The Mar. 12, 1979, cover of TIME
Cover Credit: MICHAEL DRESSLER
By TIME Staff
August 11, 2015

This Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Robin Williams’ surprising death. In honor of the milestone, here are five essential TIME stories chronicling his remarkable career:

The introduction: The first full-fledged TIME article about Williams (excluding a capsule review of Mork & Mindy that ran earlier that fall) was this Oct. 1978 story about how the comic’s career was destined to be much more than Mork.

Subscribers can read the whole story here, in the TIME Vault: The Robin Williams Show

The cover story: Not a year had gone by before Williams was on the cover of TIME, for a story about what it took to top the ratings.

Subscribers can read the whole issue here, in the TIME Vault: Chaos in Television

The next step: By the time Richard Schickel reviewed Good Morning, Vietnam in 1987, Williams was firmly enshrined as “the decade’s reigning comic soloist.” In a full-page feature accompanying the review, Richard Corliss reported on Williams’ transition from successful comic to full-on movie star.

Subscribers can read the whole story here, in the TIME Vault: Playtime for Gonzo

The interview: In 2011, around the time of Williams’ Broadway debut, Belinda Luscombe spoke to the actor about the world, his career and the perils of fame.

Read the full Q&A, free of charge, here on Time.com: 10 Questions for Robin Williams

Read the outtakes here: 10 More Questions With Robin Williams

The end: When news broke of Williams’ death, TIME published a special issue remembering the man and his work. At its center was a stirring remembrance by Richard Corliss, who captured just why those two personas—the human being, the comic—had touched so many people.

Read the full obituary, free of charge, here on Time.com: The Heart of Comedy

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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