Robin Williams – what you didn’t know

2014-08-12 06:47

Good night Vietnam

Robin Williams in "Good Morning Vietnam" (1987)

Actor and comedian Robin Williams sadly passed away earlier today.

Here are some facts you might not have known about this brilliant actor, brought to you by Trivia SA:

He was voted "most humorous" and "least likely to succeed" in school.

Robin was a very overweight child. As a result, nobody would play with him. He started talking in different voices to entertain himself.

When he auditioned for the role of Mork from Ork, producer Garry Marshall told him to sit down. Robin immediately sat on his head on the chair. Marshall hired him, saying that he was the only alien who auditioned.

Robin Williams and Pam Dawber in "Mork & Mindy" (1978)

During the making of "Mork & Mindy", Robin departed from the scripts and adlibbed so many times and so well, that the producers stop trying to make him stick to the script and deliberately left gaps in the later scripts leaving only "Mork can go off here" in those places so Robin could improvise.

In 1997, he was voted the funniest man alive by Entertainment Weekly.

He was a huge Rugby fan, and in particular New Zealand All Black star Jonah Lomu, who flew to San Francisco and gifted him with a signed All Black jersey. On a recent visit to New Zealand they were reunited on national television, Williams humbly accepting another All Black jersey, except this time it had Jonah's number 11 on the back.

Robin spoke French fluently, enjoyed cycling and occasionally trained with Lance Armstrong.

After having won the Academy Award for "Good Will Hunting", he sent Peer Augustinski (who was his standard German dubbing voice) a little Oscar replica with a note: "Thank you for making me famous in Germany."

One week after Christopher Reeve's tragic horse riding accident, Robin visited him in the hospital. However, he was dressed from head to toe in scrubs, spoke with a Russian accent, and had a surgical mask on. He was acting as if he was a real doctor and did a bunch of wacky antics. After he took off his mask, Reeve stated that, "That was the first time I laughed since the accident!"

Robin has been seen playing paintball at public reservations near his Northern California residence.

Robin was a guest on Johnny Carson's next to last episode of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson", along with Bette Midler.

Most of his dialogue in "Aladdin" is ad-libbed.

He was frequently called up by Steven Spielberg when Spielberg was filming "Schindler's List". He would put Robin on speaker phone so he could tell jokes to the cast and crew to cheer them up. Robin used his character in "Aladdin" most of the time.

Robin Williams was the genie's voice in "Aladdin" (1992)

During the course of recording the voice of Genie in "Aladdin", Robin improvised so much they had almost 16 hours of material.

Robin appeared fully nude in "The Fisher King" and "World's Greatest Dad".

He was close friends with John Travolta.

As of 2014, Robin has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: "Dead Poets Society", "Awakenings" and "Good Will Hunting".

Asked by James Lipton about what he would like God to say when he arrives in heaven, Robin answered that it would be "There is a seat in the front" in the concert of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Elvis Presley.

Enjoy your front seat at the concert, Robin. Rest in Peace.

Trivia SA provides South Africans with interesting and lesser-known facts about our beautiful country, and the world around us.

Come and smell the braaivleis at our website, or even better – like our Facebook page where we regularly post awesome facts.

News24 Voices Terms & Conditions


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.