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.
**Thank you NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. for the amazing chance to review this book and as always any thoughts and opinions posted here are my own honest feelings regarding the book.**
I may be about to date myself here but I have always been intrigued by Robin Williams since Mork andMindy. I was very young but I can absolutely remember watching it. Then of course he went on to so many other wonderful acting roles (Genie from Aladdin...Hello). I always felt that watching him was like watching a mini hurricane in action because he was so very animated. Mrs. Doubtfire was by far one of my very favorite roles he played. This book really digs deep into his past and struggles to get to where he was and all the things that went on behind the scenes no one knew about. I loved reading interview portions from various people who had known him. The recurring theme was that no matter how much they tried it was almost impossible to get to know the "real" Robin. This is a must read for anyone who loves biographies or even if you just happen to admire Robin's body of work. Fantastic read and worthy of a 5 star rating in my book.