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Robin Williams
Robin Williams
Background information
Born: Robin McLaurin Williams
July 21, 1951
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: August 11, 2014 (aged 63)
Tiburon, California, U.S.
Cause of death:
Alternate names:
Occupation(s): Actor, voice actor and stand-up comedian
Years active: 1972-2014
Spouse(s): Valerie Velardi (1978-1988)
Marsha Garces Williams (1989-2008)
Susan Schneider (2011-2014, his death)
Partner(s):
Children: Zachary (with Velardi), Zelda, and Cody (with Garces)

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014) was an American actor, voice actor and stand-up comedian. His role as Mrs. Doubtfire from the 1993 comedy film of the same name was spoofed by his other role: Genie in Aladdin and its 3rd sequel Aladdin and the King of Theives.

In gratitude for his success with the Disney-produced Touchstone film Good Morning, Vietnam, Williams voiced the Genie in the Disney animated film Aladdin for SAG scale pay ($75,000), on condition that his name or image not be used for marketing, and his (supporting) character not take more than 25% of space on advertising artwork, since Toys was scheduled for release one month after Aladdin's debut. Additionally, Williams believed the character's voice was his property and did not want it to be imitated. The studio went back on the deal on both counts, especially in poster art by having the Genie in 25% of the image, but having other major and supporting characters portrayed considerably smaller. Disney's Hyperion book, Aladdin: The Making Of An Animated Film, listed both of Williams' characters, "The Peddler" and "The Genie", ahead of main characters but was forced to refer to him only as "the actor signed to play the Genie".

Williams and Disney had a bitter falling-out, resulting in Dan Castellaneta voicing the Genie in The Return of Jafar and the Aladdin animated television series. Castellaneta was also hired for the feature Aladdin and the King of Thieves and had completed recording all his lines. When Jeffrey Katzenberg was fired from Disney and replaced by former 20th Century Fox production head Joe Roth (whose last act for Fox was greenlighting Williams' film Mrs. Doubtfire), Roth arranged for a public apology to Williams by Disney. Williams agreed to perform in Hollywood Pictures' Jack, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and even agreed to voice the Genie again for the King of Thieves sequel (for considerably more than scale), replacing all of Castellaneta's dialogue.

When Williams re-teamed with Doubtfire director Chris Columbus for Touchstone Pictures' Bicentennial Man in 1999, Disney asked that the budget be cut by approximately $20 million, and when the film was released on Christmas Day, it flopped at the box office. Williams blamed Disney's marketing and the loss of content the film had suffered due to the budget cuts. As a result, Williams was again on bad terms with Disney, and Castellaneta was once again recruited to replace him as Genie in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and the House of Mouse TV series. The DVD release for Aladdin has no involvement whatsoever from Williams in the bonus materials, although some of his original recording sessions can be seen.

Williams made peace with The Walt Disney Company and in 2009 agreed to be inducted into the Disney Hall of Fame, designated as a Disney Legend. He died five years later.

Disney roles

Gallery

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