He was a casual friend of John Belushi, and the Saturday Night Live comic's death in 1982 from a drug overdose, which happened the morning after the two had partied together, along with the birth of his own son Zak, prompted him to quit drugs and alc...
Community college days
Robin studied theatre for three years at the College of Marin, a community college in Kentfield, California with the drama professor James Dunn remarking to his wife after one late rehearsal to tell her Williams "was going to be something special". I...
The Legend of (his daughter) Zelda
His daughter Zelda was named after the title character from The Legend of Zelda, a family favorite video game series, and he sometimes performed at consumer entertainment trade shows.
I basically started performing for my mother, going, ‘Love me!’ What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little, my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.
To be honest, I'm kind of challenged in terms of new music. I listen to a lot of Jazz, specifically Keith Jarrett piano solos. And for me, if you want just wonderful ballads and love songs, Tom Waits. I might also have to throw in Radiohead, but I can't quote specific lyrics. AND PRINCE! For those special nights.
One time in makeup as Mrs. Doubtfire, I walked into a sex shop in San Francisco and tried to buy a double-headed dildo. Just because. Why not? And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me - Robin Williams - not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large dildo and a jar of lube. He just laughed and said "what are you doing here" and I left. Did I make the purchase? *No. * Did I walk away with a really good story? Yes.
A woman in the Dallas airport came up to me and literally said "Be zany."
Like she had walked up to Baryshnikov and said "dance."
I didn't know how to respond. I just went "thank you! And Lincoln freed everyone."
Growing up, it was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - I would read the whole C.S. Lewis series out loud to my kids. I was once reading to Zelda, and she said "don't do any voices. Just read it as yourself." So I did, I just read it straight, and she said "that's better."
Him being such a great friend to me at Juillard, literally feeding me because I don't think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadn't come in yet, and he would share his food with me. And then later after the accident, just seeing him beaming and just, seeing what he meant to so many people.
I think playing Oliver Sachs in Awakenings was a gift because I got to meet him, and got to explore the human brain from the inside out. Because Oliver writes about human behavior subjectively and that for me was the beginning of a fascination with human behavior.
My wife's art. To realizing that painting is a full-contact art form. She came out of her art studio all day and I thought she had been attacked because she was covered in red, but it was just paint, and she had this great stunned expression, almost post-orgasmic. The painting was exquisite, a very dramatic landscape. And I realized that she had the same type of emotional response as I do when I perform.
From a drunken Scottish friend. I think his idea was "What the fuck is that sport" and I just took it from there. I don't play. I was once at a driving range with my son, I hit 2 balls, and he said "Dad, that's enough."
There was a shop in San Francisco that sold laserdisks - that's how far back it goes - and then later on I found a wonderful bookstore in San Francisco called Green Apple that would sell DVDS of Anime shows.
Initially they came in and I was just doing the scripted lines and I asked "Do you mind if I try something?" and then 18 hours of recording later, they had the genie. I just started playing, and they said "just go with it, go with it, go with it." So I improvised the character. I think that in the end, there were something like 40 different voices that I did for that role.