Kim Hamlin
6 min readMay 1, 2022



The Best Medicine with Robin Williams

And It’s All Natural

neon “LAUGH” sign
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

When I was told that Robin Williams had passed, I didn’t believe it. I certainly didn’t believe he had taken his own life. I waited for a punchline, or word that it was just a fake internet story…but, no, it was the heartbreaking truth.

“On August 11, 2014, the actor was found dead in his home at the age of 63.”

Tears fell down my face without me even being aware. He made me laugh harder than anyone ever had. I watched his movies over and over again, but now, he was gone.

Robin was born in Chicago on July 21, 1951. He attended Claremont Men’s College and the College of Marin before enrolling at the Juilliard School in New York. Later, he left school and experimented with comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles, developing a successful, stand-up act.

Robin worked on “The Richard Pryor Show”, “Laugh-In”, and “Eight Is Enough” before audiences met him as the alien, ‘Mork’. Prior to “Mork & Mindy”, ‘Mork’, debuted on “Happy Days”. Pam Dawber co-starred in “Mork & Mindy” when it debuted in 1978.

Robin’s big-screen debut was the lead role of a spinach-eating sailor, in “Popeye”, co-starring Shelley Duvall.

old school picture of Popeye the Sailor Man
Photo by Taton Moïse on Unsplash

A string of successful film roles followed. He was the title character in “The World According to Garp”, and a Russian musician defecting to America in “Moscow on the Hudson”. In “Good Morning Vietnam”, he was radio DJ ‘Adrian Cronauer’, while in “Dead Poets Society”, he was a free-thinking teacher ‘John Keating’.

While his career was taking off, Robin faced some personal challenges. Drugs and alcohol problems developed while working on “Mork and Mindy”, and he would struggle with addiction for more than two decades. He also had some relationship problems; while married to actress, Valerie Velardi, he was involved with other women. Williams and Velardi divorced in 1988. The following year, he married his son’s nanny, Marsha Garces.

Despite these setbacks, Robin continued acting. He appeared in Penny Marshall’s “Awakenings” and…



Kim Hamlin

Write. Edit. Research. Edit some more. Repeat.