trends – Robin Williams

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