FromNew York Timesculture reporter Dave Itzkoff, the definitive biography of Robin Williams – a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers.
From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role inMork & Mindyand his Academy Award-winning performance inGood Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.
But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films likeDead Poets Society;Good Morning, Vietnam;The Fisher King;Aladdin; andMrs. Doubtfire, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And inGood Will Huntinghe gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent.
Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression – topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews – and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research,Robinis a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.