Robin Williams, 63, was found dead in his Northern California home on Monday, August 11 (US time).
News about Williams’ death, an apparent suicide due to asphyxiation, has shocked fans and netizens all over the globe who have grown up and fallen in love with the actor/comedian’s capacity to inspire laughs, entertain, and dwell on the fragility of the human spirit through his impressive repertoire of movie characters. His signature brand of overt comedy was a combination of sheer wit and outlandish physicality that was showcased thoroughly throughout his almost 40-year career.
He made us believe in magic through Aladdin’s Genie, made us root for the not-so-perfect cross-dressing dad in Mrs. Doubtfire, and even inspired legions of future writers to channel their inner Walt Whitman with Dead Poet’s Society.
It truly is a great loss, not only for the industry he poured his heart into, but for the multi-generational admirers he prematurely left behind. In tribute to a true thespian, kid at heart, and the prince of Neverland, here are the 10 Robin Williams flicks that will live on as his legacy.
"Genie, you're free"
To quote his character Jack in the Francis Ford Coppola movie of the same name: "Please, don't worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting...make your life spectacular. I know I did."
Rest in peace, Mork. It’s time for you to return to the heavens where you originally came from.
1) Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Children of failed marriages who grew up in the ’90s could probably relate to the oddball premise of this family dramedy–minus the geriatric drag shenanigans, of course.
Struggling father Daniel Hillard is in the midst of a custody battle for his kids. In order to spend time with his children, he poses as the titular matronly nanny, proving that comedians in fat suits can be effective when you aren’t Eddie Murphy. Oh, and that sticking your face in a pie makes the perfect disguise.
2) Jumanji (1995)
Game board fanatics got a kick out of this fantasy adventure that fused the mundane trappings of suburban life with the animalistic threats of the African jungle. When Alan Parrish (whose older version is played by Williams) discovers an ancient board game and decides to roll the dice, he’s sucked into a magical portal.
Decades later, when the game is found by two precocious youngins, he is set free along with a plethora of wildlife (and one angry hunter named Van Pelt) that ravages the small town they inhabit.
3) The Fisher King (1991)
One of Williams most troubled characters came in the Terry Gilliam-directed drama about a suicidal radio DJ who seeks redemption by aiding a delusional bum trapped in the Arthurian world of the Fisher King. Playing alongside Jeff Bridges, Williams’ crazed loony in search of the Holy Grail was simultaneously troubling and loveable, earning him his third Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Though he didn’t win that year, it was the first time he played against commercial type, imbuing in audiences the notion that fools are actually prophets in disguise, and sometimes escaping into fantasy may very well be the answer to this cruel world we live in.
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