Oscar Icons: Robin Williams

 Wesley Mann

Robin Williams earned his first Academy Award nomination for 1987’s career-making Good Morning, Vietnam; three nominations later, the comedian took home the best supporting actor Oscar for 1997’s Good Will Hunting. But to some, Williams, 59, will always be that TV alien. “People said, ‘Hey, congratulations on the Oscar!’ and then, two weeks later, it’s ‘Hey Mork!” laughs Williams, who recalls two brushes with greatness the year he won. “I was backstage, and Jack Nicholson” — who had just won for As Good as It Gets — “said, ‘Well Robbo, now I have one for every decade.’ ” Williams’ 1998 win also was Oscar’s 70th anniversary. “They had this big reunion photo,” he says. “And Shirley Temple Black [who was 70 at the time] was standing right behind me. And I looked back and thought, ‘Wow, look at all this.’ And she leaned over and said, ‘Call me.’ ”            

Photographed by Wesley Mann on Feb. 21 in Manhattan’s Theater District

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