From New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff, the definitive biography of Robin Williams – a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers.
From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.
But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films like Dead Poets Society; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Fisher King; Aladdin; and Mrs. Doubtfire, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting he gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent.
Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression – topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews – and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The first major biography of Robin Williams takes a comprehensive look at a man who was adored by millions and possessed extraordinary talent, humility, and generosity. Drawing on exhaustive research and interviews with the late comedian's inner circle, New York Times cultural reporter Dave Itzkoff chronicles Williams' ascent from standup oddball to Oscar winner. Itzkoff also traces Williams’ life outside of the spotlight, from the peaks and valleys of his three marriages to his deteriorating health. Honest and empathetic, Robin is a bittersweet portrait of a brilliant mind lost in the shadows.
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W a couple q
A good, good man
Really emotionally moving biography of Mr. Williams, a man who was fallible like the rest of us, but whose large, generous heart resided in the right place. I always thought it spoke volumes about Johnny Carson that Mr. Williams and Bette Midler were booked as the Tonight Show’s final guests, as opposed to entertainers from the Buddy Hackett era, but reading this book illustrates the respect Mr. Williams, as well as Ms. Midler, commanded.
I went to IMDB and tallied up 11 Robin Williams films I have seen; that list will now grow. Great job, Mr. Itzkoff.