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Robin Williams Comedy Chair Established at USC School of Cinematic Arts

Variety logo Variety 5/17/2017 Dave McNary

The George Lucas Family Foundation has established the Robin Williams Endowed Chair in Comedy at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

“Robin was a comedy genius with a boundless talent,” Lucas said. “He was singular in every way, yet had great respect for the genre and for the dedication it took to succeed. His talent was only matched by his work ethic. That’s why he made it to the pinnacle of comedy success, and why his legacy will be to motivate and inspire young storytellers.”

Williams won a best supporting actor Academy Award for “Good Will Hunting,” along with two Emmys and seven Golden Globes. He died in 2014 at the age of 63.

Dean Elizabeth M. Daley said, “The immeasurably talented Robin Williams stands as one of the most unique comic voices in entertainment history. His legendary career, defined by skillful impressions, unforgettable characters, and masterful stand-up routines, made him a cherished figure at the forefront of the comedy community. We are so proud to honor his memory and accomplishments at the USC School of Cinematic Arts with the help and generosity of the George Lucas Family Foundation.”

USC also announced on Wednesday that it has named Barnet Kellman as the first holder of the Robin Williams Endowed Chair. Kellman is a professor of film and television production, and the winner of two Emmys and a Directors Guild Award for his work on “Murphy Brown.” He directed the groundbreaking show’s pilot, the first 75 episodes, and the finale, which ended its 10-year run on CBS.

His other pilots include “Mad About You,” “Suddenly Susan,” “The George Lopez Show,” and “Something Wilder,” which he co-created for Gene Wilder. He also directed episodes of “E.R.,” “Alias,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Monk,” earning him a total of seven Emmy nominations and three DGA Award noms.

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