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Interesting things about Robin Williams you might not know

Interesting things about Robin Williams
Interesting things about Robin Williams
Photo by Scott Wintrow/Getty Images

Robin Williams was an American actor, stand-up comedian, film producer, and screenwriter. He died on Aug. 11, 2014 at the age of 63. The cause of his death was suicide by asphyxiation. He had battled addiction over the years and had been depressed lately, according to his rep.

Williams was extremely talented, and his rise to fame came with his role as the alien Mork in the television series "Mork & Mindy" (1978–1982). Because of Williams' improvisational skills, the writers actually left huge gaps in the screenplay so he could improvise while playing his part. Williams established a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting.

The only Oscar he won was for his role as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in "Good Will Hunting." He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times but never won. He received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.

Williams was one of only 20 students accepted into the freshman class at Juilliard in 1973, and one of only two students to be accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year; the other was Christopher Reeve. Some times they were the only ones in a class. They remained best friends until Reeve's death.

Williams owned more than 100 bikes. He trained side-by-side with Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner. The two remained close friends. Armstrong tweeted out his sympathies after hearing about the death of Williams.

He began his career as a painted-face street mime in front of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, earning $75 a day. Williams appeared fully nude in "The Fisher King" (1991) and "World's Greatest Dad" (2009).

The majority of the dialogue in the Disney film “Aladdin” was ad-libbed by Williams. It was said that he used more than 50 voices. It was also said that he learned to make up voices to keep himself company.

“Schindler’s List,” was such a depressing film to make that director Steven Spielberg called Williams during production to tell jokes to the cast to keep them uplifted.

The actor and comedian's ancestry included English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, German, and French.

Williams was married three times. He had a son, Zack with his first wife. After their divorce, he married his son's nanny. From that marriage, they had two children, Zelda and Cody. Williams had no children with his third wife of only three years. Williams was an avid enthusiast of video games and named two of his children after game characters.

It was reported that Williams' first two divorces cost him $30 million which forced him to continue working. In fact, he starred in different three movies that are expected to be released around Christmas of this year. There was talk in the air about a sequel to "Mrs. Doubtfire" but since Williams' death, that is unlikely to happen. Producers are saying there is no one who could pull off a role like that. For his performance in "Mrs. Doubtfire," the actor spent four and a half hour each day to get made up as a woman.

Williams was quite charitable. The actor helped Jessica Chastain become the first person in her family to go to college by giving her a full scholarship to Juilliard. In his local community, He was known for attending fundraisers and visiting children in hospitals. The actor donated all proceeds of his "Weapons of Self Destruction" Christchurch performance to helping rebuild the New Zealand city after the 2010 Canterbury earthquake. He performed for over 90,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for several years.

It was most shocking to the world to hear about Williams' death.