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Robin Williams by Michael Dressler. Color photograph, 1979. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine

Born: July 21, 1951, Chicago, IL   Died: August 11, 2014, Tiburon, CA

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has installed a photograph of celebrated American comedian and actor Robin Williams today. The work is in the first-floor gallery where the museum memorializes the passing and celebrates the lives of people represented in the museum’s collection. The photograph above was taken for Time magazine by Michael Dressler in 1979.

Thanks for all the laughs, Robin. God bless and may you rest in peace.

Williams was a madcap genius in performances of all types of entertainment, from stand-up to feature films. Known initially as a comedian, he surprised with his ability to play serious dramatic roles. His breakthrough came in the 1970s TV comedy Mork and Mindy; as the alien Mork, much of Williams’ dialogue was improvised, as would be the case in most of his comedic roles. Once established, Williams worked tirelessly in show business, going on to appear in many feature films, including Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993); he won an Oscar for his role as the psychologist in Good Will Hunting (1997). He played Teddy Roosevelt in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009). He also did voice over work in animated films and returned to television with The Crazy Ones (2013-14).