RIP Robin Williams: July 21 1951 – August 11 2014

© Reed Saxon

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 PopeyeGood Morning VietnamDead Poets SocietyHookAladdinJumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, The BirdcageGood Will HuntingPatch AdamsOne Hour PhotoNight 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.

© Dave Brown

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.

2 Comments on RIP Robin Williams: July 21 1951 – August 11 2014

  1. jamiecarnie // August 12, 2014 at 9:19 pm // Reply

    Reblogged this on Music, lifestyle and geekery and commented:
    It’s very odd how the death of a famous person can affect so many people. I think Robin Williams had earned a place in so many people’s hearts due to his appearance in childhood-era films. I know that when I was young, and there was nothing on the five boring channels of TV, Hook was regular VHS tape viewing. As silly as it seems to feel attached to someone you never knew, I think a lot of people felt some kind of bond with his incredibly likeable and avuncular personality which came through in his films/ interviews. Very sad. RIP


  2. Janie Freeman // August 13, 2014 at 11:54 pm // Reply

    I was merging on the freeway in Colorado, when I heard the news via radio, of Robin Williams passing. My jaw dropped open and stayed that way , in shock, driving down the road
    . I don’t even remember letting the other drivers in ahead of me. What a genius, and kind person. It’s so sad. I don’t want to talk about it. 😦


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