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Remembering Robin Williams (1951-2014)

August 11, 2014

By John Corrado

Robin Williams

Deeply sad doesn’t even begin to describe the news that Robin Williams has lost his fight with severe depression at 63 years of age.  The world has truly lost one of their best today, and the actor will be missed both by everyone who got to know him through his performances, and those who knew him in real life.

Robin Williams was great in so many films that it’s impossible to pick a favourite among them.  Like so many others, I first became a fan when I was a kid through his memorable voice work in Disney’s Aladdin (1992), and his breathlessly funny role in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).  I still laugh when I think about The Birdcage (1996), and the list just keeps going on.

He was an actor who effortlessly made us laugh out loud in these and other comedies, but Robin Williams was also able to deeply move us with his best dramatic roles.  Who can forget his Oscar-nominated performances in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989) and The Fisher King (1991), and that he deservingly won Best Supporting Actor for Good Will Hunting (1997).  He was simply unforgettable.

When the actor showed a darker side in thrillers like Mark Romanek’s One Hour Photo (2002) and Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia (2002), or the pitch black dramedy World’s Greatest Dad (2009), it was simply another impressive progression in his already interesting career.  And what a career he had, spanning several decades from his start as a standup comedian to his breakout role on the sitcom Mork & Mindy in 1978, before becoming one of our most versatile and genuine movie stars.  It’s heartbreaking to think about all of the performances that Robin Williams might have had left to give, and that the actor was never able to have a proper return to his glory days.

The only words that seem appropriate right now are from his own great work as a psychologist in Good Will Hunting, when he repeatedly and poignantly tells Matt Damon’s title character that “it’s not your fault.”  Depression isn’t anyone’s fault, and as the world mourns the passing of Robin Williams, it’s heartbreaking that the sickness has claimed another victim.  May he rest in peace.

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