Updated: 08/27/2018 01:34 PM | First Published: 08/27/2018 11:19 AM

First actor to voice Genie and 4 other facts about Robin Williams



Words are certainly not enough to describe the legacy and chronicles of legendary actor and comedian, Robin Williams. Millions of people loved him and celebrated his glory. From his debut in the 1980 musical comedy film, Popeye, he turned in great performances in dozens of movies, including Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poet Society, Aladdin, The Birdcage, Jumanji and many more. In 1997, he won the Academy Award For Best Supporting Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting.

Unfortunately, on August 11, 2014, he lost his long battle with depression and took his own life. When he passed away, we not only lost a Hollywood star, we also lost a little brightness from the world. Honoring his legacy, Marina Zenovich made the documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, and David Itzkoff wrote a biography entitled Robin

Today, looking back at his honorable journey, eCelebrityFacts has collected some interesting facts about the pearl of Hollywood. 

#5. Declined Voicing Genie A Number of Times

Before the Williams voiced character of Genie, in the 1992 animated hit, Aladdin, became a fan favorite, voice acting was almost always the realm of professional voice actors. People were specifically trained to lend voices to animated characters. However, the rise of Williams as a celebrity voice actor led to many more celebrities voicing animated characters. 

Robin Williams (left) voicing Genie (right)

At first, when Disney offered Williams the role of Genie, he declined it a number of times. So, in order to persuade him to take the role, Disney animated Genie performing Robin’s stand-up comedy bit about schizophrenia. After watching the video, he was so impressed that he signed the contract without a second thought. Afterward, he continued his voice work in some successful movies like Aladdin and the King of Thieves and the Happy Feet series.

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#4. Friend with Koko

In 2001, Robin Williams was invited to meet with Koko, the communicating female gorilla at The Gorilla Foundation in California. Many people were curious about what might happen, but, to everyone’s surprise, Koko, who had watched one of Williams’ movies, recognized him and the two tickled and hugged each other

Koko (right) is kissing Robin Williams' (left) hand

The pair became very good friends with each other. Reportedly, Koko expressed deep grief after hearing the news of Robin’s death. The foundation also posted a tribute video to Williams. Sadly, Koko also passed away at the age of 46 on June 19, 2018.

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#3. Unscripted Cameo on Friends

Every fan of the hit sitcom, Friends might remember the sweet cameo of Billy Crystal and Robin Williams as Tim and Tomas. Though the cameo might seem like it was scripted, it is not. 

Billy Crystal and Robin Williams as Tim and Tomas on the set of Friends

Crystal and Williams who were good friends happened to be in the same building where the sitcom was being filmed. So, writers asked if they wanted to appear in the show and they said yes. The whole scene was written and filmed on the same day. He and Billy were amazing friends that used to talk on the phone for hours. 

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#2. An Epic Friendship with Christopher Reeve

Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve’s friendship has been labeled as an “extraordinary one.” They were roommates at the Juilliard School in New York back in 1973. As always, Juilliard had opened admission for 20 freshman students. But, among the more than 2000 applicants, only two, Williams and Reeve got accepted by John Houseman for the advanced classes. They went on to become Superman and Patch Adams in the future. 

Christopher Reeve and Robin  Williams wearing tux while Reeve is holding an award

Their friendship is a known story. The college friends, who enjoyed pinnacles of success in their respective acting careers, met each other after years in 1995 when Reeve was fighting for his life at University of Virginia Medical Center following a devastating horse-riding accident. Williams’ surprise visit to the hospital increased Reeve’s interest to live. Reeve said in his autobiography, Still Me, that Williams unexpectedly showed up as a Russian proctologist and provided comic relief to his bruises. Reportedly, Williams had supported Reeve’s medical bills and remained active in The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation until his death. 

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#1. Legacy of Laughter 

Williams blasted into our living rooms in 1978 as the lovable and zany alien Mork, on the hit sitcom, Mork & Mindy. Renowned for his hyper-comedy performances, many of his peers have marveled at his amazing feats throughout the years.

Robin Williams is laughing with his mouth wide open

Let us remind you of Williams’ iconic appearance on Inside the Actors Studio alongside host, James Lipton. During the interview, he entertained the audience for five hours, which had to be edited down to the first two-hour episode that the show ever aired. One audience member even had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance after he suffered a hernia induced by laughing too hard at Williams. We dare you to name a better comedian... Go ahead, we’ll wait. 

No one can ever take your place, Robin. You will always be remembered. May your departed soul rest in peace.

References

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