Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam © Touchstone Pictures**
The loss of Robin Williams in August, 2014 meant the world became a little less funny. He mesmerized an audience with his fast paced comedy and when needed, could turn on the drama at will. An icon in his own right, his death was unnecessary, as with so many others who perished in the same manner.
It is this tale of a tragic comic that sadly remains etched in our memories, which seems very unfitting for the man that was Robin Williams.
Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams took the entertainment industry on a whirlwind adventure that included movies such as ‘Good Will Hunting’, ‘Hook’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘The Fisher King’ and ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ - to name but a few.
Williams voiced the Genie in Aladdin © Disney*
His acting animated roles that perhaps where never thought to be inspiring, entertaining or thought provoking. It was a magical talent that he possessed – clearly portrayed through the journey of a teacher, a radio DJ and a doctor.
The Teacher – Dead Poets Society
As John Keating, Williams brought back the enrichment of why individuals go into the field of teaching. He was able to use his comedic timing in a manner that generated an inspiration to learn, rather than a textbook teacher that taught by the rules. By the end of the movie he was seen as a misunderstood hero who left a lasting impression on his students. If you remove the plot of the movie and left the teacher on his own, his role displays someone who teaches with the purposes of educating.
Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society © Touchstone Pictures***
The Doctor – Patch Adams
Williams has been placed in the medical field a few times during his acting career with Awakenings and Nine Months. However its his roll opposite the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams that sees him use humour as a method of dealing with patients. A different approach to medicine that may not agree with everyone, but it does break the stereotypes of the medical field for sure.
The disk jockey – Good Morning, Vietnam
Loud and disruptive. His portrayal of Adrian Cronauer as a radio Disk jockey (DJ) for the Armed Forces Radio Service in Saigon during the Vietnam War was brutally awesome! His example of how to entertain with words and music created relevance in the radio medium and provided an on-air personality others could mould themselves on.
Good Morning, Vietnam © Touchstone Pictures
For a man who once took a blue genie and created a phenomenon, it seems only Robin Williams could have spun these roles into inspiring career possibilities. A talent like no other, and definitely a tragic loss, his magic though lives on forever.
Image credit: Dead Poets Society, Good Morning, Vietnam © Touchstone Pictures Aladdin © Disney