Robin Williams

Robin Williams arriving at The 33rd Annual People's Choice Award

Williams in 2007, photo by s_bukley/

Birth Name: Robin McLaurin Williams

Date of Birth: July 21, 1951

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Death: August 11, 2014

Place of Death: Paradise Cay, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, German, French, remote Dutch

Robin Williams was an American comedian, actor, director, producer, writer, and singer. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting (1997). His multitude of other roles also included Popeye, The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King, Hook, Aladdin, Toys, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Jack, Flubber, What Dreams May Come, Patch Adams, Insomnia, One Hour Photo, Robots, RV, The Night Listener, Man of the Year, Night at the Museum, and its sequels, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, and Mork & Mindy.

He was the son of Laura McLaurin (Janin; later Smith), a model, and Robert Fitzgerald Williams, a senior executive at Ford’s Lincoln-Mercury Division. Robin had English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, German, French, and remote Dutch, ancestry. He was raised an Episcopalian. Robin grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois, then Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where the family lived in an old 30-room mansion; and finally Tiburon, California. Robin’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Anselm J. McLaurin (Anselm Joseph McLaurin), was a Democratic politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from Mississippi, from February 7, 1894 to March 4, 1895, and again, from March 4, 1901 to December 22, 1909, and Governor of Mississippi, from January 20, 1896 to January 16, 1900.

Robin was married to graphic designer Susan Schneider, until his death. He had a son, Zak Williams, with his first wife, actress and dancer Valerie Velardi, and two children, including actress Zelda Williams, with his second wife, producer Marsha Garces Williams.

Robin’s paternal grandfather was Robert R. Williams (the son of Haywood Ross Williams and Mary Elizabeth Riley). Robert was born in Morganfield, Union, Kentucky. Haywood was the son of James Clardy Williams and Millicent “Mellie”/Millie Sutton. Mary Elizabeth was the daughter of William A. Riley and Rebecca M. Bradley.

Robin’s paternal grandmother was Ellanora Fitzgerald (the daughter of James Jackson Fitzgerrell and Sarah Melissa Whitlow). Ellanora was born in Illinois. James was the son of James S. Fitzgerald and Elizabeth “Betsy” Ray. Sarah was the daughter of Thomas Whitlow and Elizabeth Tomkin/Tompkins.

Robin’s maternal grandfather was Robert Armistead Janin (the son of Herbert/Hubert Lawrence Janin and Julia Louisa/Louise Fassmann/Fassman). Robert was born in New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana. Herbert’s father, Leon Fergus Janin, was the son of Charles Louis Pierre Janin, who was from Paris, France, and of Marie Pauline Allain, whose parentage was also French, with roots in Tours. Herbert’s mother was Kate Hall Armistead. Robin’s great-grandmother Julia was the daughter of Victor Edward Fassmann and Marie Damelia/Damillia/Damillie Collins.

Robin’s mother later took on the surname of her own stepfather, Robert Forrest Smith.

Robin’s maternal grandmother was Laura McLaurin Berry (the daughter of John Pleasant Berry and Stella May McLaurin). Laura was born in Mississippi. John was the son of Joseph Boggan Berry and Laura Josephine Evans. Stella was the daughter of Anselm Joseph McLaurin and Laura Elvira Rauch.

Sources: Notes on Robin’s ancestry –

Genealogies of Robin Williams –

Robin’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Robin’s paternal grandparents, Robert R. Williams and Ellanora Fitzgerald –

Robin’s maternal grandmother, Laura McLaurin Berry, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Article about Robin’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Governor and Senator Anselm J. McLaurin –

14 Responses

  1. drzaius21 says:

    This probably gives more information, but sometimes you have to double check if the sources and dates are accurate.

  2. jonasbttencourt says:

    Legend! So heartbreaking the way he went out… Never would have thought he had depression and parkinson. He was greatest comedy actor ever, no doubt, Jim Carrey is genius but he does not have the natural charisma that Robin had, he is more forced. He had a classic white american background, a legit WASP, altough he was from a working class family from what i read. Whatever, always thought he looked very british. A great man, may him rest in peace…

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