Where do you even begin to talk about the life and work of a man so crazily prolific as Robin Williams? Everyone from Baby Boomers to Generation Zs have grown up laughing at his many roles, and then there’s the serious stuff too. My own introduction to him was through Disney’s Aladdin, as the lovable, hyperactive Genie. I was lucky enough to be around for such a fertile period of his family comedies during the 90s, with everything from Flubber to Mrs. Doubtfire and Jumanji. Later on I was introduced to his work as a stand up comic, with the likes of Live on Broadway, and was blown away by how energetic he was in real life and how outrageously adult his humour could be. Then, years on, I was being shown Good Will Hunting in a film studies class, a film which he won an Oscar for best supporting actor. He was a comedic chameleon of sorts, seemingly able to blend with whatever environment he was in, and by all accounts bring humour to anything.
The man was a true genius, complete with personal challenges and vices, and his life has been made very public, often by his own admission. He has battled addictions, depression and often been the subject of scrutiny for everything from multiple marriages to accusations of plagiarism. Rolling Stone today released an article from their archives, written during the press junket for Awakenings, talking about his falling victim to tall poppy syndrome and media judgement. I cover this only because it seems important to keep things in context, fame is a mixed bag much like life itself.
The truth is Robin Williams was a wonderfully funny man and had a great skill for acting. His absence will be felt by the entertainment industry at large. Fortunately, his movies, and shows, will not be going anywhere any time soon, so sit back and enjoy one. There’s something for everybody.