You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
Starting out as a standup comedian with a 100-mile an hour delivery, Robin Williams was loved for his film and TV roles and incredible energy.
The Chicago-born star later credited taking part in high school plays for overcoming a shyness belied by his sense of humour and incredible gift for making people laugh.
As his comedy career took off, he began featuring on TV, with an appearance as a friendly alien on Happy Days leading to him playing the role in a hit TV series called Mork & Mindy.
Next came movie roles where Williams made good use of his comic timing and gift for improvisation – demonstrated perfectly in Good Morning, Vietnam and as the voice of the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin.
But he also displayed his more serious side to critical acclaim in films including Awakenings, Dead Poets Society and his oscar-winning feature, Good Will Hunting.
Robin was open about how he’d overcome drug addiction, later famously dismissing cocaine as “God’s way of telling you your making too much money”. Later on in his life, he was open about battling alcoholism and underwent rehab to treat his condition.
It was revealed that Robin had been struggling with depression when he took his own life, with his autopsy showing that he had been living with a form of dementia that had led to many challenging symptoms to cope with.
Paying tribute to the star, Barack Obama said: “He was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit”.