Cover image for Robin
Title:
Robin
Author:
Itzkoff, Dave, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print ed.]
Publication Information:
Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
909 pages (large print), 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Summary:
"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 rapidfire 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. "--

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative actor and comedian. He often came across as a man possessed, but Itzkoff shows that Williams's comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt. Williams struggled with addiction and depression, and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. -- adapted from publisher info
Language:
English
Contents:
Comet. Punky and Lord Posh ; The escape artist ; Legalized insanity ; My favorite Orkan ; The Robin Williams show ; Mork blows his cork ; Bungalow 3 -- Star. Mr. Happy ; Tough love ; Gooooooood morning ; O captain! ; Dreamlike parts, with phantasmagoric associations ; Father man ; Hot flashes -- Supernova. The golden dude ; Fade to white ; Weapons of self-destruction ; The tiger in winter ; Gone ; Everything will be okay ; The big room -- Robin Williams: Selected works and awards.
ISBN:
9781432853679
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Oscar-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative entertainer. But his comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which Williams drew upon in his comedy and his celebrated film roles. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff offers a compelling portrait of one of America's most beloved and misunderstood entertainers, whose performances and personality touched so many lives.


Author Notes

David Itzkoff is an American journalist and writer. He graduated from Princeton University in 1998. His career includes working for Spin, Maxim, and Details magazines. His work has appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair, Wired, and other publications. Currently, he is a cultural reporter for the New York Times and is a lead contributor to their ArtsBeat blog. His first memoir was entitled Lads: A Memoir of Manhood (2004). His other books include Cocaine's Son: A Memoir (2011), Mad as Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man (2014), and Robin: The Definitive Biography of Robin Williams (2018).

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Itzkoff, who knew the late Robin Williams on a personal level, gives us the biography we've been waiting for: a portrait of a brilliantly nimble-witted performer who spent most of his life battling a crippling lack of self-confidence and depression. Williams' suicide in 2014 took most of us by surprise, but here the author shows how Williams' seemingly inexplicable act was the end result of a lifetime of inner turmoil and an inability to find peace within his own mind. The book includes material drawn from previously published sources and interviews with a wide variety of people, including F. Murray Abraham, Norman Lear, David Letterman, Bruce Vilanch, Henry Winkler, and Terry Gilliam. The book has some nifty trivia (first choices to play Mork from Ork were John Byner and Dom DeLuise), but this isn't one of those skimming-the-surface Hollywood bios. It's a meaty, well-researched, moving story of a man who could never quite come to terms with his own brilliance.--Pitt, David Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

According to this perceptive biography from Itzkoff (Mad as Hell), comedian Robin Williams was a man driven by a deep need for adulation and acceptance. Itzkoff introduces Williams as a brilliant, imaginative child left to his own devices in a sprawling mansion in the suburbs of Detroit, then describes his sometimes contentious relationship with his Ford executive father, his time in a community college drama department, his training at Juilliard (where he met lifelong friend Christopher Reeve), his breakthrough role on Mork and Mindy, and his long movie career. Along the way, readers meet the people who sustained him for much of his life, in particular the comic Billy Crystal, who perhaps knew him best, and his second wife, Marsha, who for years supervised much of his professional life. Nevertheless, Williams was consumed with misgivings about his stature as a star, a doubt that found expression in drug and alcohol abuse, and in his struggle to find film projects that could harness his manic talents. Itzkoff goes into detail on the debilitating illness (Lewy body dementia) that some of those close to Williams believe caused the comedian to commit suicide in 2014. Meticulously sourced and comprehensive in scope, Itzkoff's work gives Williams's many fans a rare glimpse of the man behind the celebrity. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

New York Times reporter Itzkoff delivers a detailed and revealing biography of comedian and actor Robin Williams. Born to a Ford Motor Company executive and his socialite wife, Williams grew up comfortably in Detroit and later San Francisco, where he discovered acting. He studied in New York at Juilliard and then went on to find fame at the age of 27 in the TV series Mork and Mindy. Films followed with a string of flops sprinkled with hits and four Oscar nominations. His meteoric career was matched by a tumultuous private life that included drugs and alcohol, infidelity, divorces, and health issues. His 2014 suicide came as a shock to the industry. The author goes into detail about Lewy body dementia, which may have factored in Williams's death. Extensive interviews with family and friends give this biography authenticity and offer an astute psychological analysis of the troubled actor and funnyman. Fred Berman narrates and captures many of the tics and manic delivery of his subject. VERDICT This well-written work will be a must-listen for Williams's fans and those who enjoy celebrity biographies. ["Williams's entertaining and mostly enjoyable life story will appeal to fans of...movies, entertainment, and stand-up comedy": LJ 5/15/18 starred review of the Holt hc.]-Phillip Oliver, formerly with Univ. of North Alabama, Florence © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Prologuep. 11
Part 1 Cometp. 17
1 Punky And Lord Poshp. 19
2 The Escape Artistp. 54
3 Legalized Insanityp. 102
4 My Favorite Orkanp. 150
5 The Robin Williams Showp. 189
6 Mork Blows His Corkp. 222
7 Bungalow 3p. 256
Part 2 Starp. 287
8 Mr. Happyp. 289
9 Tough Lovep. 322
10 Gooooooood Morningp. 353
11 O Captain!p. 385
12 Dreamlike Parts, with Phantasmagoric Associationsp. 419
13 Father Manp. 452
14 Hot Flashesp. 482
Part 3 Supernovap. 517
15 The Golden Dudep. 519
16 Fade to Whitep. 553
17 Weapons of Self Destructionp. 589
18 The Tiger in Winterp. 622
19 Gonep. 655
20 Everything Will Be Okayp. 690
21 The Big Roomp. 718
Epiloguep. 741
Robin Williams: Selected Works and Awardsp. 749
Notesp. 759
Acknowledgmentsp. 901