The world lost one of its best people yesterday as Robin Williams died at the age of 63. It is suspected that he killed himself in his Californian home, after battling depression and addiction. His wife released a statement in which she said she 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. She managed to sum it up so well in times of heartache and today we are going to pay tribute to one of the best actors in history with a top 10 facts you didn’t know about Robin Williams. May you rest in peace, Robin and thank you for everything!
10. He Battled Depression
We are grateful that he didn’t have a public meltdown, the way so many celebrities are having these days, but he was very open and honest about his struggles with depression. These are his words on the disease: It’s not caused by anything, it’s just there. It waits. It lays in wait for the time when you think, ‘It’s fine now, I’m OK.’ Then, the next thing you know, it’s not OK. Then you realize, ‘Where am I? I didn’t realize I was in Cleveland.’
9. Was Voted Least Likely to Succeed
In high school (the Red Wood High in Larkspur, California), Robin Williams, one of the most successful entertainers in the world was voted Least Likely to Succeed. It must have been pretty wonderful to show everyone how wrong they were.
8. He was Voted Funniest Man Alive
In 1997, Entertainment Weekly voted Robin Williams Funniest Man Alive, only to vote him again, a couple of weeks later, as one of the best 25 actors in the world; such a great achievement is rarely accomplished by comedic actors. They referred to him as a mad ad-libber for the sound-bite generation.
7. He Improvised Much of His Genie Character in Aladdin
Did you know that Robin Williams ad-libbed almost all of his lines in Aladdin? Without him this movie would have been so much different than it is. Probably it would have been less funny. Williams’ improvisation ability was a force to be reckoned with and we are so thankful for having witnessed it is so many of his movies.
6. He Loved Cycling
I bet you had no idea about the fact that Robin Williams loved cycling! He even trained with a close friend of his, seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong. I bet he cracked some jokes while cycling with him and most had to be about the actor having trouble keeping up with the cyclist.
5. He Was Married Three Times
One of the facts you didn’t know about Robin Williams has to be that he was married three times. His first wife was Valerie Velardi, whom he married in 1978. Their marriage lasted for 10 years and in 1989 he married his child’s babysitter, Marsha Garces Williams. They divorced in 2008. In 2011 he married artist Susan Schneider. He has three children, Zachary, Zelda and Cody.
4. He had Heart Surgery
Did you know that Robin Williams had heart surgery in 2009? Well, he had the intervention performed in order to replace his aortic valve. The surgery lasted for three and a half hours and the surgeons replaced his aortic valve, repaired his mitral valve and corrected his irregular heartbeat. Surgeon Gillinov added that the actor’s heart was strong and that he would have no limitations on what he would be able to do from then on.
3. Was Hired by Steven Spielberg to Crack Jokes
It sounds like a joke, but he really was hired by Steven Spielberg to crack jokes on the set of Schindler’s List in order to ease the tension and keep spirits up. You know your job is awesome when Steven Spielberg hires you to make him laugh!
2. He was Bullied as a Child
Williams revealed that he was overweight and bullied as a child and that he developed voiced to keep himself entertained. He later figured out that he could gain respect by making people laugh and once he started, he didn’t stop. We’re so glad he didn’t!
1. He Struggled with Alcohol and Drug Addiction
He didn’t keep this part of him hidden from the public and he was very open about it. He’s been struggling with abuse since the ’80 and checked himself into rehab in 2006 after 20 years of sobriety. In July of 2014 he checked himself again for alcohol abuse. He once said that: One day [when I relapsed] I walked into a store and saw a little bottle of Jack Daniel’s. And then that voice — I call it the ‘lower power’ — goes, ‘Hey. Just a taste. Just one.’ I drank it, and there was that brief moment of ‘Oh, I’m okay!’ But it escalated so quickly. Within a week I was buying so many bottles I sounded like a wind chime walking down the street.
What are your thoughts on these facts you didn’t know about Robin Williams? Would you like to add anything to our list? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.