Robin Williams Dead at 63: Remembering His Best TV Moments
Very sad news in Hollywood today: Veteran actor Robin Williams has died at the age of 63. Marin County Sheriff's Office have ruled it a suspected suicide.
The comedian first got his start in TV, appearing on The Richard Pryor Show and Laugh-In, making a splash thanks to his boundless energy and unique, frenetic joke-telling style, but his big TV break came with the character of Mork, an alien from Ork first introduced on Happy Days before getting his own show.
Mork & Mindy, costarring Pam Dawber, ran for four seasons on ABC from 1978-82. The role won Williams a Golden Globe in 1979 (and a subsequent nomination in 1980) and an Emmy nomination in 1979.
On comedian Marc Maron's WTF Podcast in April 2010, Williams talked about how he'll always be Mork to his fans. "People say, 'You have an Academy Award.' The Academy Award lasted about a week and then one week later people were going, 'Hey Mork!'" Williams said, before adding, "A show like that is in people's akashic memory." Did the Mork recognition ever bother him? "No — it paid for the ranch, it paid for the house. It was a great experience, I got to meet wonderful people; it paid a lot of bills and kicked my career way in the a--. Dom Irrera said, 'Without that, where the f--- would be you be?' And I go, 'You're right.'"
Williams went on to receive three Oscar nominations (for Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King) and a win for his role in Good Will Hunting in 1997, but he always came back to TV.
In 1987, Williams won his first Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin, and he won again in the same category the following year for ABC Presents: A Royal Gala.
Williams received several other Emmy nominations throughout the '90s for very dramatic guest spots on Homicide: Life on the Street and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; for co-hosting Comic Relief VII in 1995; and for performing in his own stand-up specials, 2002's Robin Williams: Live on Broadway and 2009's Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction.
He also had memorable guest spots on Friends and, more recently, Wilfred and Louie on FX.
[Related: Remembering Robin Williams, Recording Star]