Very few people, whether four or forty or eighty, have not seen a Robin Williams film. His renowned sense of humor, deep emotional edge, and contagious sense of fun have entertained audiences for decades. And so there are very few, if any, people who will not mourn the passing of this acting legend.
Robin Williams was found dead yesterday, a supposed suicide after battling depression and drub rehabilitation. Once the liveliest man in Hollywood, he has now gone the way of too many stars, plagued by physical and emotional demons to the point where he saw no way out but one. It is a sad tale, as tragic for Williams as it was for River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. But, as Williams’ wife Susan Schneider said in a statement, “I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.” So, in memory of the buoyant, whimsical and cherished actor and comedian, here are some of my favorite Robin Williams films:
- Dead Poets Society
Cliché, I know, but it’s such a wonderful movie, and Robin Williams is entertaining and moving as an English teacher at an elite all-boys prep school, trying to inspire a love of poetry and life in the future lawyers, doctors, and politicians of America.
I don’t mean to trivialize Williams’ career by listing a Disney movie. Rather, this movie, particular the character of the genie, was a canvas that the producers allowed William’s to paint at will. And so he did, as one of the funniest characters in all of Disney history.
- Patch Adams
Williams once again shows his incomparable ability to balance the levity of humor and the gravitas of deep emotion in the role of an aspiring doctor.
- Good Will Hunting
I’d never hear the end of it from people if I didn’t list this movie. This, like Dead Poets Society, is everyone’s favorite movie, but for a reason. It’s spectacular, with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Minnie Driver, but no one can overlook Robin Williams’ role as a teacher/mentor who takes crap for no one.
I’d never hear the end of it from Emily if I didn’t list this movie, but it is another great one. It’s the story of Peter Pan returning to Neverland, only now he is an adult and he has no memory of his past life as the boy who wouldn’t grow old.
Hollywood and the world at large will miss Robin Williams. He was a man of many talents, and his films will always be a true treasure for audiences now and forever.