In Memoriam: Robin Williams

August 12, 2014 – September 9, 2014
Robin Williams by Michael Dressler. Color photograph on paper, 1979. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian; gift of Time magazine

National Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, North Floor Plan

A photograph of Robin Williams (1951-2014), taken for Time magazine by Michael Dressler in 1979, is on view. Williams was a madcap genius in performances of all types of entertainment, from stand-up to feature films. Known initially as a comedian, he surprised with his ability to play serious dramatic roles. His breakthrough came in the 1970s TV comedy Mork and Mindy; as the alien Mork, much of Williams’ dialogue was improvised, as would be the case in most of his comedic roles. Once established, Williams worked tirelessly in show business, going on to appear in many feature films, including Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993); he won an Oscar for his role as the psychologist in Good Will Hunting (1997). He played Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009). He also did voiceover work in animated films and returned to television with The Crazy Ones (2013–14).