Robin Williams was an incredible actor and will go down in comedy history as one of the greatest improvisors ever. His comedic genius truly inspired a generation. Here's a list of 30 awesome facts about Robin Williams.
1/45. Robin Williams's appearance on 'Inside The Actors Studio' made an audience member laugh so hard they gave themselves a hernia.
2/45. When asked what he wanted God to say to him when he entered heaven, Robin Williams's answer was, "There is a seat in the front row for you," referring to a concert of Mozart and Elvis.
3/45. Williams was furious with Disney for using his voice as the genie in Aladdin to sell merchandise for the movie because, as he told New York Magazine, "I don't want to sell stuff. It's the one thing I won't do." Disney attempted to make up for it by sending him a Picasso painting, believed to be worth $1 million, in which Picasso imagined himself as Vincent Van Gogh.
4/45. When auditioning for the role of Mork on Happy Days, Williams reportedly sat on his head in the interview when they asked him to sit down. The producers immediately hired him because "he was the only alien who auditioned."
5/45. During the filming of Schindlers List, Robin Williams called Steven Spielberg to tell him jokes and lift the cast's spirits. Spielberg called these comic care packages over the telephone. In his Reddit AMA, Williams explained: I think I only called him once, maybe twice. I called him when I was representing People for the Valdheimers Association. A society devoted to helping raise money to help older Germans who had forgotten everything before 1945. I remember him laughing and going thank you.
6/45. Robin Williams dressed in scrubs and surprised his friend Christopher Reeve in the hospital following his career-ending horse riding accident. Reeve and Williams became good friends when they both attended The Juilliard School together. Williams claimed at the time that Reeve was literally feeding me because I dont think I literally had money for food or my student loan hadnt come in yet, and he would share his food with me. Reeve revealed in his book that Williams visited him in the hospital: "Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist, and that he had to examine me immediately...it was Robin Williams...for the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay." Williams also surprised Sharon Osbourne in a similar way after she was diagnosed with cancer.
7/45. Robin Williams improvised most of Genie for Aladdin. Apparently, the Academy Awards rejected Aladdin from the Best Adapted Screenplay category because so much of Williamss role ended up being improvised. According to producer and director John Musker, Williams ended up improvising about 70 smaller impressions to be used in the film as well.
8/45. Disney wanted Robin Williams for the voice of the genie in Aladdin so much that they animated and lip-synced the genie performing actual stand-up comedy from Williams before ever approaching him. Williams was so impressed that he immediately signed on.
9/45. Robin Williams was considered for the lead role in The Shining but, after seeing "Mork & Mindy," Stanley Kubrick deemed him "too psychotic" for the role.
10/45. He invented the curse word Shazbot. It was first heard on "Mork & Mindy" (1978) (in which Mork says the expression during the opening credits). Later, it was popularized in other media. It was in the 'Treehouse of Horror VI' episode of "The Simpsons" (1989). In 1998, it was used as a voice chat option in the very popular Starsiege Tribes game and was carried over into the sequels Tribes 2 and Tribes: Vengeance." Oddly enough, shazbot, nano nano were the last recorded words of the legendary former singer of AC/DC Bon Scott (1946-1980), still available on the album Highway to Hell."
11/45. Robin Williams decided to test out the believability of his Mrs. Doubtfire character before filming by going, dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire, into a sex shop and making a purchase. He was able to do so without being recognized.
12/45. Williams used to work as a street mime in the 1970s outside of the Museum of Modern Art in New York to make money before he was a successful actor.
13/45. Robin was a big fan of cycling, he reportedly owned 50 bicycles, and would train with Lance Armstrong at times. According to ESPN Magazine, Williams would even ride shotgun in the Lance Armstrong team car at many of his races.
14/45. When asked in his Reddit AMA if he named his daughter Zelda after the video game "The Legend of Zelda," Williams said, "It wasn't actually me, it was my son Zachary who came up with the idea. But once Marsha [his ex-wife] and I heard it, we said it was great." Williams also said he's played "Call of Duty," "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time," "Portal," and "Battlestations Pacific."
15/45. Williams said his favourite celebrity to impersonate is Jack Nicholson, while comedian and friend Dana Carvey did his favourite celebrity impersonation of himself.
16/45. In 1996, Robin Williams reached an amazing milestone which not many actors have ever done. He had two movies both reach the $100 million mark in the same week in the U.S. The movies were "Jumanji" and "The Birdcage."
17/45. Always more than what he seems to be, Robin Williams is an incredibly dedicated and decorated actor. Throughout his career, Williams received Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.
18/45. Williams devoted much of his time and energy to charities. For example, he supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and often volunteered and entertained the kids there. He also helped to rebuild the city of Christchurch after the 2010 earthquake in New Zealand.
19/30. Williams has said that he was a very overweight child and as a result, nobody would play with him. So he started talking in different voices to entertain himself.
20/45. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams had an addiction to cocaine and alcohol. He said it was the death of his close friend John Belushi and the birth of his eldest son that prompted him to quit these bad habits.
21/45. Williams co-owned the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco with Robert De Niro and fellow Bay area resident Francis Ford Coppola.
22/45. Williams and Billy Crystal appeared in an unscripted cameo at the beginning of an episode of the third season of "Friends." They were in the building where the show was shooting and because of their notorious improvisational skills, were not given scripts and asked to ad-lib their performances.
23/45. When asked about the vineyard he owned in California, Williams responded saying it was "weird," like "Gandhi owning a delicatessen."
24/45. Robin Williamss favourite childhood book was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which hed read to his kids. Here is his description of reading the book to his kids: "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 dont do any voices. Just read it as yourself. So I did, I just read it straight, and she said thats better.'"
25/45. Once Williams reached the top, he remembered to look back on where he came from. He famously helped actress Jessica Chastain become the first person in her family to go to college, funding her full-ride to Juilliard when she was just starting out herself.
26/45. Robin Williams revealed that if he could be any animal he said he would be, "A dolphin. Just their abilities, how social they are, how sexual they are, how intelligent they are, mainly how social they are."
27/45. He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 12, 1990.
28/45. Robin Williams revealed that two of his favourite television shows were Doctor Who and Star Trek.
29/45. Williams spoke on his favourite role: "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 behaviour subjectively and that for me was the beginning of a fascination with human behaviour."
30/45. Williams attended Redwood High School in California where, during his senior year, he was voted both "funniest" and "least likely to succeed" by his classmates.
31/45. Robin studied acting briefly at Julliard under John Houseman. Houseman told him he was wasting his talent at Juilliard and he should strike out on his own and do stand-up comedy.
32/45. Williams was set to play Drew Barrymore's father in the film Home Fries (1998) and had the role during production, but pulled out of the part days before his scenes were to be shot.
33/45. In 1997 he was voted funniest man alive by Entertainment Weekly.
34/45. During the making of Mork & Mindy (1978), Williams departed from the scripts and ad libbed so many times and so well, that the producers stop trying to make him stick to the script and deliberately left gaps in the later scripts leaving only "Mork can go off here" in those places so Robin could improvise.
35/45. Williams attended Claremont Men's College, where he played soccer.
36/45. He was a huge fan of the comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). Paying tribute after his death, Michael Palin said that Williams was "up there" with his all-time heroes, Spike Milligan and Peter Cook, and performing with him "would have been like being invited to play in a jazz band when you couldn't play an instrument".
37/45. After having won the Academy Award for Good Will Hunting (1997), he sent Peer Augustinski (who was his standard German dubbing voice) a little Oscar replica with a note: "Thank you for making me famous in Germany."
38/45. In 2003 Robin won Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for "Robin Williams - Live 2002".
39/45. Early in his career, he told a reporter that he was born in Scotland. His original press releases indeed listed Scotland as his place of birth. He admitted that he was "under the influence" at the time he said this. He was really born in Chicago.
40/45. He was voted the 50th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
41/45. When "Blame Canada", a song from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award, it was Williams who performed the song at the ceremony because the actress who sang the song in the film, Mary Kay Bergman, had committed suicide a few months prior to the awards show.
42/45. Williams was an active supporter of the U.S. Democratic Party, he had been outspoken about his opposition to the war in Iraq. However, he became the most consistent entertainer of U.S. troops since the war began, leading some to dub him the new Bob Hope.
43/45. In 1993 Robin wrote the foreword to Gary Larson's book, "The Far Side: Gallery 4".
44/45. He considered Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor his comedic idols.
45/45. He appeared fully nude in The Fisher King (1991) and World's Greatest Dad (2009).