Robin Williams, both the funniest and most serious man alive, was found dead in his home today of an apparent suicide. He was 63. This sucks.
Going through Williams’ entire career is pointless, because there is just so much to pick apart. It seems like everybody is reacting to his death in the same way, yet remembering a different part of him. That is because Robin Williams did so much, and was known for so many things.
First and foremost, Robin Williams was a comedian. He has been given the title “Funniest Man Alive” several times, and that is not far off at all. In his performances, he gave the impression that humor was less of an effort and more of an instinct for him. I recall him presenting an award once in which he announced the names of all of the nominees in some form of frenzied gibberish. He took one of the most monotonous parts of show business and made it hilarious.
Williams made up a huge part of my childhood that I didn’t even realize until now. Jumanji and Aladdin, already great on their own, benefit so much from his presence. And Mrs. Doubtfire, well, what can I say about Mrs. Doubtfire? He made a divorced dad who dresses up as an English maid out of desperation not seem pathetic at all.
Typically, when funny actors take on dramatic roles, it is because they demand to be taken seriously. When Robin Williams won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting, it felt earned. He also gave amazing comedic/dramatic turns in the likes of Good Morning Vietnam and World’s Greatest Dad. Like his humor, his sadness never felt forced. Authenticity is all you can ask for in a performer, and the reason that Robin Williams could do anything is that no matter what he was doing, he always seemed to do it honestly. Hell, I even love Patch Adams.
As one tweet so simply stated, Robin Williams was “good in bad stuff and incredible in great stuff.” Williams unfortunately left the world in a bad place, but he made it a better place. He brightened every movie he starred in and every stage he stood on. Other people will be funny, and other people will win awards, but there will never be another Robin Williams ever again.
A Few Great Robin Williams Clips: