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Sept. 14, 1978 On this day, Mork from Ork began his extended stay in living rooms across America with the premiere of ABC’s sitcom “Mork & Mindy.” Mork, an alien in a red suit played by a then-unknown Robin Williams, had originally appeared in an episode of “Happy Days.” The spinoff series followed Mork’s attempts to adjust to life on Earth with the help of his human roommate, and later wife, Mindy McConnell, played by Pam Dawber. In his review in The Washington Post, Tom Shales described Mork as having a temperament “slightly to the left of Woody Woodpecker” and the show as “one moronic yuck after another.” However, Shales singled out Williams’s performance, calling his “gift for impromptu standup comedy ... an awesome thing when seen live on a stage.” The show lasted four seasons and launched Williams’s long career in entertainment. He won many awards including the best supporting actor Oscar in 1997 for his role in “Good Will Hunting.” In August 2014, Williams committed suicide. He was 63.
Annys Shin is an articles editor at The Washington Post Magazine. She joined The Post as reporter in 2004. She has also been a staff writer at the Washington City Paper and the Center for Public Integrity.
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