Robin McLaurin Williams was born on 21 July 1951 at St Luke's Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a senior executive in Ford's Lincoln-Mercury division.

His mother, Laurie McLaurin, was a former Mississippi model from Jackson, whose great-grandfather was Mississippi senator and governor Anselm J.

McLaurin was. Williams had two older half-brothers: a paternal half-brother, Robert, and a half-brother, McLaurin.

While her mother was a Christian Science practitioner, Williams grew up in her father's episcopal faith.

During a television interview on Inside the Actors Studio in 2001,

Williams credited her mother with an early influence on his humor, and she tried to make him laugh to get her attention.

Williams attended Lake Forest Public Elementary School, Gorton Elementary School, and Deer Path Junior High School Middle School.

He described himself as a quiet kid who didn't let go of his shyness until he joined the drama department of his high school.

His friends call him very funny. In late 1963, when Williams was 12, his father moved to Detroit.

The family lived in a 20-acre, 40-room farmhouse in Bloomfield Hills, a suburb of Michigan where he was a student at a private Detroit Country Day School.

 He excelled in school, where he was on the school's wrestling team and was elected class president.

Since both her parents were working, Williams was raised partly by the family maid, her main partner.

When he was 16, his father retired early and the family moved to Tiburon, California.

Following in his footsteps, Williams attended Redwood High School in nearby Larkspur.

By the time he graduated in 1969, his classmates had been voted "Most Clean Not to be Successful" and "Funny".

After graduating from high school, Williams attended Claremont Men's College in Claremont, California to study political science; He quit acting.

Williams studied theater for three years at Marine College, a community college in Kentfield, California.

According to College of Marine Drama professor James Dunn, the depth of the young actor's talent was evident when he was cast in the musical Oliver! as Fagin.

During his time on the drama program, Williams would often improvise, driving the cast into a frenzy.

Dunn called his wife after a late rehearsal to tell Williams that "something special is about to happen".

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