Remembering Robin Williams' TV career

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 09:32 AM Written by 

robin williams

CENTURY CITY, Calif. -- Although the late Robin Williams is probably best remembered as a movie star, his career was book-ended by starring roles in prime-time TV.

It was ABC's "Mork & Mindy," a "Happy Days" spin-off, that made him a star and he returned to TV in the 2013-14 comedy "The Crazy Ones," which CBS canceled in May.

I visited the show's set in January as part of a Television Critics Association set visit day and from what I recall, Williams was his usual funny self.

But when I look back at the transcript of the event, I realized that Williams didn't really talk that much. The show's producers and co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar (pictured with Williams above) responded to more questions, though there was one sweet and, in light of his death, sad exchange of unrealized potential.

Read more after the jump. ...

There was much conversation about how "The Crazy Ones," which starred Williams and Gellar as a father-daughter ad agency team, seemed to begin as a vehicle for Williams but expanded to become an ensemble as the show evolved.

Gellar, trying to compliment him, said Williams had every award but a Tony.

"I don't have a Tony," Williams acknowledged.

"So we're going to work on that, though," she said. "That's our goal by the end. We're going to get you a Tony. ... And so I think we always knew that we were just lucky to be in his presence and to get to play off it."

Williams said he appreciated his younger co-stars.

"It's a great group of people," Williams said. "The pressure's off, thank God. So I don't have to be a Robin Williams vehicle. It's a bus."

But cleary, the pressure was not off for Williams, who suffered for years from drug and alcohol addiction and depression, which is what ultimately claimed his life through suicide.

My old Albany Times-Union colleague Amy Biancolli, the paper's movie critic during Williams' cinematic golden years, offered her own response to the reaction to Williams' death by his own hand, informed by her own deeply personal experience. It's worth reading.

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