Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rivers' daughter: 'Keeping our fingers crossed'

NEW YORK (AP) - Joan Rivers' loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed," her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement, thanking people who have expressed support for the 81-year-old comedian. Rivers on Friday described her mother's condition as serious.

Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday, a day after she spoke at an employee event at Time Inc. in New York. Spectators there said she had appeared to be well.

Rivers is the host of "Fashion Police" on E! and presides over an online talk show, "In Bed With Joan." She also co-stars with her daughter on the WEtv reality show "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"

Two of her "Fashion Police" co-stars tweeted their well-wishes to Joan Rivers and her family Saturday.

"Praying for Joan Rivers and Mel Rivers," Giuliana Rancic tweeted. "Even though Joan's the strongest woman I know, every single prayer counts. I love you, Joan."

"4 the first time in years I got down on my knees & prayed tonight!" Kelly Osbourne wrote. "I encourage U 2 do the same 4 Joan Rivers my grandma!"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Car Tied to Suspected Threat Against Obama Found in Connecticut

(Reuters) - A car sought in connection with a suspected threat against President Barack Obama has been located in Connecticut, authorities said on Saturday.

The U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security, had asked state police for help in locating the car in connection with a possible threat to the president, State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said.

Both the state police and the Secret Service declined to specify the nature of the threat.

The vehicle, a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, was found late Friday night in Hamden, a suburb of New Haven, Vance said.

Obama on Friday night was in Newport, Rhode Island, which is about 90 miles east of Hamden, attending a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser.

The Secret Service, in a statement on Saturday, said that it had investigated information about a suspicious person and vehicle and was working to determine its validity.

"There have been no arrests or charges brought in this case at this point," Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor said in the statement.

The car was found near an ice rink and a group of apartment complexes, police said.

(Reporting by Richard Weizel; Editing by Jonathan Kaminsky and Leslie Adler)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Family of Late Shooting Instructor Feels Sorry For Girl, 9, Who Shot Their Dad

NEW YORK (AP) -- The family of an Arizona shooting range instructor accidentally killed by a 9-year-old girl while he was teaching her to use an Uzi say they feel sorry for the child.
Instructor Charles Vacca was standing next to the girl on Monday at the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, when she squeezed the trigger. The recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, and the 39-year-old Vacca was fatally shot once in the head.
His daughter, 19-year-old Ashley, told NBC's "Today" show ( ) that the family knows it was a tragic accident and something she'll have to live with.

Prosecutors say they will not file charges. The identities of the girl and her family have not been released.

Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt quietly married on Saturday

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were married Saturday in the French hamlet of Correns, a spokesman for the couple says.
Jolie and Pitt wed in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends at Provence's Chateau Miraval. In advance of the nondenominational civil ceremony, Pitt and Jolie obtained a marriage license from a local California judge. The judge also conducted the ceremony in France.

The couple's children took part in the wedding. Jolie walked the aisle with her eldest sons Maddox and Pax. Zahara and Vivienne threw flower petals. Shiloh and Knox served as ring bearers, the spokesman says.

Jolie and Pitt's wedding caps years of rampant speculation on when the couple would officially tie the knot. Pitt once said that he didn't want to marry until gay marriage was legal, but in recent years, both said they intended to. They were engaged in early 2012 after some seven years together.

"It's an exciting prospect, even though for us, we've gone further than that," Pitt told The Associated Press in an interview in November 2012. "But to concretize it in that way, it actually means more to me than I thought it would. It means a lot to our kids."

They have six children together, including three they adopted: 13-year-old Maddox, from Cambodia; 10-year-old Pax, from Vietnam; and 9-year-old Zahara, from Ethiopia. The couple's three biological children are 8-year-old Shiloh, and Knox and Vivienne, 6-year-old twins.

This is the second marriage for Pitt, who wed Jennifer Aniston in 2000. They divorced in 2005.
Jolie was previously married to British actor Jonny Lee Miller for three years in the late '90s and to Billy Bob Thornton for three years before divorcing in 2003.

Both Jolie and Pitt are prepping movies. Jolie's second directorial effort, the World War II odyssey "Unbroken," will be released in December. Pitt stars in the upcoming World War II drama "Fury," due out Oct. 17.

Daughter: Joan Rivers is in 'serious condition'

NEW YORK (AP) - Joan Rivers remained in serious condition in a New York City hospital Friday, one day after going into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office.

Melissa Rivers said in a statement Friday that her mother was "receiving the best treatment and care possible." She also thanked Rivers' fans and friends for their support.

"My mother would be so touched by the tributes and prayers that we have received from around the world," Melissa Rivers said. "Her condition remains serious ... We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts as we pray for her recovery."

The Mount Sinai Hospital said it had no updates Friday. On Thursday, hospital spokesman Sid Dinsay confirmed that Rivers had been taken there that morning.

New York City police officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly name Rivers, said she was taken to the hospital just after 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It was unclear why she was visiting the doctor's office.

The comedian with a half-century of show business under her belt has spawned a reputation for often-snarky red carpet fashion commentary. A show she had scheduled Friday at the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey, has been postponed.

An early and outspoken proponent of cosmetic surgery, Rivers' drastically altered her appearance over the years - and found plenty of material for jokes. ("I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.")

The host of "Fashion Police" on E! network, Rivers also presides over an online talk show, "In Bed With Joan" and co-stars with her daughter on the WEtv reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?"

Her latest book, "Diary of a Mad Diva," was released this summer.

In 2009, Rivers emerged as the winner of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice." A documentary, "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," premiered in theaters in 2010.

The New York native originally entered show business with the dream of a theatrical career, but comedy became a way to pay the bills while she auditioned for acting roles.

"Somebody said, 'You can make six dollars standing up in a club,'" she told The Associated Press in 2013, "and I said, 'Here I go!' It was better than typing all day."

After proving herself in comedy clubs as a rarity - a woman comedian - Rivers was a smash on her first booking on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1965. "God, you're funny," Carson told her.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Film producer Charles Belk confused with bank robber, held for hours

Charles Belk, who was handcuffed after mistakenly being taken for a bank robber, is seen in this photo posted to Facebook.
Charles Belk stated on Facebook that he left a restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard and was walking alone to his car parked on La Cienega Boulevard at about 5:20 p.m. to check the parking meter when he was suddenly surrounded by police and told to sit on the curb.

A picture posted with the statement on Facebook showed Belk, who is credited as a producer and actor on his IMDb page, in handcuffs as he sat on the sidewalk with two officers nearby.

"I get that the Beverly Hills Police Department didn't know that I was a well educated American citizen that had received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, an MBA from Indiana University ... and an executive leadership certificate from Harvard Business School," Belk's statement read. "Hey, I was 'tall,' 'bald,' a 'male' and 'black,' so I fit the description."

Belk's Facebook comments, posted Saturday on his personal page, were shared nearly 30,000 times by Tuesday.

Police were investigating an armed bank robbery that had just occurred and arrested Belk because he "matched the physical characteristics of the second suspect and was in the area of the bank shortly after the robbery," the Beverly Hills Police Department stated in a news release on Monday.

A witness then positively identified Belk as the second suspect, according to the news release.

Belk wrote that he was not initially told why he was being detained.

"Within an hour, I was transported to the Beverly Hills Police Headquarters, photographed, fingerprinted and put under a $100,000 bail and accused of armed bank robbery and accessory to robbery of a Citibank," Belk said in the statement.

Belk also said he was not allowed to make a phone call and was denied the opportunity to speak to his lawyer for a lengthy time.

Belk was in custody for about six hours while investigators reviewed evidence from the robbery, the Police Department stated.

During that time, other witnesses were interviewed and surveillance tape was analyzed. Finally, it was determined that Belk was not the second suspect, according to the news release.

"What I don't get ... is why, during the 45 minutes that they had me on the curb, handcuffed in the sun, before they locked me up and took away my civil rights, that they could not simply review the ATM and bank's HD video footage to clearly see that the 'tall, bald-headed, black male' ... did not fit MY description," Belk's statement read.

Belk's arrest comes amid a string of controversial incidents between police and African-American men, including the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Police in Beverly Hills said Belk's detention was regrettable but was a necessary part of their investigation.

"The Beverly Hills Police Department regrets the inconvenience to Mr. Belk, but was under obligation to thoroughly verify that he was not the suspect before releasing him," the police statement read.

Police did arrest one other person in Friday's incident, identified as Brianna Kloutse, 47, who is suspected in 11 recent bank robberies in the Los Angeles area, according to police. The second robber - who Belk was mistaken for - remains at large, the Police Department stated.
Witchy says ,all ethnic groups listen up , you may learn something :
Crime has a lot to do with economic circumstances regardless of race. Of course, black people who's ancestors were slaves, not able to be educated, discriminated against, etc. means that a lot of black people come from certain economic circumstances.

That being said, why should I be punished because of someone who looks like me? Should I assume every white person is racist because white racists exist? Even if I did, less harm would be done to them by me because I would do my best to stay away. If they assumed I was a thug, a gangster, or a criminal, though, I could be detained, unlawfully charged, or even killed if it's assumed I'm "violent." I wish that more people would acknowledge that black people are often times treated worse through no fault of their own. But no, racism is over and everything is just peachy... BULLSHIT !!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Man Missing Since 1977 Found In Oklahoma Using New Name

A Canadian man who was thought to have died in a fire back in 1977 in Kitchener , Canada has been found living in Oklahoma with a new family.

 Ronald Stan was just 32 years old when he mysteriously vanished. It was speculated that he had burned to death in a barn fire, despite the fact firefighters couldn't find any trace of his body. Nine years later, an Ontario court declared Stan dead.

Fast forward another 28 years, when a routine audit reopened the case and found that Stan had been living in Oklahoma under the name Jeff Walton. He confirmed his identity to the Ontario Provincial Police, but he wouldn't discuss any further details on why he left Canada.

His Oklahoman son, who was unaware of his father's previous life,
told The Star, "I'm still trying to put all the puzzle pieces together myself."

What's even stranger,
Stan's uncle Edward knew he was alive the entire time. Apparently he was shocked to learn that his nephew had been declared dead in the first place.

Edward told reporters that he had seen Stan at a family funeral in 1997.

Now that's  a  riot  ...  What  a  kick in the  head  ... he  sure  when to a lot  of  trouble  to   get rid  of  his  baggage .... HeHe

Billy Cystral remembers Robin Williams at Emmys

Billy Crystal BY JAKE COYLE
Billy Crystal, left speechless by Robin Williams' death, paid tribute to his great friend and comedy brother at the Emmy Awards, movingly remembering him as "the greatest friend you could ever imagine."
Following the Emmys' in memoriam segment Monday night, Crystal appeared on stage at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre to honor Williams, who was found dead in his Northern California home on Aug. 11. A luminous image of the late comedian hovered overhead.
"He made us laugh, big time," said Crystal.
After Williams' apparent suicide, Crystal simply wrote on Twitter of his longtime friend and Comic Relief co-host: "No words."

Actor Robin Williams, left, shares a light moment with fellow actor Billy Crystal prior to the 18th annual American Museum of the Moving Image benefit in New York Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2003. The museum honored Crystal for propelling the medium of the moving image and having a profound effect on the industry.
Billy Crystal speaks during an In Memoriam tribute to Robin Williams at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Los Angeles.
From left, actors Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal arrive for The Face of Tisch Gala to benefit New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010 in New York.
Robin Williams and Billy Crystal auction off a guitar autographed by the Eagles at the 12th Annual Starkey Hearing Foundation "So The World May Hear" Gala on Saturday, August 4, 2012 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Producer and director Ivan Reitman, center wearing a tie, is honored with the 2,091 star on the the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on the Hollywood Boulevard, Monday, May 5, 1997 in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. From left, actors Nastassja Kinski, Billy Crystal, and Robin Williams, right, participate in the event. Reitman's films as producer and director include "Space Jam", "Private Parts", "National Lampoon's Animal House", "Beethoven", "Meatballs", "Stripes", "Ghostbusters" and its sequel, "Twins," "Kindergarten Cop" and "Junior".
Robin Williams and Billy Crystal during HBO & AEG Live's The Comedy Festival - 2nd Annual Comedy Cares Celebrity Poker Tournament - Inside at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States.

UNITED STATES - MAY 07: Funnymen Robin Williams (left) and Billy Crystal get together before a Tribeca Film Festival screening of 'House of D' at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center on West St. Williams stars in the movie, which makes its world premiere at the festival
But Crystal found touching words to remember Williams on Monday, recalling family gatherings, ballgames and nights on stage together.

"I used to think if I could put a saddle on him and stay on him for eight seconds, I was gonna do OK," said Crystal of the famously frenetic stand-up.
Though he spent most of his career in stand-up and in movies, Williams' early break came on television as the extraterrestrial Mork in "Mork & Mindy." He was nominated for an Emmy in 1979 for the show, as well as for various comedy specials and dramatic guest spots on shows like "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Homicide: Life on the Street." He won two Emmys in the 1980s for variety specials.

One of Williams' last credits was the CBS sitcom "The Crazy Ones," which was canceled in May after one season.

"It's very hard to talk about him in the past because he was so present in all of our lives," said Crystal. "For almost 40 years, he was the brightest star in our comedy galaxy. The brilliance was astounding, the relentless energy was thrilling."

Williams was in the thoughts of many Monday night. Louis C.K., who won for comedy series writing for his FX series "Louie," said Williams wrote to him after the show started and invited him over to his house.

"We became close," said C.K. "He was a big influence on me as a person and comedically."

Crystal concluded his remembrance by saying Williams' bright spirit would eternally glow: "And you'll think to yourself: Robin Williams, what a concept."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Prince to release new album in September

NEW YORK (AP) - Prince is releasing a new album on Sept. 30.

The pop icon announced Monday that he would release "Art Official Age" on Warner Bros. Records, the label Prince was signed to from 1978 to the mid-1990s, but later battled for the rights to his music.

He reached a deal with Warner in April, earning the rights to the music he recorded on the label.

Prince will also release the album "PlectrumElectrum" with his all-female band 3RDEYEGIRL on Sept. 30. Both albums are available for pre-order.

"Art Official Age" was described in a news release as a mix "of soul, R&B and funk." It's his first album since 2010's "20Ten."

Prince released key projects like "Purple Rain," ''1999," ''Diamonds and Pearls" and "Around the World in a Day" on Warner. The agreement with the label comes years after his relationship with Warner soured as he failed to gain possession of the music he recorded for the label. Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol and wrote the word "slave" on his cheek. He also vowed to rerecord the 17 albums he released on the label and sell them on his own.

After Warner, Prince began releasing music in 1996 over the Internet, and struck deals with Arista Records and Columbia Records, where he saw a comeback with the Grammy-winning "Musicology" in 2004.

His second upcoming album, "PlectrumElectrum," will feature 3RDEYEGIRL, the band that includes guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford Welton and bassist Ida Nielsen.

Prince and the trio performed in Europe this year during their "Hit & Run" tour.

Officer Darren Wilson Began Career At Disgraced Police Department: Report

The Ferguson police officer who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown had worked at a department that was disbanded by authorities over racial tensions, the Washington Post reports.

Darren Wilson and the other officers at the Jennings, Missouri, police department lost their jobs three years ago. Wilson was a rookie cop at the time.
The newspaper described the old Jennings Police Department as "a mainly white department mired in controversy and notorious for its fraught relationship with residents, especially the African American majority... not an ideal place to learn how to police."

The city council deemed tensions between officers and black residents so bad that it was necessary to fire everyone and build a new, more credible department from scratch.

Some officers from the disgraced department reapplied for their jobs. Wilson got a job in Ferguson, where he kept a clean disciplinary record and even earned a commendation. But that was all before the events that transpired earlier this month.
Brown's death sparked days of protest and drew national attention. Since the shooting, Wilson has kept out of the public eye. An incident report of the shooting has raised more questions than it has answered.

The Washington Post report comes amid disturbing stories of alleged police misconduct from neighboring departments have come to light.
Just days after Brown was killed, another black man in north St. Louis, Kajieme Powell, was fatally shot in a barrage of police gunfire after allegedly stealing energy drinks and donuts from a convenience store. St. Louis Police said the man was armed with a knife, but raw video of the incident appears to contradict that.

Later last week, Lieutenant Ray Albers of the St. Ann Police was suspended after being filmed pointing a semi-automatic rifle at a protester and threatening to kill him.

On Aug. 22, St. Louis County officer Dan Page was removed from duty after a video of him making bigoted comments was released.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Strong California quake causes injuries, damage

A mailbox is all that remains of one of four mobile homes which were destroyed in a gas fire Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake caused significant damage and left at least three critically injured in California's northern Bay Area early Sunday, igniting fires, sending at least 87 people to a hospital, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness.
A Napa firefighter inspects one of four mobile homes that were destroyed in a gas fire Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake caused significant damage and left at least three critically injured in California's northern Bay Area early Sunday, igniting fires, sending at least 87 people to a hospital, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness.
Napa Fire Captain Steve Becker inspects mobile homes which were destroyed Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park, in Napa, Calif. A gas fire at the park is being blamed as the result of a 6.0-magnitude earthquake which struck California's northern San Francisco Bay area this morning.
NAPA, Calif. (AP) --The largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years sent scores of people to hospitals, ignited fires, damaged multiple historic buildings and knocked out power to tens of thousands in California's wine country on Sunday.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. about 6 miles from the city of Napa ruptured water mains and gas lines, left two adults and a child critically injured, upended bottles and casks at some of Napa Valley's famed wineries and sent residents running out of their homes in the darkness.

Dazed residents too fearful of aftershocks to go back to bed wandered at dawn through Napa's historic downtown, where the quake had shorn a 10-foot chunk of bricks and concrete from the corner of an old county courthouse. Bolder-sized pieces of rubble littered the lawn and street in front of the building and the hole left behind allowed a view of the offices inside.

College student Eduardo Rivera, 20, said the home he shares with six relatives shook so violently that he kept getting knocked back into his bed as he tried to flee.

"When I woke up, my mom was screaming, and the sound from the earthquake was greater than my mom's screams," Rivera said.

While inspecting the shattered glass at her husband's storefront office in downtown Napa, Chris Malloy, 45, described calling for her two children in the dark as the quake rumbled under the family's home, throwing heavy pieces of furniture 3 or 4 feet and breaking them.

"It was shaking and I was crawling on my hands and knees in the dark, looking for them," she said, wearing flip flops on feet left bloodied from crawling through broken glass.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the earthquake, the White House said. Federal officials also have been in touch with state and local emergency responders. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for southern Napa County, directing state agencies to respond with equipment and personnel.

Napa Fire Department Operations Chief John Callanan said the city has exhausted its own resources trying to extinguish six fires, some in places with broken water mains; transporting injured residents; searching homes for anyone who might be trapped; and answering calls about gas leaks and downed power lines.

Two of the fires happened at mobile home parks, including one where four homes were destroyed and two others damaged, Callanan said.

The earthquake sent at least 87 people to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, where officials set up a triage tent to handle the influx. Most patients had cuts, bumps, bruises, said Vanessa DeGier, hospital spokeswoman said. She says the facility has treated a hip fracture and heart attack, but it's unclear if it was related to the quake.

The child in critical condition was struck by part of a fireplace and had to be airlifted to a specialty hospital for a neurological evaluation, Callanan said.

The earthquake is the largest to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the USGS said. That temblor struck the area on Oct. 17, 1989, during a World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell.

Sunday's quake was felt widely throughout the region. People reported feeling it more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border. Amtrak suspended its train service through the Bay Area so tracks could be inspected.

In Napa, at least three historic buildings were damaged, including the county courthouse, and at least two downtown commercial buildings have been severely damaged. A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at a high school, and crews were assessing damage to homes, bridges and roadways.

"There's collapses, fires," said Napa Fire Capt. Doug Bridewell, standing in front of large pieces of masonry that broke loose from a turn of the century office building where a fire had just been extinguished. "That's the worst shaking I've ever been in."

Bridewell said he had to climb over fallen furniture in his own home to check on his family before reporting to duty.

The shaking emptied cabinets in homes and store shelves, set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses and talking about damage inside their homes.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokesman J.D. Guidi said close to 30,000 lost power right after the quake hit, but the number was down just under 19,000, most of them in Napa. He says crews are working to make repairs, but it's unclear when electricity would be restored.

The depth of the earthquake was just less than 7 miles, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred, the USGS said.

"A quake of that size in a populated area is of course widely felt throughout that region," said Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado.

California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Bartlett said cracks and damage to pavement closed the westbound Interstate 80 connector to westbound State Route 37 in Vallejo and westbound State Route 37 at the Sonoma off ramp. He says there haven't been reports of injuries or people stranded in their cars, but there are numerous flat tires from motorists driving over damaged roads.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Céline Dion 'Trying to Stay Positive' as She Helps Husband Heal, Friend Says

                                                René Angélil and Céline Dion
By Mia McNiece
Those close to Céline Dion were not shocked to learn the singer decided to postpone all of her show business activities indefinitely to care for her husband, René Angélil.

"They are each other's lives," friend Robin Leach tells PEOPLE of Dion, 46, and Angélil, 72, who currently reside in Las Vegas with their three children, René Charles, 13, and fraternal twins Eddy and Nelson, 3. "He and her family come first and she's always made that clear."

Leach adds that Dion had been contemplating an extended leave ever since Angélil
underwent surgery in December to remove a cancerous tumor from his throat.

"René was making great progress and was out and about," Leach says. But the recovery process remains ongoing.

"Last time I saw him, he was very thin and frail," she adds. "Céline had to take a step back, and her decision is a realization that you have to hold onto everything while you've got it."

But when it comes to Angélil's prognosis, the family is "trying to stay positive," an insider says. "They're optimistic. "

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Remembering Robin Williams: His Life in Pictures ... Part 1

Born July 21, 1951, to a former model and a Ford Motor Company executive, Chicago native Robin Williams began his showbiz career inside his own home, where he'd make his mother laugh by doing impressions of his grandmother, according to the AP.

By the '70s, he took that talent to New York City's prestigious Juilliard School. There, he befriended classmate Christopher Reeve (here with Williams at the 1979 People's Choice Awards). "I'd sit back and hope to catch the girls that were downstream," he later joked to PEOPLE.

Reaching for the stars took a literal turn when Williams portrayed Mork, an alien from Planet Ork, on Happy Days in 1978. His extraterrestrial performance earned him and costar Pam Dawber an ABC spin-off called Mork & Mindy, which ran from 1978 to 1982.

Four months into his marriage to Valerie Velardi, a modern dance teacher, Williams found sudden fame in sitcom TV. The couple had one child together, Zachary, in 1983, before divorcing in 1988.

While starring on the TV hit, Williams developed a cocaine habit. "Most people get hyper on coke. It slowed me down," he later told PEOPLE in 1988. "It made me withdrawn. And I was crazy back then working all day, partying all night. I needed an excuse not to talk." But the death of Saturday Night Live's John Belushi helped scare Williams sober in 1982 he had spent hours with Belushi before the comic overdosed on heroin and cocaine.
Williams took his act to the road on multiple stand-up tours, including An Evening with Robin Williams (1982) and Robin Williams: At the Met. He also brought the laughs for a good cause: Beginning in 1986, he teamed up with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal for the Comic Relief special, a star-studded HBO telethon benefiting the homeless. "There were no cell phones when we started. There were just phones in the old days," he joked to PEOPLE when the special returned in 2006 after a hiatus.
"Right now I'm moving through my personal life like a hemophiliac in a razor factory," Williams said in 1988 amid marital struggles. The comedian found himself torn between wife Valerie and Marsha Garces, the couple's 20-something live-in nanny for son Zachary. They married in 1989 and had two children (Zelda Rae and Cody Alan) before divorcing in 2008 after 19 years of marriage.
COURTING OSCARWilliams's career took a serious turn in 1987 when he portrayed convention-defying Armed Forces Radio Service deejay Adrian Cronauer in the war comedy Good Morning, Vietnam. The performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, as well as a Golden Globe Award.
"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world," Williams stated in 1989's Dead Poets Society, a drama marked by his nuanced portrayal of an English teacher who dares to think outside the classroom. His performance as John Keating earned him another Oscar nod, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.
Layers of prosthetics and a shiny gray wig turned Mrs. Doubtfire into a 1993 hit and transformed the actor into America's favorite nanny. In April 2014, it was reported that a sequel to the family classic is in development at Fox 2000.