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Robin Williams Used Humor for Good Causes

Actor and comedian Robin Williams—a two-time Screen Actors Guild Award winner—was “not only a talented man, but a true humanitarian,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. Williams, 63, died Monday in an apparent suicide, according to authorities.

Along with his comedic genius, Williams was known for his progressive politics. He was a longtime supporter of LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. He donated his talents as a performer to Farm Aid and helped combat homelessness both onstage through the Comic Relief televised benefits and by testifying before Congress. He was also a regular and beloved member of so many USO tours for American military personnel overseas—some in combat zones—that many called him a modern Bob Hope.     

Williams also walked the picket line during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild strike.

He won his SAG Awards for outstanding performances in "The Birdcage” and in “Good Will Hunting.” Howard said:

He was a performer of limitless versatility, equally adept at comedy and drama, whether scripted or improv. With his incomparable manic style, he could appeal to adult sensibilities in a stand-up comedy routine or elicit giggles from children as the voice of Genie in 'Aladdin.' Outside of his career, he used his considerable talents to raise money for charity. He was not only a talented man, but a true humanitarian. It’s such a tremendous loss.

Read SAG-AFTRA’s full statement here.

See his first appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson from 1981 in the video above and click here for a more recent appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman."

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