Robin Williams - Genie in a Bottle


Mr. McKean
DE English 101
8/13/14
Genie in a Bottle
“You’re only given a little spark of madness, you musn’t lose it”, was a quote that I learned to be more helpful than any other throughout high school. On August 11, 2014, my idol Robin Williams gave his life away to a depression disorder at the age of 63. No words can describe the tragedy of losing this legendary actor of generations. This beautiful man that has been in the hearts of everyone from Disney-raised children, to their grandparents and on, putting laughs and tears of joy in the homes of every family across the globe. Mr. Williams is the soul of this paper which I’ve written as both a personal rendition of his memory, and a jollity tribute to his influential life. I believe the world needs to reconnect to the dramatic influence that Robin Williams has had on the general population thereof.
Regardless of being the son of Robert Fitzgerald Williams and Laura McLaurim; the senior executive at Ford for a father, and an ambitious model for a mother, Robin was often tormented in school by bullies for being overweight. To overcome his obesity problems, he joined the wrestling and track team, and began to use his humorous personality to make other children laugh as a way to gain their respect. “Williams was raised as an only child and had much time alone with which to develop his imagination, often by memorizing Jonathan Winters' comedy records” (Robin Williams on AllMovie). Despite his humiliation as a child, he grew from it and journeyed onto a very promising path. Robin briefly studied political science and played soccer at Claremont Men's College. He began taking improvisational classes and found his lessons to be a grand success. After departing Claremont; he enrolled at Marin College for acting, from which he was granted a full scholarship to Julliard School in New York, where he studied speech and drama from 1973-1976. “His classical Julliard dramatic training coupled with his unequaled talents for improvisation led to award-winning roles as outrageous comic characters in "Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993)” (Robin Williams).
At first, Robin set out to become a standup comedian in the 1970’s within the San Francisco and Los Angeles area, where he became very popular. One day a writer of Happy Days, a hit TV show in the 70’s, five year old son mentioned that there should be an alien in the show. The producers went with it. After many back outs, someone mentioned noticing robin role-play as an alien at a showcase and he was immediately offered the part after the man in the interview asked Robin to sit, and instead he did a handstand on his chair. “"Nanu, nanu" and "shazbot" became part of the cultural landscape just like the rainbow suspenders his character always wore.” (Robin Williams Merged into the Memorable Characters He Created). The episodes were a hit and it spun off a series called “Mork and Mindy”. Robin played the main role of an alien (Mork) who came to earth to study human behavior. This show averaged 55 million to 65 million viewers per week on ABC and lasted 4 seasons. “A consistent audience favorite since he burst onto the small screen as a red-suited alien from planet Ork in 1978, the irrepressible and irreverent Robin Williams fittingly enjoyed one of Hollywood's most unique and long-lasting careers” (Robin Williams).
In 1982, Robin, like many Hollywood stars, became involved in the world of drug abuse. Beginning his battle with alcohol, and specifically cocaine addiction, this marked the downfall of his personal life. Robin’s addiction played a destructive factor in his marriage with Valerie Velardi. On the big screen, this man was the idol of many children and adults alike, joining in the laughs and excitements of his many roles, but off stage, he had his own demons waiting to bring him his demise. Robin said, "For me, it’s therapy. It's another world for me. Because I was trained as an actor and I started doing comedy because I couldn't find any work in plays," (Robin Williams Merged…). Robin faced a physical weight problem in his childhood, and now he faced the weight of stardom. Robin was not only an idol in his career, but