Robin Williams 1951-2014

“Robin Williams has died of a suspected suicide.” I read that headline popping up in my news feed…

“Well that can’t be right, surely?” For a brief moment I hoped it was one of those sick celebrity death hoaxes that the internet has become so fond of lately. Unfortunately it was from a legitimate news source, so I had no choice but to believe the terrible truth. One of the funniest human beings and truly gifted actors, is now gone and it just doesn’t seem real.

As far back as my memory will allow, Robin Williams had always been there to entertain me. Mork and Mindy was an appointment viewing in my house. At four years old, I would annoy everyone by repeating the words “Nanu Nanu” and even had a tiny action figure of Mork that I used to carry in my pocket – kind of like some sort of an alien guardian angel who’d follow me wherever I’d go. I’ve grown up loving the man who’d brought that character to life.

Robin Williams Mork and Mindy

Although he trained in theatre at Julliard, his stand-up is what put him on the map. To watch him was like following a bouncy ball around the room, bursting with rapid-fire humour and spot on impersonations. I’d be left with aching ribs as my body continuously erupted with laughter. He was fascinating to see and I couldn’t help but be in constant awe of the man, when it came to comedy… Robin Williams was nothing short of pure genius. He seemed so full of life and energy and fun, it really was impossible not to just straight out Love the guy!

Later in life when I’d reached my teens, I had started to see another side of the man who’d flawlessly made me laugh uncontrollably. Dead Poet’s Society was one of the first films to ever really blow me away – I was so used to the maniacal, high-energy, crazy man and it was just astounding to see him in a much more subdued role. As much as he could be gut-bustingly hilarious, Williams could totally flip and be sincerely genuine. That was one of the things I admired most about him, Williams’ ability to do it all… he even had a sinister side.

No matter what the performance or how well it was received according to the all-mighty box office, you can be assured he put everything he had into the role. And there are so many to choose from (I mean, my brain is overloading as they all flood in at once); Jumanji, Good Morning Vietnam, Bicentennial Man, The Fisher King (which is my personal favourite) and the one for which he won a much deserved and overdue Oscar – Good Will Hunting.

Robin Williams 1

Everyone has their own special memories of Robin Williams, I really cannot think of one person who either didn’t appreciate his talent or just plain did not like him. At times he’s been referred to as the ‘Funniest Man in the World,’ a title that Williams just owned it. I’d imagine that you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who has not been touched in some way by this wonderful, unpredictable force of nature who shone so brightly and shared his light with the world.

But really the news just hasn’t sunk in, and how could it? This man who has been such a presence in our world is no longer with us and it truly breaks my heart to know just how much he was suffering. But we can take great comfort it in the legacy he leaves behind – memorable performances that will continue to touch and inspire for generations to come.

His light will continue to shine.

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Writer, part-time Stand-up Comic, full-time Smart Ass and a total work in progress.