Williams was born July 21, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Laura (née Smith, 1922–2001), was a former model from New Orleans, Louisiana. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams (September 10, 1906 – October 18, 1987) was a senior executive at Lincoln-Mercury Motorship in charge of the Midwest area.

Williams was raised in the Episcopal Church, though his mother practiced Christian Science. He grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he was a student at the Detroit Country Day School, and Marin County, California, where he attended the public Redwood High School.

Robin Williams' Family Tree