10 Things You Didn’t Know About Robin Williams

Robin Williams may be gone, but it will be impossible to forget him. He was easily one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors. Even though his comedic performances seem to be best remembered, we shouldn’t forget that he was also a highly skilled dramatic actor – with a number of accolades to prove it. To commemorate Williams and his long and diverse career, we decided to put together a list of interesting facts about the Oscar-winning actor. From the type of friend he was to the names he chose for his children, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Robin Williams…

10.

While he was studying at Julliard during the mid ‘70s, Robin Williams befriended Christopher Reeve. When Reeve’s was rendered a quadriplegic after a horseback riding incident, Williams cheered him up at the hospital by pretending to be an eccentric Russian doctor. According to Reeve, Williams made him laugh for the first time after the accident and it was at that moment that Christopher knew that life was going to be okay. These two remained friends until the “Superman” star’s death.

9.

The “Birdcage” star considered himself challenged when it came to new music. He enjoyed listening to a lot of jazz – particularly Keith Jarrett’s piano solos – as well as Tom Waits, Radio and Prince.

8.

In 2009, the “Mrs. Doubtfire” star had an operation to replace an aortic valve. He had to postpone his sold-out one-man tour, Weapons of Self Destruction, for the surgery.

7.

Robin Williams reportedly left his first wife Valerie Velardi for his son Zak’s nanny Marsha Garces. After he and Veraldi divorced, he married Garces one year later. Together they had two children and stayed together until 2008 when she filed for divorce. Williams’ relapse is said to have played a part in their split.

6.

Steven Spielberg reportedly used to call the “Hook” star when he was filming “Schindler’s list” and put him on speaker phone so that he could cheer the cast and crew up with jokes. Robin Williams would often use his character from “Aladdin.”

5.

Other children didn’t want to play with Robin Williams when he was a child because he was overweight, so he used to talk in different voices to entertain himself.

4.

In 2003, after 20 years of sobriety, the “Patch Adams” star started drinking again. “I was in a small town where it’s not the edge of the world, but you can see it from there, and then I thought: drinking. I just thought, hey, maybe drinking will help. Because I felt alone and afraid. It was that thing of working so much, and going f*ck, maybe that will help. And it was the worst thing in the world,” Williams told The Guardian. In 2006, he checked himself into rehab.

3.

Robin Williams was a close friend of the late John Belushi. These two partied together during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Williams was one of the last people to see Belushi alive before he died of a drug overdose in 1982. According to the Oscar-winning actor, the death of his friend and the birth of his first son Zak are the reasons why he quit drugs and alcohol. “Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too,” Williams said.

2.

The “Good Morning, Vietnam” star was a video games enthusiast. He named the two children that he had with Marsha Garces after video game characters. His daughter Zelda Rae was named after Princess Zelda from “The Legend of Zelda” and his son Cody Alan was named after Cody from the beat ‘em game “Final Flight.”

1.

Robin Williams lent his voice to the Genie in “Aladdin” for SAG scale pay, $75,000; however, his only conditions were that his name and image could not be used for marketing and that the Genie couldn’t take up more than 25% on advertising artwork. The studio ended up going back on both agreements, which caused a bitter falling out between Williams and Disney. They ended up reconciling in 2009 and Williams’ agreed to be inducted as a Disney Legend.

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