Photo of Robin Williams Robin Williams

It's not clear whether Robin Williams was this zany when he was a child, but he certainly put his manic energy to good use as an adult, using it to fuel himself to the top of the comedy mountain.

Born July 21, 1952, in Chicago, Ill., Williams was poised to pursue a far more serious field, politics, but realized entertainment was his calling after attending Juilliard in New York City. After that, he worked the comedy club circuit, finally gaining recognition for his off-kilter performance as a goofy alien in the hit TV series "Mork and Mindy."

What makes Williams unique among many talented funnymen is his ability to improvise wildly on the simplest subjects and his knack for infusing pathos into humorous roles. No wonder he was nominated for an Oscar for his first big movie, Good Morning Vietnam. Williams finally won an Oscar for his role as a compassionate therapist in Good Will Hunting.

Robin Williams in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

2014 R

Informed that he has a brain aneurysm and only 90 minutes left to live, bad-tempered Brooklynite Henry Altmann embarks on a frenzied excursion all over town to mend fences with everyone he's alienated.

  • Robin Williams in The Big Wedding The Big Wedding
  • Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society Dead Poets Society
  • Robin Williams in Lee Daniels' The Butler Lee Daniels' The Butler
  • Robin Williams in Aladdin Aladdin
  • Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting Good Will Hunting
  • Robin Williams in Shrink Shrink
  • Robin Williams in What Dreams May Come What Dreams May Come
  • Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam Good Morning, Vietnam
  • Robin Williams in Patch Adams Patch Adams
  • Robin Williams in Awakenings Awakenings
  • Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire Mrs. Doubtfire
  • Robin Williams in Jumanji Jumanji
  • Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man Bicentennial Man
  • Robin Williams in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
  • Robin Williams in Hook Hook
  • Robin Williams in Dead Again Dead Again
  • Robin Williams in Old Dogs Old Dogs
  • Robin Williams in The Birdcage The Birdcage
  • Robin Williams in Night at the Museum Night at the Museum
  • Robin Williams in Flubber Flubber
  • Robin Williams in August Rush August Rush
  • Robin Williams in Night at the Museum 2 Night at the Museum 2
  • Robin Williams in Man of the Year Man of the Year
  • Robin Williams in RV RV
  • Robin Williams in One Hour Photo One Hour Photo
  • Robin Williams in Mork & Mindy Mork & Mindy
  • Robin Williams in The World According to Garp The World According to Garp
  • Robin Williams in Hamlet: Special Edition Hamlet: Special Edition
  • Robin Williams in A.I. Artificial Intelligence A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • Robin Williams in Robots Robots
  • Robin Williams in The Fisher King The Fisher King
  • Robin Williams in Robin Williams: Live on Broadway Robin Williams: Live on Broadway
  • Robin Williams in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • Robin Williams in Happy Feet Happy Feet
  • Robin Williams in Robin Williams: Weapons of Self... Robin Williams: Weapons of Self...
  • Robin Williams in World's Greatest Dad World's Greatest Dad
  • Robin Williams in Popeye Popeye
  • Robin Williams in Moscow on the Hudson Moscow on the Hudson
  • Robin Williams in Happy Feet Two Happy Feet Two
  • Robin Williams in Fathers' Day Fathers' Day
  • Robin Williams in Death to Smoochy Death to Smoochy
  • Robin Williams in The Survivors The Survivors
  • Robin Williams in Nine Months Nine Months
  • Robin Williams in Jack Jack
  • Robin Williams in The Father Damien Story The Father Damien Story
  • Robin Williams in Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project
  • Robin Williams in Boulevard Boulevard
  • Robin Williams in FernGully: The Last Rainforest FernGully: The Last Rainforest
  • Robin Williams in The Richard Pryor Show The Richard Pryor Show
  • Robin Williams in The Best of Times The Best of Times
  • Robin Williams in The Secret Agent The Secret Agent
  • Robin Williams in The Final Cut The Final Cut
  • Robin Williams in License to Wed License to Wed
  • Robin Williams in The Face of Love The Face of Love
  • Robin Williams in SCTV Network 90: Vol. 4 SCTV Network 90: Vol. 4
  • Robin Williams in Club Paradise Club Paradise
  • Robin Williams in Shakes the Clown Shakes the Clown
  • Robin Williams in The Ultimate Carson Collection The Ultimate Carson Collection
  • Robin Williams in Insomnia Insomnia
  • Robin Williams in House of D House of D
  • Robin Williams in Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary
  • Robin Williams in The Big White The Big White
  • Robin Williams in The Night Listener The Night Listener
  • Robin Williams in Inside the Actors Studio: Robin Williams Inside the Actors Studio: Robin Williams
  • Robin Williams in Rona Barrett's Hollywood Rona Barrett's Hollywood
  • Robin Williams in Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story
  • Robin Williams in A Merry Friggin' Christmas A Merry Friggin' Christmas
  • Robin Williams in Homicide: Seasons 1 & 2 Homicide: Seasons 1 & 2
  • Robin Williams in America: A Tribute to Heroes America: A Tribute to Heroes
  • Robin Williams in The Aristocrats The Aristocrats
  • Robin Williams in Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic
  • Robin Williams in Richard Lewis: Concerts from Hell Richard Lewis: Concerts from Hell
  • Robin Williams in Seize the Day Seize the Day
  • Robin Williams in Andy Kaufman: Hollywood / Breakfast Andy Kaufman: Hollywood / Breakfast
  • Robin Williams in In Search of Dr. Seuss In Search of Dr. Seuss
  • Robin Williams in Get Bruce! Get Bruce!
  • Robin Williams in Who Is Harry Nilsson? Who Is Harry Nilsson?
  • Robin Williams in Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth
  • Robin Williams in Make 'Em Laugh Make 'Em Laugh
  • Robin Williams in Curiosity Curiosity