A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A generous, appreciative biography of Robin Williams by a New York Times culture reporter. The author, who had access to Williams and members of the comedian's family, is an unabashed fan but doesn't shy away from the abundant messiness in his subject's personal life.--The New York Times Book Review
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITOR'S CHOICE
A SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A VULTURE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
From New York Times
culture 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 in Mork & Mindy
and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good 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 like Dead Poets Society
; Good Morning, Vietnam
; The Fisher King
; and Mrs. Doubtfire
, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting
he 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, Robin
is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.