Monday, August 11, 2014

R.I.P, Robin Williams

Well, damn.  Robin Williams is dead, apparently, all the news sources are saying, from a suicide.  A man who brought so much joy to so many is gone, possibly unable to find any joy for himself.


I've loved every Robin Williams comedy concert video I've seen, studied them all many times, and wondered if ever for a second on stage as a spoken word performer I would be half as good as he was at his worst.  I hoped to see him continue to grow and to perform for many years to come. 

Despite the accolades he received, he was an under-appreciated actor as well as a stone genius comedian.  In The Fisher King, in Dead Poets Society, and most of all, for me, in Good Will Hunting, Williams delivered powerful performances that showed glimpses of his character but that were ultimately excellent renditions of the characters he was playing. 

I never got to see him perform live, and I never met him, so I have only one personal anecdote about him.  One day, in a shop in San Francisco, I noticed a small, thin man in sunglasses and a track suit:  Williams, there shopping with, I believe, his daughter, and trying not to have to be the performer version of himself.  Everyone in the shop stayed cool, no one bothered him, he bought a few items, and he left.

Afterward, though, all of us were buzzing with our favorite Robin Williams bits.  He had made me laugh so much so many times, he had done that for everyone in the shop, that we all wanted to thank him, but none of us did, because we all wanted to respect the wish for privacy he so clearly had.

He mad so very many of us laugh so very many times, and now he's gone. 



Michelle said...

My heart is heavy with the news of the passing of Robin Williams. I have been entranced by him since the first time I saw him on an HBO special featuring young comediennes way bsck in the 1980's. I have loved him through Mork and Mindy, all his movies (especially as the Genie in Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire and Peter Pan in Hook). Yes, he had some really wonderful dramatic roles, but I loved him when he was at his silliest most vulnerable. However, my all time favorite Robin Williams moments are of his hosting duties with Billy Crystal and Whoopie Goldberg for Comic Relief. I literally couldn't breathe through some of the skits as I was laughing so hard. Very few entertainers were as smart and adept at improv as he was. The world has lost a brilliant talent that made us all smile.

Anonymous said...

when I read what had happened, I posted my thoughts on Facebook, except that I did not have the words. I kept writing and erasing, writing and erasing, and was not happy w/ the resulting post, but was so shocked it was all I could do at the time. I lost a young high-school age cousin to suicide last year and this brought all of the horror back.

thank you for finding the words for Robin Williams.

Mark said...

I remain very sad at his passing. I wish the joy he gave others could have found its way into him.


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