From Mork To Simon: Robin Williams' TV Roles And Appearances We'll Never Forget
Before becoming a theater-packing movie star, the Emmy-winning Robin Williams found his big break on the small screen, and the sorrowful news of his August 11 death came nearly eleven months after his return to series television following a 31-year absence. There is no expiration date on any of Williams’ innumerable energetic performances, and we thought now would be a good time to celebrate a selection of his most memorable television roles and appearances. Hop into the egg ship and come along with us, won’t you?
As MorkHaving built up cred as a manic stand-up comedian, Williams landed a bit part on the hit series Happy Days as Mork, an alien who tries to bring Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham back to Ork, his home planet. Producer Garry Marshall was so impressed with Williams’ comedic stylings that Mork & Mindy was born, and turned into one of the more enjoyable spinoffs in TV’s failure-filled history. (Joanie Loves Chachi, am I right?) With Pam Dawber as his charismatic Earthling roommate-turned-wife, Williams brought charm and unpredictability to the “outsider” archetype that other series often turned into a mockery. Who else could have turned “nanu-nanu” into a widespread catchphrase greeting?
As the Frog PrinceIn 1982, the same year that Mork & Mindy went off the air, Williams starred opposite Teri Garr in an episode of Faerie Tale Theater, as written and directed by Monty Python’s Eric Idle. Williams plays the Frog Prince, though he’s only a frog puppet for most of the episode, only turning into a human at the end. And I don’t mind telling you that his transformation scene is nearly as disturbing as Rick Baker’s famed American Werewolf in London makeup, just in a completely different way. Check out the full episode on Hulu here, and get ready for some bedroom magic after all that talking frog business.
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