Cover image for The life and humor of Robin Williams : a biography
The life and humor of Robin Williams : a biography
David, Jay, 1929-2014.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Quill/William Morrow, [1999]

Physical Description:
vi, 218 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.W473 D38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PN2287.W473 D38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Ever since his days as "Mork" on Mork and Mindy, Robin Williams has captivated the hearts and funny bones of audiences everywhere. No one will forget his performances in such classics as Good Morning Vietnam, Awakenings, and Dead Poets Society, or his hilarious roles as the nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire and as the zany doctor in Patch Adams.

The Life and Humor of Robin Williams offers his millions of fans a lively, thorough account of Robin Williams's life and career. Chronicling the early years, from his supportive Chicago childhood to his first college improv class, the book goes on to describe the actor's rapid descent into Hollywood's fast lane. But Williams cleaned up his life and made a breakthrough into serious acting with his extraordinary performance in The World According to Garp and the steady climb ever since to his more recent, Oscar-winning triumph in Good Will Hunting.

For the countless fans of Robin Williams, this biography is a fascinating and comprehensive look at the star's inspiring history.

Author Notes

William Adler was born on May 14, 1929 in New York. After attending Brooklyn College (1947-51), Adler served in the U.S. Army. Adler, a full-time writer/editor, has published approximately 150 books on various topics over the past forty years, but he is probably best known for his books reflecting the wit and humor of individual celebrities. In books such as The Kennedy Wit and The Churchill Wit, Adler has selected and edited a variety of quotations and humorous anecdotes that reveal a human side of famous individuals. His edited collections of letters written to famous people or organizations, such as Kids' Letters to President Carter and Letters to the Air Force on UFOs, are also quite popular. These books, while interspersed with humor, often explore more serious topics with insight, understanding, and sensitivity.

Adler wrote for two popular television programs, Candid Camera and Tex and Jinx, and conceived the ideas for a series of murder mysteries written by other authors, that invited readers to participate in solving the crimes. Large cash awards were offered to the reader who could solve a series of crimes leading to the murders. The first of these popular 1980s mysteries was Who Killed the Robins Family and where, and when, and how and why did they die? Although Adler masterminded the book, Thomas Chastain actually wrote it. Later, Adler would use this same reader-participation strategy when he published Bill Adler's Chance of a Lifetime, a guidebook on how to become a successful entrepreneur. Again a cash prize was offered to the reader who entered the best new business idea after reading and following the principles presented in the book.

Adler has also written and edited a number of his more serious books under the pseudonym, Jay David.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

David's slight but earnest biography of funnyman Williams relies overwhelmingly on secondary sources but makes up in comprehensiveness what it lacks in research and style. It nicely regurgitates the facts of Williams' life and career but is breathtakingly unreferenced and sketchily, curiously videotaped. "Appendix B: Television Appearances in Specials," for instance, includes guest shots on regular series, such as Williams' multi-episode turn on Homicide, which makes the book more useful than the title would suggest. Odd. Tunnel-visioned Williams nuts will thrill, but casual fans . . . maybe not. Get it if Mork's little pals are a discernible presence in your patronage or to fill up the boomer-comic bio shelf, but don't expect it to be the only resource a pop culture collection needs on the star actor-comedian. --Mike Tribby

Table of Contents

1 The Improvisorp. 1
2 Space Alienp. 19
3 "I Yam What I Yam"p. 37
4 Garp According to Robinp. 51
5 Cold Turkeyp. 63
6 "Just Be Daddy"p. 77
7 Marking Timep. 87
8 Good Morning, Robinp. 99
9 A Legendary Godotp. 111
10 Bankabilityp. 121
11 Redemption and Resurrectionp. 133
12 Some Hits, Some Flops (1)p. 147
13 Some Hits, Some Flops (2)p. 159
14 Alias Robin Williamsp. 167
15 The Perfect Plotp. 179
16 Good Huntingp. 195
Appendix A Awards and Honorsp. 209
Appendix B Television Appearances in Specialsp. 213
Appendix C Film Appearancesp. 217