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 (March/April)
03/03 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now... In Living Color! (Blu-ray)
03/07 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - Mama's Family - Mama's Favorites
03/07 - That '70s Show - The Complete Series - Flashback Edition (Blu-ray)
03/07 - What I Like About You - The Complete Second Season
03/07 - You Me Her - Season One
03/14 - Newhart - The Final (Eighth) Season
03/14 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - Season Two
03/21 - Master of None - Season One
04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Sunday, April 23
The Simpsons - "The Cad and the Hat" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Bart betrays Lisa, he has to deal with his guilt – literally. Meanwhile, Springfield is in awe when Homer is revealed to be a chess savant.
Bob's Burgers - "Zero Lap Thirty" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
When Linda wins a contest to spend a dream weekend at the home where her favorite television show is filmed, things don’t go quite as planned. Back at home, Teddy’s back problems leave him stuck on the floor.
Bob's Burgers - "The Laser-inth" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Gene accompanies Bob on the last-ever rock-and-roll laser show at the planetarium, but the night takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, Linda takes the girls out for dinner and Louise has a surprise revelation.
Making History - "The Godfriender" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dan, Deb and Chris find themselves stuck in 1920s Chicago, with Al Capone (guest star Tim Robinson) holding their time travel bag hostage. Chris opts for a play-it-safe plan, using history to take out Capone, while Dan and Deb befriend him instead. As they teach him how to be a better mobster – and husband – they quickly realize that proving their loyalty may not be as easy as they thought.
Family Guy - "Hot Shots" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
In order to “save” Stewie from autism, Peter and Lois decide not to vaccinate him and then proceed to convince the rest of Quahog to follow suit. Stewie runs away to save himself from diseases until Sean Penn (guest-voicing as himself) swoops in to save the day and brings vaccines to the whole town.
The Last Man on Earth - "Name 20 Picnics...Now!" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The gang throws a huge celebration canvassing every major holiday, but Tandy and Todd’s bro-mance hits a rough patch that threatens to end the fun.
Monday, April 24
- Kathryn Hahn (Happyish/Transparent/Free Agents) - Watch Kathryn on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. She also talks about the new series I Love Dick on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- Allison Janney (Mom/Mr. Sunshine) - Allison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. She also chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
- Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Andrea Martin (Great News/Difficult People/Working the Engels) - Andrea stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
- Briga Heelan (Great News/Ground Floor) - Briga is a guest on Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
- Matt Walsh (Veep), Mary Holland (Blunt Talk) and Timothy Simons (Veep) - Matt, Mary and Timothy are guests on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Kumail drops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- John Leguizamo (The Brothers Garcia) - John guest co-hosts LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) - Cobie talks about making her Broadway debut in Present Laughter on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Katie Gill (Baby Daddy) - Katie is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
- Lisa Kudrow (Friends/The Comeback) - Lisa joins Clinton Kelly in the kitchen to make a delicious dessert with an ingredient she’s never had before—Rhubarb on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
- Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air/In the House/Silver Spoons) - Alfonso will be on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
- Kate Walsh (Bad Judge/The Drew Carey Show) - Kate talks about 13 Reasons Why on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
- Ron Howard (Happy Days/The Andy Griffith Show) - Ron is a guest on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.