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Robin Williams: 1951-2014

Monday, August 11, 2014   by: Donna Hopper

From the moment he appeared in the 1978 Happy Days episode My Favourite Orkan, actor/comedian Robin Williams launched into a career in film and television that would influence countless others.

Reports indicate that Williams was found dead in his California home today.

The cause is suspected to be suicide.

"This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken," said Williams' wife, Susan Schneider, in a statement today. "On behalf of Robin's family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin's death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions."

During his 35 years in the spotlight, Williams struggled with addiction, depression, relationships, and accusations of joke theft.

But his body of work would outshine these demons in the public eye, and to his fans and followers, Williams was a comedic genius.

His first appearance as Mork on Happy Days lead to a television series that made Williams a household name.

Mork and Mindy aired four seasons between 1978 and 1982 before declining ratings caused the network to cancel the series.

From there, Williams moved on to make a name for himself on the big screen, starring in such cult classics and box office hits as The World According to Garp, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King, Aladdin (voice of the Genie), Toys, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, One Hour Photo, Insomnia, Robots (voice of Fender), Night at the Museum, and Lee Daniels' The Butler.

He recently found himself on television again as the star of the critically acclaimed CBS series The Crazy Ones.

Williams was nominated for four Academy Awards throughout his career, taking home the Best Actor in a Supporting Role statuette for his work in Good Will Hunting.

He also won six Golden Globes including the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2005, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and five American Comedy Awards.

Williams was 63 years old.

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