69. Robin Williams: Behind the Laughter


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Robin Williams was probably the single funniest man to grace American television, and cinema. Williams' zany antics and timeless delivery served him well in a career that spanned for more than four decades. He had a unique comedic style that has been much imitated, but never equaled. In later years, Williams starred in dramatic roles that were suited for his amazing talents. Williams had an energy that had rarely been matched. He excelled in acting, screenwriting, film producing, and comedy.

Born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1951, Williams' family moved to California when he was 16. He got his start in the entertainment industry as a stand-up comedian performing in San Francisco, and Los Angeles. His high school classmates described Williams as quiet and funny leading to Williams being named "Least Likely to Succeed" in his senior year. He won this "award" even though he was elected class president. Williams' big break came when he appeared on the popular 70's TV show Happy Days. The show introduced Williams to the American public.

His guest appearance on happy Days led to the creation of his own TV series called Mork and Mindy, where he reprised his role as the wise-cracking alien. This was just the beginning for Williams, though. He went on to star in a number of Hollywood blockbusters including The World According to Garp, Popeye, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, and The Dead Poet's Society. He credited the legendary comedian Jonathan Winters for being a big influence on his life. Robin Williams died in August, 2014. He will always be known as one of the greatest comedic talents ever.

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