10 things you didn't know about Robin Williams

By Kirstin Buick
12 August 2014

Did you know Robin was voted Least Likely to Succeed in high school, or that his university buddy was Christopher Reeve? Here are some more things you need to know about the award-winning actor, who passed away yesterday.

Here are some more things you need to know about the award-winning actor, who passed away yesterday.

1. He was voted Least Likely to Succeed in high school

We feel like Robin got the last laugh on this one ...

2. He worked a street mime New York

Before his career catapulted Robin into super-stardom, Robin slapped on some white paint and worked for coins outside New York's Museum of Modern Art, according to Screen Crush.

3. He had open heart surgery in 2010

It took doctors three and a half hours to replace his aortic valve. True to form, "a couple of hours after surgery, he was entertaining the medical team and making us all laugh," his doctor told US Weekly.

4. He told the cast of Schindler’s List jokes to keep their spirits up during filming

During the filming of the rather depressing movie, director Steven Spielberg called his friend in to

5. He went to college with Christopher Reeve...

At the prestigious Juilliard School, Robin and Christopher were the only two students selected for the Advanced programme with veteran actor John Houseman.

6. And Robin dressed up in scrubs and surprised Christopher in hospital after his accident

Just what Patch Adams would have done. Christopher wrote about it in his autobiography, Still Me:

"Then, at an especially bleak moment, the door flew open and in hurried a squat fellow with a blue scrub hat and a yellow surgical gown and glasses, speaking in a Russian accent. He announced that he was my proctologist, and that he had to examine me immediately...it was Robin Williams...for the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay."

7. Robin ad-libbed most of his lines in Mork & Mindy and Aladdin

Robin improvised so much of his role as Aladdin's Genie that the film was rejected by the Academy for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Robin explained in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit:

"Initially they came in and I was just doing the scripted lines and I asked 'Do you mind if I try something?' and then 18 hours of recording later, they had the genie. I just started playing, and they said "just go with it, go with it, go with it." So I improvised the character. I think that in the end, there were something like 40 different voices that I did for that role."

8. His favourite celebrity to impersonate was Jack Nicholson

As versatile as he is, even the king of impersonations has his favourites. "He once was with me at a benefit and leaned over and said "even oysters have enemies." In a very intense voice," Robin said. "I responded with 'Increase your dosage'."

9. He went into a sex shop dressed as Mrs Doubtfire

"I walked into a sex shop in San Francisco and tried to buy a double-headed dildo," Robin revealed in his Reddit AMA. "Just because. Why not? And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me - Robin Williams - not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large dildo and a jar of lube. He just laughed and said "what are you doing here" and I left. Did I make the purchase? No. * Did I walk away with a really good story? *Yes."

PHOTO: facebook.com/Mrs.DoubtfireOfficial PHOTO: facebook.com/Mrs.DoubtfireOfficial

10. His dream role was to play the fool in Shakespeare's King Lear

And he would have nailed it.

Sources: usmagazine.com, elitedaily.com, cleveland.com, screencrush.com, huffingtonpost.com

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