List of Robin Williams performances

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A portrait of Robin Williams
Williams in 2011

American actor and comedian Robin Williams (1951–2014) starred in films, television and video games throughout a career that spanned nearly four decades. Known for his fast-paced, improvisational style and playing a wide variety of characters,[1][2] he was described by Screen Actors Guild president Ken Howard as "a performer of limitless versatility, equally adept at comedy and drama, whether scripted or improv".[3] The Independent critic Nadja Sayej regarded him as "arguably one of the greatest comedians to ever live".[4]

Williams's career began in 1977 with minor roles in the film Can I Do It... 'Til I Need Glasses? and the television shows The Richard Pryor Show and Laugh-In.[5] The guest role of an alien named Mork in an episode of the sitcom Happy Days in 1978 earned him positive reviews, and led to the spin-off Mork & Mindy, focusing on his character's experience on Earth. Running for four seasons, the show was Williams's breakthrough and earned him his first Golden Globe Award and a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award.[6][7][8] By the early 1980s, Williams wanted to do mainstream acting, and made his film debut in a lead role in the musical comedy Popeye (1980), a critical failure that earned thrice its budget.[9] Williams then took on more serious parts in the comedy-dramas The World According to Garp (1982) and Moscow on the Hudson (1984).[10][11] He garnered two consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for the television specials Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin (1987) and ABC Presents A Royal Gala (1988).[8] He earned his first of three Academy Award for Best Actor nominations for playing disc jockey Adrian Cronauer in the war comedy Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), in which he improvised some of his scenes.[12][13]

Further critical praise followed with Williams's lead roles in Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990) and The Fisher King (1991).[14] He also found greater commercial success in the 1990s. Many of his films during this period earned more than $100 million, including the fantasy Hook (1991), the animated musical Aladdin (1992), the comedy-drama Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), the adventure Jumanji (1995) and the comedy The Birdcage (1996).[15] Aladdin, in which he improvised 52 characters,[16] was the highest-grossing film of the year.[17] Mrs. Doubtfire, which he also produced, earned him a third Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy; he previously won for Good Morning, Vietnam and The Fisher King.[7] Although he was hailed "the funniest person alive" by Entertainment Weekly in 1997,[18] he wanted to do more serious work as an actor around this time.[15] Such opportunities arose with the roles of a therapist in the psychological drama Good Will Hunting (1997) and a man in heaven who attempts to save his wife from hell in the fantasy drama What Dreams May Come (1998).[15][19] The former won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[20]

In the 2000s, Williams continued to voice roles, including in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Robots (2005) and Happy Feet (2006, and its 2011 sequel). Pursuing more diverse parts, he took on the darker roles of an emotionally disturbed photo developer in One Hour Photo (2002), a writer of pulp novels in Insomnia (2002) and a radio host who is caught up with a troubled fan in The Night Listener (2006).[21][22] He returned to comedy in 2006 with the satire Man of the Year and the fantasy Night at the Museum. The latter was the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year and spawned two sequels in 2009 and 2014.[23] He began touring for the one-man stand-up comedy show Weapons of Self Destruction (2008), focusing on "social and political absurdities",[24] and starred in the Disney film Old Dogs (2009). In the 2010s, he starred in the sitcom The Crazy Ones (2013–2014), played supporting roles in the 2013 features The Big Wedding and The Butler, and had three films released posthumously, including the sequel Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.

Film[edit]

Table featuring feature films with Robin Williams
Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
1977 Can I Do It... 'Til I Need Glasses? Lawyer / Man with Tooth Ache Film debut [25][26]
1980 Popeye Popeye [27]
1982 The World According to Garp T.S. Garp [28]
1983 The Survivors Donald Quinelle [29]
1984 Moscow on the Hudson Vladimir Ivanov [30]
1986 The Best of Times Jack Dundee [31]
1986 Club Paradise Jack Moniker [32]
1986 Seize the Day Tommy Wilhelm [33]
1987 Good Morning, Vietnam Adrian Cronauer [34]
1988 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen King of the Moon Credited as Ray D. Tutto [35]
1988 Portrait of a White Marriage Air Conditioning Salesman Uncredited cameo [36]
1989 Dead Poets Society John Keating [37]
1990 Cadillac Man Joey O'Brien [38]
1990 Awakenings Dr. Malcolm Sayer [39]
1991 Shakes the Clown Mime Jerry, Class Instructor Cameo, credited as Marty Fromage [40]
1991 Dead Again Doctor Cozy Carlisle [41]
1991 The Fisher King Henry "Parry" Sagan [42]
1991 Hook Peter Banning / Peter Pan [43]
1992 FernGully: The Last Rainforest Batty Koda (voice) [44]
1992 Aladdin Genie and Peddler (voices) [45]
1992 Toys Leslie Zevo [46]
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Daniel Hillard / Euphegenia Doubtfire Also producer [47][48]
1994 Being Human Hector [49]
1995 Nine Months Dr. Kosevich [50]
1995 To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt Uncredited cameo [51]
1995 Jumanji Alan Parrish [52]
1996 The Birdcage Armand Goldman [53]
1996 Jack Jack Powell [54]
1996 Aladdin and the King of Thieves Genie (voice) Direct-to-video [55]
1996 The Secret Agent The Professor Uncredited [56]
1996 Hamlet Osric [57]
1997 Fathers' Day Dale Putley [58]
1997 Deconstructing Harry Mel [59]
1997 Flubber Professor Philip Brainard [60]
1997 Good Will Hunting Sean Maguire [61]
1998 What Dreams May Come Chris Nielsen [62]
1998 Patch Adams Patch Adams [63]
1999 Jakob the Liar Jakob Heym Also executive producer [64]
1999 Bicentennial Man Andrew Martin [65]
1999 Get Bruce Himself Documentary [66]
2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence Dr. Know (voice) Cameo [67]
2002 One Hour Photo Seymour "Sy" Parrish [68]
2002 Death to Smoochy "Rainbow" Randolph Smiley [69]
2002 Insomnia Walter Finch [70]
2004 The Final Cut Alan W. Hakman [71]
2004 House of D Pappass [72]
2004 Noel Charlie Boyd / The Priest Uncredited [73]
2005 Robots Fender (voice) [74]
2005 The Big White Paul Barnell [75]
2005 The Aristocrats Himself Documentary [76]
2006 The Night Listener Gabriel Noone [77]
2006 RV Bob Munro [78]
2006 Everyone's Hero Napoleon Cross (voice) Uncredited [79]
2006 Man of the Year Tom Dobbs [80]
2006 Happy Feet Ramon and Lovelace (voices) [81]
2006 Night at the Museum Theodore Roosevelt [82]
2007 License to Wed Reverend Frank [83]
2007 August Rush Maxwell "Wizard" Wallace [84]
2009 World's Greatest Dad Lance Clayton [85]
2009 Shrink Jack Holden [86]
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Theodore Roosevelt [87]
2009 Old Dogs Dan Rayburn [88]
2011 Happy Feet Two Ramon and Lovelace (voices) [89]
2013 The Big Wedding Father Monighan [90]
2013 The Butler Dwight D. Eisenhower [91]
2013 The Face of Love Roger [92]
2014 Boulevard Nolan Mack [93]
2014 The Angriest Man in Brooklyn Henry Altmann [94]
2014 A Merry Friggin' Christmas Virgil Mitchler Posthumous release [95]
2014 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Theodore Roosevelt [96]
2015 Absolutely Anything Dennis the Dog (voice) [97]

Television[edit]

Table featuring television programs with Robin Williams
Year Title Role Notes Ref(s)
1977 Sorority '62 Henry Television pilot [98]
1977 The Richard Pryor Show Various characters 2 episodes [99]
1977 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Regular performer [100]
1977 Eight Is Enough Episode: "The Return of Auntie V" [98]
1978 America 2-Night Jason Shine 2 episodes [101]
1978–1979 Happy Days Mork 2 episodes [102]
1978–1982 Mork & Mindy Mork [103]
1979 Out of the Blue Mork Episode: "Random's Arrival" [104]
1982 E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors Himself (host) Television special [105]
1982 Faerie Tale Theatre Frog/Prince Robin Episode: "Tale of the Frog Prince" [106]
1982 SCTV Network Various characters Episode: "Jane Eyrehead" [107]
1982–1983 Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour Mork (voice) [108][109]
1984 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Robin Williams/Adam Ant" [110]
1984 Pryor's Place Gaby Episode: "Sax Education" [111]
1986 58th Academy Awards Himself (co-host) Television special [112]
1986 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Robin Williams/Paul Simon" [113]
1987 Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin Various characters Television special [114]
1987 Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam Narrator Documentary [115]
1988 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Robin Williams/James Taylor" [116]
1990 The Earth Day Special Everyman Television special [117]
1990–2012 Sesame Street Himself [118]
1991 A Wish for Wings That Work The Kiwi (voice) Television special
Credited as Sudy Nim
[119]
1992, 1994 The Larry Sanders Show Himself 2 episodes [120][121]
1994 Homicide: Life on the Street Robert Ellison Episode: "Bop Gun" [122]
1994 In Search of Dr. Seuss The Father Television film [123]
1997 Friends Tomas Uncredited
Episode: "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion"
[119]
1999 L.A. Doctors Hugo Kinsley Episode: "Just Duet" [124]
2000 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself 1 episode [125]
2002 The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch Hans Hänkie Television film [126]
2003 Freedom: A History of Us Josiah Quincy
Ulysses S. Grant
Missouri farmer
Wilbur Wright
Orville Wright
4 episodes [127]
2003 Life with Bonnie Kevin Powalski Episode: "Psychic" [128]
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Merritt Rook Episode: "Authority" [129]
2009 SpongeBob SquarePants Himself Episode: "SpongeBob's Truth or Square" [120]
2012 Wilfred Dr. Eddy / Himself Episode: "Progress" [130]
2012 Louie Himself Episode: "Barney/Never" [131]
2013–2014 The Crazy Ones Simon Roberts [132]

Theatre[edit]

Table featuring theatre roles with Robin Williams
Year(s) Title Role Venue Ref(s)
1988 Waiting for Godot Estragon Lincoln Center Theatre, New York [133]
2011 Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo Tiger Richard Rodgers Theatre, Broadway [134]

Video games[edit]

Table featuring video game roles of Robin Williams
Year Title Role Ref(s)
1997 Disney's Math Quest with Aladdin Genie (voice) [135]

Video recordings[edit]

Table featuring video recordings with Robin Williams
Year Title Ref(s)
1978 Off the Wall / Live at the Roxy [136]
1983 An Evening with Robin Williams [137]
1986 Robin Williams: An Evening at the Met [138]
2002 Robin Williams: Live on Broadway [139]
2009 Weapons of Self Destruction [140]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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