Remembering Robin Williams

 

Robin McLaurin Williams
1951-2014

You want to tell Robin Williams what his Oscar award-winning character Sean Maguire told Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting, “It’s not your fault.”

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Williams’ Oscar winning role for Best Supporting Actor with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting (1997)

From the man and the mind that introduced us to such unmatched personas like Mork from Ork, Adrian Cronauer and Mrs. Iphegenia Doubtfire, the 63 year-old comic legend is now gone. The laughter has suddenly died.

Williams had his demons at one point or another throughout his illustrious career. Let’s face it, comedians on a whole have a lot going on within. Laughing on the outside but dying on the inside has been common and familiar rhetoric used to tragically describe the highs and lows of the occupation.

This script isn’t new when it comes to our Hollywood heroes. Williams isn’t the first and won’t be the last to produce his own fade to black. Let’s do what we do best and celebrate the good and what he will be memorialized for. The aforementioned Mork & Mindy, Good Morning, Vietnam and Mrs. Doubtfire are roles that Williams will forever be synonymous with.

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Williams and Pam Dawber in Mork & Mindy (1978-82)

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Oscar nominee for Best Actor as Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

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Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

As is it seems to be the case when we lose an artist of notoriety like this, Williams’ work will quickly be reviewed by his fans. I did it most recently when Philip Seymour Hoffman passed. With Williams, you’ll watch Good Will Hunting and soon forget that he was one of the great comics of his time because his transformation seemed so effortless as Sean Maguire. Think about it…his only Academy Award came from a character who was only slightly telling of Williams’ signature sense of humor.

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Williams and Robert De Niro in Awakenings (1990)

 

When he wasn’t using his comedic genius, he’d flip the script and show you the other side that proved just as forceful and mesmerizing. His range was astonishing in the way he could go from funny to firm, cartoonish to curt, playful to pensive. Awakenings, The Fisher King and Dead Poets Society are other lauded projects that showcase the well rounded talents of life’s latest fallen star and Insomnia and One Hour Photo are two opportunities to see Williams from a villain’s perspective. From a much more innocent world, you may have enjoyed Williams with your children as the genie in Aladdin.

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Williams as the voice of Genie in Aladdin (1992)

I personally took Williams for granted. There were plenty of moments when I didn’t think he was very funny but I’m realizing now that it was because I held him to the marquee roles that I referred to earlier. That’s not fair of me. I’ve already set recordings for Awakenings, Dead Poets Society and One Hour Photo that are coincidentally airing this week. Of course they are. Robin Williams will always be in the rotation. Down here and up there.

Nanu nanu, Mr. Williams.

-Kevin Marr

 

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Williams and Jeff Bridges in The Fisher King (1991)

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Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)

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Williams in One Hour Photo (2002)

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Williams and Al Pacino in Insomnia (2002)