“I left school and couldn’t find acting work, so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up. I’ve always improvised, and stand-up was this great release. All of a sudden, it was just me and the audience.”
Robin Williams was an American comedian and actor who had entered our lives since the 1970s, and had since wowed, entertained, and inspired us. From his stand-up gigs to his versatility as an actor, Williams had never failed to amaze and inspire the lives of many. His portrayal of Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting (1997) earned him an Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and he was also nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for several other movies such as The Fisher King (1991), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Good Morning, Vietnam (1987). Not only did his films touch our lives, but his stand-up acts had paved a way for many comedians since.
All I could remember is Williams is one of the first Hollywood actors that I can remember as a child, and one that always made me laugh and cry (without a doubt). The tragic news of his passing has not only impacted those of his family and friends, but also those in the industry and us, the audience and fans.
Here are some of my personal favourites of Wililams’ films/roles:
- Bicentennial Man (1999) as Andrew Martin
This film had never failed to make me cry and appreciate the wonders of life and act of compassion. Williams’ portrayal of an android who slowly acquires emotions was simply amazing to watch and heartwarming.
- Dead Poets Society (1989) as John Keating
Who could forget William’s portrayal of the inspiring English teacher, John Keating. The man who pushes his students to seize the day.
- One Hour Photo (2002) as Seymour Parrish
One of the roles that really surprised me, Williams as the obsessed and sociopathic photo lab employee who cannot seem to break away his attention to this one particular young suburban family. It really is quite a chilling and creepy role that Williams had done a wonderful job with.
- Jumanji (1995) as Alan Parrish
Probably the first movie I’ve seen starring Robin Williams. It’s one of my all-time favourite films, I mean what more can you ask for? A board game that comes to life, animals emerging from thin air, children being trapped in a game, it really is quite an adventure. Robin Williams’ portrayal of a kid who was trapped inside the game and emerged years later as a man when two kids restarted the game is really quite heartwarming and hilarious.
- Mrs Doubtfire (1993) as Daniel Hillard/Mrs Doubtfire
Undoubtedly one of Williams’ most memorable roles. Some may still criticize it till today, but I really love this film. It’s funny, it’s touching, and something quite different from the norm at the time of its release.
- Jack (1996) as Jack Powell
I know many have overlooked this film and discarded it as a cliché, but I really enjoyed this one, especially Williams’ performance as a boy with an unusual ageing disorder causing him to grow physically in a faster rate than a typically developing human. It’s not only funny, as one would expect from a Williams film, but it’s really quite heartwarming and in some ways reminds us that it’s okay to look at the world as if we’ve never seen it before.
- Awakenings (1990) as Dr. Malcolm Sayer
Probably one of my favourite films of all time that tells the story of individuals with encephalitis who have spent years catatonic, and how a doctor thinks he has found a possible cure for them. It’s not only an eye-opener but an inspiring film nonetheless. Williams alongside Robert DeNiro is a combination that one will remember for a long time.
- Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) as Adrian Cronauer
This film definitely showcases Williams’ talent as an actor and a comedian. A must watch.
- Patch Adams (1998) as Patch Adams
Another film inspired by real life events, this time it’s about a medical student who treats patients using humor. The film spells Robin Williams with all the necessary ingredients – comedy, heartfelt and inspiring moments.
- World’s Greatest Dad (2009) as Lance
A dark comedy about a lonely father who finds his son died in a humiliating accident, tried to cover up the truth with a suicide note. This film is quite different from Williams’ usual style of comedy, instead it reminded me of his other dark comedies such as The Big White and Death to Smoochy, but his performance her is one to be remembered.
There are still lots of Williams’ films I have yet to watch and I hope, it’s certain that his work will live forever, continuing to inspire and entertain the world. He definitely left a mark on this planet… a force to be reckoned with.
My way of dealing with the news is by creating a mix/playlist:
Tracks include artists such as Daughter, The Boxer Rebellion, M83, and so on…