ROBIN WILLIAMS Biography - Other artists & entretainers


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Born July 21, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. Williams spent his childhood years in Chicago and Bloomfield, Michigan; his father was an executive at Ford Motor Company. Upon his fathers early retirement, the family moved to Marin County, California, near San Francisco. Williams dropped out of his political science studies at Claremont Mens College in Claremont, California, to begin studying drama at the Juilliard School in New York City. Back in the San Francisco area, he began performing as both a mime and a stand-up comedian on the burgeoning West Coast comedy club circuit.


Williams had a good deal of success with stand-up during the 1970s, including a stint at Los Angeles Comedy Store in his own showcase. After performing on the revival of the Laugh-In series in 1977-78, Williams landed a guest role on the popular sitcom Happy Days as Mork, a lovably weird space alien from the planet Ork. Before too long, he had brought the character to his own spin-off sitcom, Mork + Mindy (1978-82), which costarred Pam Dawber as the female earthling with whom Mork falls in love and Jonathan Winters as a fellow alien.


With a successful sitcom under his belt, Williams also brought his talents for improvisation and stand-up comedy to cable television, headlining two Home Box Office (HBO) comedy specials, An Evening with Robin Williams (1982) and Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986). In 1986, he joined fellow comics Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg in hosting HBOs annual Comic Relief telecast, which donated all funds raised to helping the homeless.