What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about Robin Williams, created by Newslines contributors. Learn more

Robin Williams

Robin Williams150 posts

Robin Williams was an American actor and comedian born in 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. Williams originally became popular for his portrayal of the alien Mork in the TV comedy Mork & Mindy. He also became an established stand-up comedian an film actor as well. Some of his most highly acclaimed work came in movies such as Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Awakenings, The Birdcage, and Good Morning, Vietnam. Some of the accolades he earned throughout his career include an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guilds Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, and five Grammy Awards. Williams was married to Valerie Velardi and had three children. In 2014, Williams died at the age of 63 after being found unconscious at his home in Tiburon, California.

Latest News view > Click for Biography view
20 Jul, 2018

Williams’ artworks, memorabilia to be auctioned

Announcement0 Comments

Sotheby’s announces that artworks owned by Williams, and memorabilia from his career, including autographed scripts, awards and props will be auctioned in New York on Oct. 4. The sale will include street art by Banksy and Shepard Fairey, furniture and decorative art and more than 40 watches from Williams’ personal collection. A portion of the proceeds will benefit organizations including the Juilliard School, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

2 Oct, 2015

Widow, children settle estate claims

Settlement0 Comments

Williams’ widow and his three children reach a settlement over his estate. Lawyers say Susan Williams will remain in the San Francisco Bay Area home she shared with Williams and receive living expenses to maintain the home for the rest of her life. She will also receive a watch Robin Williams often wore, a bike bought on their honeymoon, and their wedding gifts. Lawyer:

Susan gets to enforce Robin’s wishes. She gets to stay in the house as Robin wanted, with the trust being created to pay the expenses.

Children’s lawyer:

I think they’re just very happy to have this behind them.

1 Jun, 2015

Judge gives more time to settle dispute

Trial0 Comments

A judge gives Williams wife and adult children until the end of July to settle their differences. There are over 300 items still in contention along with money to maintain one of his houses. Williams children claim his widow is:

adding insult to a terrible injury by trying to change the trust agreement and rob [us] of items [our] father clearly intended [us] to have.

Williams widow’s attorney says she is:

an emotionally grieving widow who is trying to honor her husband.

30 Mar, 2015

Banned use of image for 25 years

0 Comments

Court documents reveal that on January 31, 2012,Williams transferred all rights to his identity to a nonprofit organisation in the event of his death. All ownership rights to Williams’ “name, voice, signature, photograph, likeness and right of privacy/publicity” come under the charitable Windfall Foundation and cannot be used until August 2039.

If the Windfall Foundation is deemed ineligible for a charitable deduction by the IRS, the Trust mandates Williams’ publicity rights be distributed to charitable organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, AIDS, Make-a-Wish. According to the Hollywood Reporter this is a strategy aimed at reducing the estates’ tax liability.

3 Feb, 2015

Legal battle over estate

Files Suit0 Comments

Williams’ widow, Susan, and Williams’ children from a previous marriages, Zachary, Zelda and Cody, file opposing court documents regarding the distribution of personal items and memorabilia from Williams’ estate. Allan Mayer, a spokesman for the Williams children:

Robin’s children want nothing more than to be left alone to grieve … The fact is that they have been barred from what had been their father’s house, and not even the trustees of the Robin Williams Trust have been able to conduct a complete inventory.

21 Nov, 2014

‘Acclimating to the new normal’

0 Comments

William’s son, Zak, talks about how the family is coping with William’s death while speaking at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation fundraising gala.

We’re doing OK. We’re acclimating to the new normal. Everything is step by step. Personally, my wife and I are focusing on doing a lot of good. She runs the San Francisco office of Human Rights Watch, and we’re working with them to do good in the world.

11 Nov, 2014

Sources: Lewy body dementia

0 Comments

TMZ cites sources connected with Williams’s family as saying his official autopsy reveals Lewy body dementia, caused by abnormal protein deposits in the brain that can lead to hallucinations. It says patients can experience visions of phantom objects, people, or animals, and try to converse with them. It is often co-morbid with Parkinsons, and Parkinsons medications can cause a bad reaction in people suffering from both conditions. Williams is reported to have complained to his wife about the effect of the meds. It says Williams’s doctors agree that the condition was the key factor in his suicide.

7 Nov, 2014

Autopsy: No drugs, no alcohol

0 Comments

Marin County sheriff’s office releases Williams’ autopsy results, finding Williams had no drugs or alcohol in his system. The investigation found Williams had taken prescription medications, but in “therapeutic concentrations.” The coroner rules his death a suicide that resulted from asphyxia due to hanging.

23 Oct, 2014

Gets Hummingbird tattoo to honor Robin Williams

0 Comments

hummingbird tattooWilliams gets a hummingbird tattoo to honor her late father Robin Williams. Williams posts a picture of the tattoo on Instagram along with the caption:

For poppo. Thank you to the incomparable @dr_woo_ssc for so beautifully bringing my reminders to life. I’ll always put my hand out to shake with a smile.

9 Oct, 2014

Merry Friggin’ Christmas trailer

0 Comments

Williams appears in the trailer for the movie Merry Friggin’ Christmas, one of his final movie roles. Williams plays a cynical father forced to reconnect with his son on a road trip to rescue presents and Christmas. The movie opens in theaters in November 2014.

18 Sep, 2014

Crystal, Fallon swap Williams’ stories

0 Comments

On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Crystal and Fallon pay tribute to Williams by swapping funny stories about him. Fallon commends Crystal for his tribute to Williams on The Primetime Emmy Awards show. Crystal says “It was really a hard thing,” mentioning the entire crowd was feeling “the same sadness, bewilderment, frustration and this overall ‘What?!’

It was only two weeks after. And to try to do him justice for myself and for the audience around the world, really, in two minutes was the task. I’ve given eulogies before, sadly, for a lot of people I love, but nobody on television.

Crystal says of Williams:

He had the biggest set of balls ever on a stage. He was fearless.

Billy Crystal Remembers His Friend, Robin Williams

29 Aug, 2014

Rolling Stone cover

Magazine Cover0 Comments

williams-rolling-stoneRolling Stone devotes its cover to Williams. A tribute from Tom Hanks to Williams’s start in television:

The legend is true. In 1978, word came from the set of TV’s Happy Days. That week, Fonzie’s ultracool was threatened by a stranger from another world. The guy playing the alien was hilarious.

28 Aug, 2014

Emmy tribute criticism

Tribute0 Comments

williams-iran-gagSome viewers criticize the Emmys tribute to Williams for including a clip of a joke about an Iranian woman that they consider racist. In the gag, Williams covers his face to simulate an Islamic headscarf, and says:

I would like to welcome you to Iran… Help me!

27 Aug, 2014

Apology

0 Comments

Rollins apologizes in a second LA Weekly article after a public backlash follows his remarks on Williams’s suicide:

I am deeply sorry, down to my marrow. I can’t think that means anything to you, but I am completely sorry. It is not of my interest to hurt anyone but I know I did.

‘Addicted to entertaining’

0 Comments

One Hour Photo director Mark Romanek tells Rolling Stone that Williams was so used to entertaining others that he needed to let off steam between takes of the psychological thriller:

He was so addicted to entertaining people and making them laugh that he needed to be funny between takes to get that out of his system, so when he went into character, he could be completely free of that urge.

‘He raised the bar’

0 Comments

Apatow comments in Rolling Stone on Williams’s uniqueness as a performer:

You can’t look at any modern comic and say, ‘That’s the descendant of Robin Williams,’ because it’s not possible to be a Robin Williams rip-off. He was doing something so unique that no one could even attempt their version of it. He raised the bar for what it’s possible to do, and made an enormous amount of us want to be comedians. He looked like he was having so much fun.

Turned down Vegas offer

0 Comments

A document shows that Williams refused a $600,000 offer from AEG Live to headline two shows at The Colosseum at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas two years before his death. Sources say that Williams’s decision to turn down the offer, which came while he was shooting The Crazy Ones, indicates that he did not have money troubles.

Biography announced

0 Comments

Publisher Henry Holt and Co. announces that it will publish Williams’ biography. The book, as yet untitled, will be written by New York Times culture writer Dave Itzkoff, who profiled Williams for the newspaper in 2009 and wrote his obituary, and edited by executive editor Paul Golob in order to ‘provide the definitive, comprehensive account of Williams’s life.’ Itzkoff:

Robin Williams was a cultural hero of mine, and in the encounters and interactions I was able to share with him, he was always gentle and generous, humane and thoughtful and hilarious.

21 Aug, 2014

Ashes scattered in San Francisco Bay

0 Comments

Williams is cremated and his ashes scattered in San Franscisco Bay. The funeral home is Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Rafael, California. Authorities will continue to investigate his death and said that toxicology test results won’t be completed for two to six weeks.