Robin Williams

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Robin Williams: Living the American Dream

Americans are blessed with the freedoms of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Each person is entitled to pursue the true dreams and desires of his or her heart. These individualized opportunities are often referred to as the American Dream. Difficulties frequently arise on the journey to one's dream. One must find a way to conquer these struggles to make his or her dream a reality. Through comedy and drama, Robin Williams, has overcome many obstacles to achieve his American Dream.

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on July 21,1951 in Chicago. Both of his parents were middle aged with grown children so Williams was raised as an only child. His father was a Ford Motor Company executive and his mother was a fashion model. Because his parents both had successful careers and were often absent the maid of the family raised Williams. He later explained "though he knew they loved him, they found it hard to communicate their affection. In fact, he says he began in comedy through his attempts to connect with his mother ‘ I'll make mommy laugh, and that'll be okay.' He was marked by the experience, being left with an acute fear of abandonment and a condition he describes as ‘Love Me Syndrome'"(Wills 1). The family moved frequently because of his father's job. Moving constantly never gave Williams a chance to establish friendships. He was a larger child and often made fun of. Williams developed his quick humor as a way to defend himself from taunts and teases. Finally, Williams' father retired and the family settled down in Marion County, CA. Williams was finally able to establish a place for himself and make friends. At last he felt accepted and like he "fit in."

After high school Williams began to attend college at Claremont Men's College where he majored in political science. It was while at Claremont he discovered acting. Williams began memorizing Jonathan Winter's (Williams' idol) records and taking lessons in improv. Soon Williams transferred to Marion College to study acting. He proved to be extremely gifted and was awarded a full scholarship to Julliard in New York City. At Julliard Williams studied under John Houseman and became best friends with Christopher Reeve. He started off in drama and was very promising. Williams worked as a mime and began practicing stand up to make extra money.

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