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ARTIST HERO:
ROBIN WILLIAMS
by Calvin from San Diego

Good Morning Vietnam (http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2014/11/21/rob ())

In 2014 we lost an outstanding man, an inspiration for so many people. He brought joy, happiness, and overcame many obstacles in his lifetime. Because of this he was one of the most charitable men on the planet. This man is Robin Williams this past year his death left a trail of sadness after his long trail of happiness. He helped people across the world, traveling to war zones to bring comical relief to members of our army. Traveled to hospitals to visit cancer patients helped them with the struggles of cancer through comedy. These actions among many others made him one of the greatest contributors to the world. Also one of the many people in Hollywood to give back the fame and wealth of their own creating. Robin Williams gave back love, laughter and joy to the communities and to the charities he supported.



Robin Williams (http://www.petermcgraw.org/rip-robin-williams/ ())

Robin Williams had many obstacles during his lifetime. His parents were wealthy during his youth, because of this his family was constantly on the move. Robin "attended eight different schools in an eight-year period. Williams was often without friends" ("Robin Williams" ). In addition, Robin was  "Short and overweight--for which he was constantly teased by his classmates--Williams discovered refuge in comedy." ("Robin Williams") Robin was not an athlete and because of his constant moving and a hard time making friends he turned to comedy. Williams stated, "My imagination was my friend, my companion." ("Robin Williams.") When he had no one, he had his imagination. In Williams' senior year of high school his father retired and moved to San Francisco, California. Williams enrolled at Redwood High School. At Redwood, Williams lost weight and started to play sports like wrestling and track. At the end of high school, "his classmates voted him "Most Humorous" and "Least Likely to Succeed" ("Robin Williams"). In his last year of high school, he finally made friends, people found him humorous and broke through barriers to develop friendships. As an actor and a human, Robin Williams had determination and accomplished as much as he could. Williams was not always a great actor but  "In 1973, Williams won a full scholarship to the Juilliard School, the prestigious performing arts school in New York City."("Robin Williams"). Williams was not well know until he played alien Mork in Happy Days. He struggled to get his feet of the ground in the film industry until he starred as Popeye. "Williams made his big-screen debut in a lead role playing the famous spinach-eating sailor in Popeye (1980)"("Robin William").  Before Robin hit the big screen he made money by miming and working at comedy clubs.  Robin wasn't always successful but with lots of hard work he was able to achieve a prime acting career. Robin Williams always gave everything he had to what he was trying to achieve. After the start of Williams' career he began to struggle with the fame of his early success.  In the 1970's Robin Williams used cocaine and was a heavy drinker. He fought depression and stated "Cocaine was a place to hide."("Robin Williams"). After his wife Velardi got pregnant, Williams stopped using cocaine and was sober till the day he died. Williams experienced the struggles of moving often, difficulty making friends and eventually even had problems with substance abuse. After all of this he was able to overcome the problems he faced making him inspirational to many people.


Robin William CAF (http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine ())

He brought joy to our hearts. Robin Williams performed in many movies and tv shows that warmed the hearts of viewers. He not only brought joy into our hearts on screen, but he also made an impact off the screen with his charity work. Williams volunteered for multiple charities. Challenged Athletes Foundation was one of the organizations Williams volunteered for and it has a special connection to me because its one of the organizations I volunteer for. Virginia Tinley, the Executive Director of CAF stated, "[Williams] really had a genuine respect for the challenged athletes that he met at the triathlon. He was a guy that liked sports and liked getting out there and participating in them... Robin is genuinely a very giving, warm person. Very humble. [He was] relatively quiet in normal situations, but a brilliant comic and certainly when he needed to turn on that comic streak, he would be hilarious,"(Sandra, Phillips). In 1986 Robin part took in the nonprofit Comic Relief to raise money for America's homeless.This was the start of many charity events Williams attended, "Comic Relief has raised more than $80 million."(Hamedy, Saba).  Comic Relief Charity works to bring humor to people around the world while providing money to benefit the organization. In addition to CAF and Comic Relief, Williams also supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.



Williams and Christopher Revee (http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com/n-1995.html ())

One of the charities that Williams supported came about after a tragic accident that paralyzed a close friend. Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve had a special connection. They were great friends at the Julliard School. In 1973 "2000 students auditioned for just 20 spots in the freshman class at New York's Juilliard school for drama, Williams and Reeve were the only two students to make it into the advanced program."(Murphy, Mathew)  In 1995 Christopher suffered an injury "After the horse riding accident that left Reeve paralyzed, Williams was there to show his friend how to smile again, arriving dressed as a doctor and claiming to be Reeve's proctologist. It was the first time Reeve laughed after the incident."("Robin Williams: Charity Work & Causes"). This is amazing example of how he can cheer up someone who is depressed. Reeve stated, "I knew then: if I could laugh, I could live."(Murphy, Mathew). I find it amazing that his friend Reeves was paralyzed and Williams was able to make him smile again.  "Williams was also a big supporter of the Reeves Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury."(Hamedy, Saba). Even after Christopher Reeve died on October 10th, 2004 from cardiac arrest, Williams still supported The Reeves Foundation.


Robin Williams (http://content.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068, ())

Robin Williams was an inspiration to me and many to many others. His determination, joy and charitable work made him a hero to me and many others. Robin Williams encourages me to help others.  He won a scholarship; something I hope to achieve while in high school. Williams' contributions to help thousands of people inspire me to be more charitable. Robin Williams, no doubt, has the traits of a hero. He was a charitable, joyful man who achieved and overcame many events in his life and he will be missed.





Written by Calvin from San Diego
Last changed on: 10/4/2016

Hamedy, Saba. "Robin Williams Spread Joy Off-screen through Charity Work." [Online] Available http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-robin-williams-charity- work-20140811-.

Murphy, Mathew . "The Truth about the Incredible Friendship of Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve." [Online] Available http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/the-truth-about-the-incredible-friendship-of-rob.

Philips, Sandra. "Robin Williams Was Big Part of Local Sports Foundation." [Online] Available http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/08/11/robin-williams-was-big-part-of-local-sports-foundation.

Purcell, Myrlia. "Robin Williams: Charity Work & Causes." [Online] Available https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/robin-williams#charities.

Newsmakers. "Robin Williams". Gale. Detroit: Biography in Context

Today, Biography. "Robin Williams". EBSCO: Biography Reference Center

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