Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Oscar-winning actor and stand-up comedian Robin Williams, who rose to fame as the alien Mork in Mork & Mindy, has died. He was found unresponsive at his home in Marin County, California, on August 11 and was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Marin County's coroner's office, the probable cause of death was asphyxiation. Mr. Williams was 63.
Williams' television career began in 1977 with two appearances in the NBC comedy variety series The Richard Pryor Show. His other early television guest appearances included Laugh-In, Eight is Enough and America 2-Night. He first appeared as Mork in the fifth season episode of Happy Days titled "My Favorite Orkan," which aired on ABC on February 28, 1978. After the success of the appearance, Williams was given his own spin-off series.
Mork & Mindy premiered on ABC on September 14, 1978. Williams played the alien Mork from the planet Ork. He met the pretty Mindy McConnell (Pam Dawber) after he landed in a giant egg-shaped spacecraft near Boulder, Colorado. Mork was known for putting on his suit backwards. He would often wear rainbow suspenders later in the series. The crazy character would sit in a chair upside down. He had a hand gesture similar to Mr. Spock's Vulcan salute from Star Trek combined with a handshake. His catchphrases were "Shazbot" (an Orkan profanity) and "Na-Nu Na-Nu," which meant goodbye in the Orkan language. Williams was known for improvising much of his dialogue and physical comedy.
The series became an instant hit in the first season when it finished tied in third place with Happy Days in the Nielsen ratings. The series was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series. Robin Williams received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 1979. Some changes to the stories and cast were made in the second season. It was also moved to a different night and timeslot. The show never recovered in the ratings. Williams' idol Jonathan Winters was brought in the final season as Mork and Mindy's child, Mearth. They still had a nice run for four seasons and 95 episodes. Williams also appeared as Mork in the premiere episode of the ABC sitcom Out of the Blue. He returned as Mork in the sixth season Happy Days episode titled "Mork Returns." He also voiced the character in the animated series the Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour in 1982-1983.
Williams had guest appearances in many television series. His comedy guest appearances included The Larry Sanders Show, Friends, Life with Bonnie, Wilfred and Louie. Some of his other television credits included Faerie Tale Theatre, SCTV Network, Pryor's Place, Saturday Night Live and L.A. Doctors. He won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin in 1987 and Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for ABC Presents: A Royal Gala in 1988. In 1995, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor for his role as Robert Ellison, a grieving widower and father, in the episode "Bop Gun" of Homicide: Life on the Streets. He received another Emmy nomination in 2008 for Outstanding Guest Actor for his role as Merritt Rook in the episode "Authority" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
In 2013, Williams returned to a series regular role in the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones. He played Simon Roberts, a father who works with his daughter (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) in a Chicago advertising office. The series also starred Richard Wolk, Hamish Linklater and Amanda Setton. Despite good reviews and respectable ratings, it was canceled after one season.
He was also known for his stand-up comedy. He had three HBO comedy specials in the late 1970s and 1980s: Off the Wall (1978), An Evening with Robin Williams (1982), and Robin Williams: Live at the Met (1986). He later appeared on HBO in his one-man show called Robin Williams: Live on Broadway in 2002. In 2009, he had a 26-city tour titled "Weapons of Self-Destruction".
Williams had roles in more than 75 films. He received Academy Award nominations for his work in Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society and The Fisher King. In 1998, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Sean Maguire, a psychiatrist who helps a genius (played by Matt Damon) realize his potential, in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. He won Golden Globe Awards for his roles in Good Morning, Vietnam, The Fisher King and Mrs. Doubtfire. Some of his other acclaimed films and financial successes included Popeye, The World According to Garp, Awakenings, Hook, Jumanji, The Birdcage and Night at the Museum. Other film highlights included Moscow on the Hudson, Flubber, Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Bicentennial Man, Insomnia and One Hour Photo. He provided his voice in Aladdin, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Robots and Happy Feet. For a complete listing of his credits, please visit his IMDB page.
Survivors include his wife Susan Schneider; son Zachary with his first wife Valerie Verladi; and daughter Zelda, who's also an actress, and son Cody with his second wife Marsha Garces.
Mr. Williams was a gifted actor and comedian. He was a comic genius and amazing talent. There will never be another actor quite like him. When we first saw him as Mork on Happy Days, we knew he was destined for stardom. We thank him for the joy and laughter he brought us over the years. He will be greatly missed. We lost him far too soon. Na-Nu Na-Nu our friend.
MeTV remembered the legendary Robin Williams last night (August 11) by airing his first appearance ("My Favorite Orkan") as Mork on Happy Days. Tonight (August 12) they will air his second appearance ("Mork Returns") at 8:30. Mork & Mindy is currently off the air. It aired most recently on The Hub Network.
ABC will air a retrospective tonight (August 12) on 20/20 titled "The Life and Death of Robin Williams" at 10pm ET/PT. Stay with us for updates on any other tributes.
Teen Choice 2014 aired live on FOX from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday. This year, teens logged on to teenchoiceawards.com and cast more than 164 million votes in support of their favorite celebrities from film, television, music, sports, digital and fashion. Hosted by Modern Family's Sarah Hyland and Teen Wolf's Tyler Posey, the special also honored Selena Gomez with the Ultimate Choice Award. Bella Thorne and Cameron Dallas presented the "Choice Candie's Style Icon" award to actress, singer and dancer Zendaya for her red carpet style and bold fashion choices. Actress Odeya Rush scored the "Olay Fresh Effects Breakout Star Award," which was presented by MKTO and Cody Simpson. The award is a special accolade celebrating a fresh face who is poised to "break out" from the pack and showcase her best, beautiful work. Not surprisingly, the younger skewing TV series and stars were among the winners including Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf. See the full TV list below:
Choice TV Show: Drama "Pretty Little Liars"
Choice TV Actor: Drama Ian Harding, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Actress: Drama Lucy Hale, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Actress: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Show: Comedy The Big Bang Theory
Choice TV Actor: Comedy Ross Lynch, Austin & Ally
Choice TV Actress: Comedy Lea Michele, Glee
Choice TV: Animated Show The Simpsons
Choice TV: Reality Competition Show The Voice
Choice TV: Reality Show Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Choice TV Villain Dylan O'Brien, Teen Wolf
Choice TV Reality Personality - Male Adam Levine, The Voice
Choice TV Reality Personality - Female Shakira, The Voice
Choice TV Male Scene Stealer Tyler Hoechlin, Teen Wolf
Choice TV Female Scene Stealer Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries
Choice TV Female Breakout Star Sasha Pieterse, Pretty Little Liars
Choice TV: Male Breakout Star Brett Dalton, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Choice TV: Breakout Show Faking It
Choice Summer TV Show Wipeout
Choice Summer TV Star: Male Tyler Blackburn, Pretty Little Liars
Choice Summer TV Star: Female Ashley Benson, Pretty Little Liars
New on DVD/Blu-ray (December/January)
12/06 - Family Guy - Season Fourteen
12/13 - American Dad! - Volume 11
12/13 - Newhart - The Complete Seventh Season
01/03 - Girls - The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)
01/10 - Broad City - Season 3
01/17 - I Love Lucy - Superstar Special #2 (Colorized)
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume One
01/17 - The Love Boat - Season Three - Volume Two
01/24 - Hooperman - Season One
01/24 - Hooperman - Season Two
01/31 - Ballers - The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Thursday, January 19
The Big Bang Theory - "The Romance Calibration" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Penny feels that Leonard is taking her for granted, she decides to go on a spa weekend with Amy. Also, Wolowitz and Koothrappali try to fix a squeaky floorboard in the baby’s room.
The Great Indoors - "Mason Blows Up" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT)
Jack tries to reassert his dominance as a reporter after Mason scores an investigative coup that turns him into an overnight celebrity. Also, Clark’s low self-esteem causes him to give Emma relationship advice about other guys instead of asking her out himself
Mom - "Good Karma and the Big Weird" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Bonnie encourages Christy to pursue Marjorie’s charming nephew, Nick, despite the fact that he’s been declared off limits. Chris Pratt, husband of MOM star Anna Faris, guest stars as Nick, Marjorie’s nephew.
Life in Pieces - "Tailgate Spiral Souvenir Seating" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT)
When Colleen and Matt host the family tailgate party at the L.A. Rams game, they invite former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner to spice up their so far dismal event. Also, Tim’s in danger of missing the game when Sophia makes him take her to the restroom and they get sidetracked returning to their seats; Joan and Jen try to sneak into seats closer to the field; and Greg wins a chance to participate in a halftime contest involving a football toss.
Baskets - "Freaks" (FX, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Chip has to decide between a tarp and snacks.
Friday, January 20
- Anthony Anderson (black-ish/Guys with Kids/All About the Andersons) - Catch Anthony on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - JoAnna visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
- John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Cristela Alonzo (Cristela) - Cristela drops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Ken is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He also appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
- Nicole Byer (Loosely, Exactly Nicole) - Nicole appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Joe Jonas (Jonas L.A.) - Joe guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Bernadette Peters (Mozart in the Jungle/All's Fair) - Bernadette is a guest on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Queen Latifah (Living Single) - Queen Latifah is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
- Andrew Dice Clay (Bless This House/Hitz) - Andrew stops by Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
- Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory/Roseanne - Johnny discusses his role in the new film, Rings, and dishes on this season of The Big Bang Theory on the AOL Build Show at 1pm.