RIP Robin Williams, Comedy Legend

Robin Williams
On the morning of August 11th, actor Robin Williams passed away at the age of 63 in Tiburon, California, from what appeared to be a suicide. The loss of the beloved comedian sent shockwaves around the world, with numerous celebrities, politicians and others offering thoughts and reflections about his incredible career.

Williams was known for his manic, quirky style, as well as his physical and improv comedy, and he made his major breakthrough into American homes with the 1970s ABC Primetime Emmy-nominated sitcom “Mork & Mindy,” in which he starred as an extraterrestrial observing the culture of Earth.

His career quickly picked up in the 80s and 90s, achieving acclaim and plaudits for films such as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” “The Fisher King,” “Aladdin,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Good Will Hunting.”

“The genie was only supposed to be a few lines, but I asked 'Do you mind if I try something?’ and went off to the recording studio,” Williams said of his memorable role in Disney’s 1992 film “Aladdin” during an interview with The Telegraph. “I emerged, 22 hours later, with a stream-of-consciousness improvisation in 41 characters.”

Williams was also recognized for his appearances in “Hook,” “Jumanji” and “Patch Adams.”

While he worked primarily as a funnyman, his dramatic performances in “One Hour Photo” and “Insomnia” were well-received.

The comic won the 1998 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Good Will Hunting,” and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1988, 1990 and 1992.

Williams won a total of five Grammy Awards – Best Comedy Recording in 1979, 1987 and 1988, Best Recording for Children in 1988 and Best Spoken Comedy Album in 2000.

He also received six Golden Globe nominations in addition to six Golden Globe wins.

In a 2013 Reddit AMA interview, Williams told aspiring actors to “please make sure that you really love doing it. Because that will get you through the hard times. And the good times.”

The icon most recently appeared as an advertising executive in the CBS sitcom “The Crazy Ones,” which ended after one season in April 2014.

Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred as his daughter in the show, informed People magazine that “My life is a better place because I knew Robin Williams. To my children he was Uncle Robin, to everyone he worked with, he was the best boss anyone had ever known, and to me he was not just an inspiration but he was the Father I had always dreamed of having. There are not enough adjectives to describe the light he was, to anyone that ever had the pleasure to meet him. I will miss him everyday, but I know the memory of him will live on. And to his family, I thank them for letting us know him and seeing the joy they brought him.”

Williams can be seen in two films before the end of 2014 – “Merry Friggin’ Christmas” in November, and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” in December. His final role will be the voice of Dennis the Dog in 2015 British comedy “Absolutely Anything.” A planned sequel for “Mrs. Doubtfire” is believed to be cancelled.

President Obama released the following statement upon the news of Williams’ death.

“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”

Late night host Conan O’Brien broke the story to his audience with guest Will Arnett at the end of his show in a thoughtful moment.

For a great look at Williams’ improv genius, check out this season three episode of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” from November 2000.

Here’s what others had to say.

Author: Brian Cameron

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