Tag Archives: TV

ISIS hackers seize control of France’s TV5Monde network in ‘unprecedented’ attack

ISIS hackers seize control of France’s TV5Monde network in ‘unprecedented’ attack

Still unable to broadcast anything but pre-recorded programs  after “unprecedented” cyber attack as French government denounces “act of terrorism”

Hackers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) on Thursday seized control of TV5Monde, France‘s international TV network, knocking out its 11 channels, website and social media accounts in an attack the government dubbed an “act of terrorism”.

TV5Monde was still struggling to regain control of its channels on Thursday morning, forced to broadcast only pre-recorded programmes after what its director called an “unprecedented attack in the history of television” in which its systems were “severely damaged”. It was back to normal operations by 8pm on Thursday night.

Yves Bigot, the network’s chief, said he was shaken when a black screen appeared across the entire network at around 10pm local time on Wednesday night.

“When we discovered the sense of the message appearing on our social media and our websites, it both allowed us to understand what was happening and obviously worried us,” he told RTL radio.

At the same time, a group calling itself CyberCaliphate issued a message on the website of TV5Monde, which broadcasts to 200 countries, stating: “I am IS” – another term for Isil.

Technicians later pulled this down and posted an “under maintenance” sign.

The French government on Thursday denounced the cyberattack as an “act of terrorism”. Manuel Valls, the prime minister, said the cyber strike was an “unacceptable attack on the freedom of information and expression”.

Fleur Pellerin, the culture minister, said: “I offer all my support and solidarity to the team at TV5Monde, victims of an obvious terrorist act.”

She said she would convene a crisis meeting with “representatives from the broadcast media and perhaps the written press” on Friday to look at ways of preventing a repeat of such an attack.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve (L), Culture minister Fleur Pellerin (C) and Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius talk to the press after visiting French television network TV5Monde headquarters (AFP/Getty)

Bernard Cazeneuve, the interior minister, said an investigation had been launched into the channel hacking, adding:”We are facing determined terrorists and we are determined to fight them.”

The hackers posted documents on TV5Monde’s Facebook page purporting to be the identity cards and CVs of relatives of French soldiers involved in anti-Isil operations, along with threats against the troops.

“Soldiers of France, stay away from the Islamic State! You have the chance to save your families, take advantage of it,” read one message. “The CyberCaliphate continues its cyberjihad against the enemies of Islamic State,” it went on.

A French police officer stands guard in front of the main entrance of French television network TV5Monde headquarters (AFP/Getty)

TV5Monde was due to launch on Thursday a new channel dedicated to French “art de vivre”. Mr Bigot said he doubted the attack was timed to coincide with this at it would have required weeks of preparation.

It occurred on the day that France’s Senate published a report revealing that almost half of European jihadists known to have travelled to territory held by Isil are French. Some 1,500 French nationals are thought to have travelled to the area.

France has moved to strengthen its cyber security in the wake of the January terrorist attacks in Paris by gunmen claiming links to Isil and al-Qaida in Yemen. Afterwards, the defence minister said hackers had targeted some 19,000 French websites.

Isil has claimed complex hackings before – a group with the same name hacked Newsweek’s Twitter feed in February – but this appears to be its most spectacular act of cyber warfare to date.

When the attack was over Fleur Pellerin, the culture minister, warned other French media to remain “vigilant”, saying they could not rule out “similar powerful attacks happening that are already planned”.

Astronaut’s Final Farewell To Leonard Nimoy Goes Viral

Astronaut’s Final Farewell To Leonard Nimoy Goes Viral

On Friday, actor Leonard Nimoy, famous for his role in the iconic television show Star Trek, passed away at the age of 83, sending shockwaves across the country and prompting an astronaut on the International Space Station to tweet a final tribute to the actor who inspired countless people.

Terry W. Virts, an American aboard ISS, snapped a touching photo of himself giving the Vulcan salute back to Earth Saturday morning, speaking to the impact that Nimoy and Star Trek had on American space exploration, according to the Washington Post.

“Leonard Nimoy was an inspiration to multiple generations of engineers, scientists, astronauts, and other space explorers,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. “As Mr. Spock, he made science and technology important to the story, while never failing to show, by example, that it is the people around us who matter most. NASA was fortunate to have him as a friend and a colleague.”

According to Fox News, Nimoy died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease inside his Los Angeles home with his family at his side. His last public statement, made last Sunday on Twitter, was both thoughtful and bittersweet.

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory,” Nimoy wrote. The post was tagged with his customary sign off, “LLAP,” which is a shortened version of his character Mr. Spock’s catch phrase on Star Trek, “Live long and prosper.”

Nimoy said that an early stage role left him “obsessed” with pursuing work with a social impact during a 2009 Associated Press interview. A goal which he had easily achieved with his role as Mr. Spock.

“I’ve fulfilled that dream, including Star Trek, for that matter,” he said. “If that’s part of the legacy, then I’m very pleased with that. I would hope the work I chose to do had some reason for being done other than just simply being a job.”

Spock, Leonard Nimoy Dies at Age 83

Spock, Leonard Nimoy Dies at Age 83

Star Trek Leonard Nimoy Spock

Leonard Nimoy the gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

As part of the Yiddish Book Center Wexler Oral History Project, Leonard Nimoy explains the origin of the Vulcan hand signal used by Spock, his character in the “Star Trek” series.

Video by Yiddish Book Center on Publish DateFebruary 27, 2015. Photo by Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project.

Mr. Nimoy, who was teaching Method acting at his own studio when he was cast in the original “Star Trek” television series in the mid-1960s, relished playing outsiders, and he developed what he later admitted was a mystical identification with Spock, the lone alien on the starship’s bridge.

Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’ ” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some special effects that appear primitive by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

His stardom would endure. Though the series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings, a cultlike following — the conference-holding, costume-wearing Trekkies, or Trekkers (the designation Mr. Nimoy preferred) — coalesced soon after “Star Trek” went into syndication.

The fans’ devotion only deepened when “Star Trek” was spun off into an animated show, various new series and an uneven parade of movies starring much of the original television cast, including — besides Mr. Nimoy — William Shatner (as Captain Kirk), DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), George Takei (the helmsman, Sulu), James Doohan (the chief engineer, Scott), Nichelle Nichols (the chief communications officer, Uhura) and Walter Koenig (the navigator, Chekov).

When the director J. J. Abrams revived the “Star Trek” film franchise in 2009, with an all-new cast including Zachary Quinto as Spock, he included a cameo part for Mr. Nimoy, as an older version of the same character. Mr. Nimoy also appeared in the 2013 follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond “Star Trek” and crossed genres. He had a starring role in the dramatic television series “Mission: Impossible” and frequently performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography.

He also directed movies, including two from the “Star Trek” franchise, and television shows. And he made records, singing pop songs as well as original songs about “Star Trek,” and gave spoken-word performances — to the delight of his fans and the bewilderment of critics.

But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart, engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves.

In one of his most memorable “Star Trek” performances, Mr. Nimoy tried to follow in the tradition of two actors he admired, Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff, who each played a monstrous character — Quasimodo and the Frankenstein monster — who is transformed by love.

In Episode 24, which was first shown on March 2, 1967, Mr. Spock is indeed transformed. Under the influence of aphrodisiacal spores he discovers on the planet Omicron Ceti III, he lets free his human side and announces his love for Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland), a woman he had once known on Earth. In this episode, Mr. Nimoy brought to Spock’s metamorphosis not only warmth, compassion and playfulness, but also a rarefied concept of alienation.

“I am what I am, Leila,” Mr. Spock declares after the spores’ effect has worn off and his emotions are again in check. “And if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father worked as a barber.

From the age of 8, Leonard acted in local productions, winning parts at a community college, where he performed through his high school years. In 1949, after taking a summer course at Boston College, he traveled to Hollywood, though it wasn’t until 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, “Queen for a Day” and “Rhubarb.”

He continued to be cast in little-known movies, although he did presciently play an alien invader in a cult serial called “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” and in 1961 he had a minor role on an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” His first starring movie role came in 1952 with “Kid Monk Baroni,” in which he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer.

Mr. Nimoy served in the Army for two years, rising to sergeant and spending 18 months at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where he presided over shows for the Army’s Special Services branch. He also directed and starred as Stanley in the Atlanta Theater Guild’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” before receiving his final discharge in November 1955.

He then returned to California, where he worked as a soda jerk, movie usher and cabdriver while studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He achieved wide visibility in the late 1950s and early 1960s on television shows like “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide” and “Perry Mason.” Then came “Star Trek.”

Mr. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin, an affiliate of Antioch College in Ohio, in 1978. Antioch University later awarded Mr. Nimoy an honorary doctorate.

Mr. Nimoy directed the movies “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), which he helped write. In 1991, the same year that he resurrected Mr. Spock on two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

He then directed the hugely successful comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), a far cry from his science-fiction work, and appeared in made-for-television movies. He received an Emmy nomination for the 1982 movie “A Woman Called Golda,” in which he portrayed the husband of Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, who was played by Ingrid Bergman. It was the fourth Emmy nomination of his career — the other three were for his “Star Trek” work — although he never won.

Mr. Nimoy’s marriage to the actress Sandi Zober ended in divorce. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild; and an older brother, Melvin.

Though his speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor, the critical consensus was that his music was mortifying. Mr. Nimoy, however, was undaunted, and his fans seemed to enjoy the camp of his covers of songs like “If I Had a Hammer.” (His first album was called “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.”)

From 1977 to 1982, Mr. Nimoy hosted the syndicated series “In Search Of …,” which explored mysteries like the Loch Ness monster and U.F.O.s. He also narrated “Ancient Mysteries” on the History Channel and appeared in commercials, including two with Mr. Shatner for Priceline.com. He provided the voice for animated characters in “Transformers: The Movie,” in 1986, and “The Pagemaster,” in 1994.

In 2001 he voiced the king of Atlantis in the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” and in 2005 he furnished voice-overs for the computer game Civilization IV. More recently, he had a recurring role on the science-fiction series “Fringe” and was heard, as the voice of Spock, in an episode of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”

Mr. Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts as well. The Thalia, a venerable movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, now a multi-use hall that is part of Symphony Space, was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002.

He also found his voice as a writer. Besides his autobiographies, he published “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” in 2002. Typical of Mr. Nimoy’s simple free verse are these lines: “In my heart/Is the seed of the tree/Which will be me.”

In later years, he rediscovered his Jewish heritage, and in 1991 he produced and starred in “Never Forget,” a television movie based on the story of a Holocaust survivor who sued a neo-Nazi organization of Holocaust deniers.

In 2002, having illustrated his books of poetry with his photographs, Mr. Nimoy published “Shekhina,” a book devoted to photography with a Jewish theme, that of the feminine aspect of God. His black-and-white photographs of nude and seminude women struck some Orthodox Jewish leaders as heretical, but Mr. Nimoy asserted that his work was consistent with the teachings of the kabbalah.

His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.

“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended.

But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”

‘Gerbil’ answer cracks everyone up on ‘Family Feud’; here’s the question…

‘Gerbil’ answer cracks everyone up on ‘Family Feud’; here’s the question…

“Family Feud” contestants often come up with some surprising answers, but few can top the one offered by player Darci: “Gerbils” was her response.

OK, if “gerbils” was her answer after hitting the buzzer at lightening speed, what was the questions?

“Name something a doctor might pull out of a person,” asked host Steve Harvey.

And gerbils was her best response?

“I’ve heard of this,” Harvey said.

After cracking up, her opponent responded with the no. 5 answer: “A baby.”

Brian Williams Says About His Daughter’s Analingus Scene ‘No Animals Were Harmed’

Brian Williams Says About His Daughter’s Analingus Scene ‘No Animals Were Harmed’

Screenshot/HBO Girls

During Sunday night’s season premiere of HBO’s Girls, Lena Dunham and company once again pushed the boundaries with a racy sex scene in which Allison Williams was on the receiving end of… well… the receiving end.

The show’s cast seemingly hopes to create a new normal in revolutionizing television, and scene’s like Williams’s, pictured above, will spearhead the show to the front of the movement, while focusing on the “backs” of its characters.

Vulture spoke to Allison about the episode; she revealed that she went to her parents for advice, beforehand, on how to approach filming the scene.

“I got some advice from my parents, because they too are veterans of the show, so their thinking has changed as well,” she said. “Just your regular dinner conversation! We’re changing as a family; it’s lovely.”

Allison also told Entertainment Weekly about the elaborate preparations for the simulated sex act, which reportedly involved Spanx, menstrual pads, and “two of those weird thongs.”

“It’s total TV magic,” she said.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, Allison’s father, weighed in on the release of the new season’s first episode, in which his daughter, who was recently panned for her performance in Peter Pan Live, was the subject of the indecent act.

During the interview, Williams was asked how he felt about his daughter’s performance in the scene, which aired while Sunday evening’s Golden Globe awards were being hosted in Los Angeles.

“She’s always been an actress. For us, watching her is the family occupation and everybody has to remember it’s acting, no animals were harmed during the filming, and ideally nobody gets hurt,” he explained.

Lena Dunham, creator and writer of the series, said that she’s proud of Allison for being a “good sport,” and offered some insight as to how personal something like the aforementioned sex act actually is.

“Let me tell you this, when someone puts their face in your butt, whether there’s a barrier or not, their face is still in your butt. And she handled that with aplomb,” said Dunham.

Zosia Mamet, who plays Shoshanna Shapiro on the show, said she understands that Dunham and the other writers wouldn’t incorporate anything that’s “uncomfortable or scary” into the script, unless it served a purpose.

“So whenever she writes something that’s uncomfortable or scary, we just roll up our sleeves and we can’t wait to do it for her and for our show. It’s not just, you know, a little eatin’ out from behind. It matters!” she said.

According to cast member Alex Karpovsky, there’s a sexual revolution evolving this year, and this episode may be a representation of what to expect in the future of television.

“Maybe that’s one of the cliffs or peaks that we need to begin to incorporate into our societal representation of this revolution, specifically in television. This could be the year of the anus,” he said.

Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco A Feminist?

Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco A Feminist?

Kaley Cuoco from TV's Big Bang Theory who's the blonde Penny
Kaley Cuoco from TV’s Big Bang Theory

When most people think of Hollywood, a bastion of liberal ideology comes to mind. When we hear about someone who doesn’t follow lock-step with the militant left, it’s beyond refreshing, which is exactly why liberals are going to hate what Kaley Cuoco had to say about a topic they’ve seemed to turn up the heat on.

In an interview with Redbook, the February cover girl revealed that she falls in line with traditional gender roles, despite the fact she’s one of television’s highest paid actresses. She even went as far as to say that she loves taking care of her man and it’s not something she’s ashamed to admit.

Cuoco was asked if she’s a feminist, which is obviously a loaded question in itself.

“Is it bad if I say no?” she responded. The Big Bang Theory star went on to elaborate what she meant, and her thoughts blow serious holes in the modern feminist movement.

“It’s not really something I think about,” she said. “Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around… I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that’s because I’ve never really faced inequality.”

She also said she cooks for her husband of one year, tennis player Ryan Sweeting, at least five nights a week.

“It makes me feel like a housewife,” she said. “I love that.”

“I know it sounds old-fashioned,” Cuoco continued. “But I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I’m so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mom was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off.”

Another aspect of life that doesn’t seem to align with the militant left is her views on family. She makes nearly $1 million an episode for her role as “Penny” on the Big Bang Theory, saying that she takes comfort in knowing that she can provide for her family, because if it wasn’t for them, her success wouldn’t have been possible.

“My parents spent 16 years hauling my butt to LA for audition after audition,” she said. “Every day they were helping me learn my lines, dropping me off, waiting for me, picking me up, giving me pep talks when I didn’t get the jobs, taking me to tennis and horseback riding lessons. I remember always hoping I could help take care of them because they took such good care of me.  Knowing I’ll be able to just brings tears to my eyes.”

It would appear as if Cuoco is more than likely a conservative living in the liberal Hollywood world, wouldn’t you agree? Hopefully there’s plenty more like her who stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to speak to their values, even if they are diametrically opposed to the left’s.

Alaska TV Reporter Quits on Air: ‘F**k It, I Quit’, Going to Sell Weed

Alaska TV Reporter Quits on Air: ‘F**k It, I Quit’, Going to Sell Weed

Charlo Greene, Alaska TV Report quits on air weed cannabis pot marijuana
Charlo Greene, Alaska TV Report quits on air

, a reporter at CBS affiliate KTVA in Anchorage quit her job on air last night, telling viewers, “Fuck it. I quit.”

Greene was reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club. Following the story, she revealed she is the owner of the medical marijuana business and was going to be leaving TV news so she could devote her time to pushing for marijuana legalization in Alaska.

At the end of the report, she stunned viewers, and the newscast anchor, with this:

 

‘Be Kind. Love Hard. Remember’: Husband’s Heartbreaking Message

‘Be Kind. Love Hard. Remember’: Husband’s Heartbreaking Message After His Wife Dies in Tragic Accident

Accomplished Chicago theater actress Molly Glynn, who also played a recurring role as a doctor on the TV series “Chicago Fire,” died after a tree fell and struck her during a storm. She was 46.

Molly Glynn (Image source: Facebook)
Molly Glynn (Image source: Facebook)

Glynn was bicycle riding with her husband, fellow actor Joe Foust, on Friday afternoon in Erickson Woods Forest Preserve in suburban Northfield, WBBM-TV said. Soon they were caught in a fast-moving storm, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing a Facebook post from Foust.

More from the Tribune:

Glynn, who was riding behind Foust, yelled that the two should take cover. A split second later, Foust said he heard a loud crack and saw a tree fall down behind him in the rear-view mirror of his bicycle. One of the branches hit Foust’s back, but he said he is doing fine.

He said Glynn wore a helmet.

Foust said it took the forest preserve police about 20 minutes before they found them. He said he tried calling 911 several times before he could get through, likely because of weather.

He said he believed a strong wind was responsible for uprooting the tree that killed his wife.

“It was harsh and quick,” said Foust, who had been married to Glynn for about four years, the Tribune reported.

Glynn died at Evanston Hospital about 18 hours after the accident, WBBM reported, citing a hospital representative.

“I couldn’t save her,” Foust noted in a Facebook post, noting it was “the darkest day” of his life and that “(t)hings will never be the same.”

On Sunday Foust posted a poignant note on Facebook along with a photo of him wearing his and Glynn’s wedding rings:

Joe Foust (Image source: Facebook)
Joe Foust (Image source: Facebook)

“Preparing to say final goodbye before she goes off to surgery to donate her organs,” Foust wrote. “I know it’s just a shell now, but I’ve grown used to the comfort of her body here in this room. Be kind. Love hard. Remember.”

The executive director of First Folio Theatre and a family friend, David Rice, said Sunday that Glynn was “loving and generous” and an “incredibly talented” actress.

The artistic director of the Glencoe-based Writers Theatre, Michael Halberstam, calls Glynn’s death “an incalculable loss.”

Glynn leaves behind two teenage boys, Chance, 17, and Declan, 13, the Tribune reported, citing Foust.

The following report on the accident aired via WBBM before Glynn died. While the on-air reporter says the victim is 45, the text of the WBBM story identifies Glynn as 46, as does the AP and the Tribune.

Actor Robin Williams dead at 63, apparent suicide

Actor Robin Williams dead at 63, apparent suicide

Robin William died dead suicide
Actor Robin Williams speaks onstage during “The Crazy Ones” panel discussion at the CBS, Showtime and The CW portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.  FREDERICK M. BROWN, GETTY IMAGES

The actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead today at his home in Tiburon, Calif. Police say it appears to have been a suicide. Williams was 63 years old.

Emergency personnel were called to the house in Marin County, north of San Francisco, around noon. Officials say the cause of death is suspected to be asphyxiation, but a forensic exam and toxicology tests will be conducted.

Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, issued a statement Monday evening:

“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

A statement from Robin Williams’s press representative said he had been “battling severe depression.”

Williams first rose to fame from the stand-up comedy circuit in the 1970s, with a manic improvisational style all his own. He appeared on the sitcom “Happy Days” and then starred as a lovable alien on its popular spin-off, “Mork & Mindy,” from 1978 to 1982.

Williams went on to prove he had serious acting talent as well. He delivered critically praised performances in films like “Good Morning, Vietnam” (1987), “Dead Poets Society” (1989), “Awakenings” (1990), and “Good Will Hunting” (1997), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He was a comic whirlwind as a cartoon genie in Disney’s “Aladdin” (1992) and “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993).

Williams also won three Golden Globes, for “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “The Fisher King.”

In his most recent TV series, “The Crazy Ones,” which aired on CBS last year, Williams played a quirky genius who ran an advertising agency with his daughter, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Gellar is among those who paid tribute to Williams on Monday, joining Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Henry Winkler and many others expressing their sorrow on social media.

“I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul,” Martin wrote.

Despite all the laughter on screen, his personal life was often troubled. He acknowledged drug and alcohol problems in the 1970s and ’80s. A close friend of “Saturday Night Live” star John Belushi, Williams was one of the last to see him before Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982. Over the years, Williams also went through two highly publicized divorces.

Williams got sober and maintained it for two decades. But in 2006, he slipped back into alcoholism and entered rehab. Then this summer, Williams spoke about fact thathe had been drinking once again and checked back into rehab.

Williams was born in Chicago in 1951. He said he was shy as a child and got laughs at home by mimicking his grandmother. He joined the drama club in high school and studied acting at Juilliard, where his teacher, the renowned actor John Houseman, encouraged his talent for comedy.

Williams admired boundary-pushing comics likeJonathan Winters, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, and wasn’t afraid to push boundaries of his own.

“You look at the world and see how scary it can be sometimes and still try to deal with the fear,” he told the Associated Press in 1989. “Comedy can deal with the fear and still not paralyze you or tell you that it’s going away. You say, OK, you got certain choices here, you can laugh at them and then once you’ve laughed at them and you have expunged the demon, now you can deal with them. That’s what I do when I do my act.”

Robin Williams Mrs Doubtfire
Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire movie.

Williams reportedly had several film projects in the works when he passed away, including “Night at the Museum 3” and a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel that was in the development stages.

He is survived by his wife and three children from previous marriages. On July 31, he posted an old photo of himself and daughter Zelda, with a caption wishing her a happy 25th birthday.

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