The Velvet Onion would like to extend our sympathies to the family of Robin Williams, who died yesterday.
Williams was a legend of comedy, first rising to fame in 1978 as the friendly alien Mork in Mork and Mindy, a spin-off from a guest appearance in Happy Days that went on to run for four seasons.
He then combined a highly successful career in stand-up with both comedic and dramatic film roles in productions as diverse as Popeye, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Hook, Aladdin, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, The Birdcage, Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, One Hour Photo, Night at the Museum and Happy Feet. He also appeared in the off-Broadway production of Waiting for Godot, alongside Steve Martin in 1988, and the 2011 Broadway production Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.
Aside from his work on stage and screen, he founded The Windfall Foundation to raise money for many charities, hosted the American version of Comic Relief, and often paid visits and made donations to charity organisations worldwide.
A huge influence and inspiration for comedians worldwide, Williams was also highly supportive of new talents – often being sighted in the audience at live comedy shows. In 2010, Dave Brown told TVO about the time Robin came to see The Mighty Boosh in LA, stating: “Its not everyday you look up to find Robin Williams in the dressing room doing Crack Fox impressions. You have to pinch yourself.”
Sadly, Williams battled with substance addictions in the early part of his career, and relapsed after twenty years of sobriety in 2003. He suffered from bipolar disorder and frequent bouts of depression, and his death is believed to be self-inflicted at this time. He leaves behind his third wife, Susan Schnieder, and three children, Zachary, Zelda and Cody.
The Velvet Onion would like to extend the deepest of sympathies to his family and friends during this difficult period, and hope they can take some solace in the outpouring of love and affection the world at large has shown for Robin since the news broke.
Below, we’ve compiled a selection of tweets from TVO regulars, demonstrating how much he meant to them. He will be missed.