Actor Robin Williams Before Fame

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Uploaded 15 Jul 2007 — 41 favorites
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© Cynthia  Kiki Wallis
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

1976 San Francisco, CA.
Actors: Catalaine Knell and yes, the soon to be Hollywood Actor, Robin Williams.
PR shot by me for Play by Harold Pinter, "The Lover" which I also Produced & Directed in San Francisco 1976.
Yes, he was as funny then- off-stage. For his role in "The Lover" he was brilliant as was his counter-part Catalaine in the nuances of the Play. Evenings off Robin would go to the local
comedy clubs.
They got a standing ovation every night. Two very talented people.

5 responses

  • Slimeface

    Slimeface said (24 Mar 2008):

    This is great! He looks like Nikola Tesla :)

  • Jim Cripps

    Jim Cripps gave props (10 Apr 2008):

    Was he doing serious back then? Great shot, really fantastic!

  • Cynthia  Kiki Wallis

    Cynthia Kiki Wallis said (12 Apr 2008):

    Robin had just left the Juilliard School in New York and returned to Mill Valley and San Francisco. He took the audition spot of a fellow actor and friend of his who called to say he had just gotten a role in a show in Berkeley and was it ok if he sent an actor friend of his, over to audition... the friend was a wonderfully talented Robin Williams.
    Now to your question... I would assume that he had done some "serious" while studying at Juilliard. San Francisco Director, Lee Sankowitz tried to "steal" Robin away from "The Lover" for his theater show "Indians"... Lee was the original director for "One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest" and a terrific director... Robin was a great guy and stayed with "The Lover"... and then became famous in L.A. This is my observation from being his director, producer, etc. in 1975/76... Robin is a natural at improvisation, in fact he's brilliant at it, as most people have seen. Robin was in an improvization group in SF, the last group I believe, before they all slowly headed for L.A. San Francisco was very vibriant in those days, Coppola had a beautiful little theater on Pacific Avenue (Barbary Coast) where "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" was playing. Coppola and friends were putting out a magazine, there were theater and improve shows all over the North Beach/Broadway, and outer parts of the City and music and comedy... creative times.

    Serious was very difficult for Robin; to remember what it was he had just done and repeat it, wrenching. He did it every performance, beautifully, differently, close enough, but fresh, there... in no small part to the other wonderful actors that shared the stage and themselves with him, all at top form, all great actors. For "The Lover"... Robin and cast were brilliant "serious" with all the nuances. We were also probably one of the first integrated, non-specific theater casting/cast... the role of the milkman was not played by a white actor. I found it humourous, in a nice way, that this caused a small stir... today no one would blink an eye. No I don't think Robin had really done any serious before I cast and directed him in "The Lover".

  • molly .

    molly . gave props (19 Feb 2009):

    !!!!!! this is fantastic! he looks a little older now, huh? lol

  • Emily Simpson

    Emily Simpson gave props (23 Feb 2009):

    aww, Robin Williams is my favorite of all time

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