|Air Date(s):|| As Host:|
February 11, 1984
November 22, 1986
January 23, 1988
April 11, 1981
February 25, 1984
December 4, 2010
October 13, 1984
April 6, 1985
December 16, 2000
October 30, 2010
|Impersonator(s):|| Martin Short|
Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid 1970s, he was credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. After rising to fame as Mork in Mork & Mindy (1978–1982), Williams went on to establish a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting.
After his film debut in Popeye (1980), he starred / co-starred in widely acclaimed films, including The World According to Garp (1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), Aladdin (1992), Good Will Hunting (1997), and One Hour Photo (2002), as well as financial successes, such as Hook (1991), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), and Night at the Museum (2006).
Williams was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. He received 2 Emmy Awards, 4 Golden Globe Awards, 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and 5 Grammy Awards throughout his career.
Williams hosted Saturday Night Live on February 11, 1984, November 22, 1986, and January 23, 1988. He also made cameo appearances on April 11, 1981 during the "Friends" miscellaneous sketch, on February 25, 1984 as the hockey player during the "Buddweiser Light" filmed commercial sketch, and on December 4, 2010 during the "What Up With That?" sketch.
On Saturday Night Live, he has been impersonated by Martin Short on the October 13, 1984 episode during the "Password" sketch and on the April 6, 1985 episode during the "A.D. 13 Part V: A New Beginning" sketch, by Jimmy Fallon on the December 16, 2000 episode during the "Celebrity Jeopardy!" sketch, and by Jon Hamm on the October 30, 2010 episode during the "Back to the Future 25th Anniversary DVD" filmed commercial sketch.
On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide by hanging at his home in Paradise Cay, California.
On the morning of August 11, 2014, Williams was found dead after having committed suicide by hanging at his home in Paradise Cay, California at age 63.
In the initial report released on August 12, the Marin County Sheriff's Office deputy coroner stated Williams had slashed his wrists, hanged himself with a belt, and died from asphyxiation. The final autopsy report, released in November 2014, affirmed that Williams had committed suicide as initially described; neither alcohol nor illegal drugs were involved while all prescription drugs present in his body were at "therapeutic" levels. The report also noted that Williams had been suffering a "recent increase in paranoia". An examination of his brain tissue revealed the presence of diffuse Lewy body dementia, which had been misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease.
Describing the disease as "the terrorist inside my husband's brain", his wife Susan Schneider stated that "however you look at it—the presence of Lewy bodies took his life." On August 12, his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay.