Actor and comedian Robin Williams (L) shares a laugh with actor Billy Crystal on the stage of New York's Radio City Music Hall during HBO's "Comic Relief 8" show, in this file picture taken June 14, 1998. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen/Files
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In 1997, Entertainment Weekly magazine named Williams the funniest man alive, and the very next year listed him as one of the world's 25 best actors -- a double distinction that made him rare, if not unique.He touched every generation and demographic, making his entrance in a 1970s comic generation with Steve Martin, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Billy Crystal. He exploded onto the scene at a time when two schools of comedy dominated -- "Saturday Night Live" and Johnny Carson -- and Williams felt equally comfortable running with both crowds.In this year's independent film, "The Angriest Man in Brooklyn," Williams played a man mistakenly told he had 90 minutes to live.That didn't make Williams unique -- Michael J. Fox also failed in a recent return to television -- but it was an indication that Williams was no longer a sure ticket to success.Like many comedians, Williams often seemed driven by demons. Stand-up comedy was where Williams got the most satisfaction.Ultimately, Williams had needs no one could meet.
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