Robin Williams, who has died at his home in California aged 63, is remembered by many as a staple of American comedy throughout the 1980s and 90s.
Best remembered for his zany and energetic style of comedy, Robin Williams began his career as a stand up comedian, before moving onto television with the sitcom Mork and Mindy, running from 1978 to 1982, which made him a household name.
After moving into film, he found his niche in playing characters with a great enthusiasm, and used his apt for comic timing to great effect.
In addition to his many, greatly remembered comedic roles, he has also been celebrated for his more serious roles, such as playing therapist Sean Maguire in 1997s Good Will Hunting, which led to him winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role.
His wide range of critically acclaimed films include Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), The Fisher King (1991), Hook (1991), Disney’s Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995) and Night at the Museum (2006).
Although very successful in his career, he has often suffered with his own personal demons, including addictions to alcohol and cocaine, and suffering from bouts of depression.
He had recently admitted himself into rehab to help conquer his alcohol addiction, and his publicist confirmed that Williams has been ‘battling severe depression’ in the recent months.
On the breaking news of his death, Williams wife Susan Schneider released the following statement; “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken.”
Many tributes from those in the world of film have poured in over the last 24 hours, including;
“Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.” - Steven Spielberg, who directed Robin Williams in Hook
“I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.” - Steve Martin
“Robin Williams, the most astonishingly funny, brilliant, profound and silly miracle of mind and spirit, has left the planet. He was a giant heart, a fireball friend, a wondrous gift from the gods. Now the selfish bastards have taken him back.” – Terry Gilliam, who directed Robin Williams in The Fisher King
“A tweet cannot begin to describe the hugeness of Robin Williams heart and soul and talent. This is so sad.” – Ben Stiller, who worked with Robin Williams in Night at the Museum
“My Heart’s broken. Robin was a beautiful, kind soul. Can’t bear that he’s gone. So incredibly sorry for his family.” – Minnie Driver, who worked with Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting
“Robin Williams made the world laugh & think. I will remember & honor that. A great man, artist and friend. I will miss him beyond measure.” – Kevin Spacey
In addition to the world of film, a tribute came in from President Obama on the passing of Robin Williams;
“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny… and everything in between. But he was one of a kind.” – President Barack Obama
At the time of his passing, he had several films in post-production, including reprising his role as Theodore Roosevelt in the third Night at the Museum film, due to be released in December 2014.
Fans of the late, great Robin Williams will have their own memories of his films and their personal favourites from his body of work. We can now remember his many great roles, and salute an actor who made many, many people happy.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Robin Williams (1951 – 2014)
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Read the article at focusfilm.co.uk