dinsdag 12 augustus 2014

Oh Captain My Captain, RIP Robin Williams

Last night I heard the news that the great comic Robin Williams has passed away. Presumably suicide... The man that could make everyone laugh. After Philip Seymour Hoffman (who acted alongside Robin in Patch Adams) we have to say goodbye to another one of the greats. How big this loss is, shows out of the endless stream of tweets, as wells as in President Obama message:

The tweet was the short version, so I used the entire statement here

I think these words speak to everyone. Because is there anyone who didn't grow up with Robin?

His television years
Robin Williams made his debut in the TV show Mork & Mindy about thirty years ago. A show I unfortunately have never seen. A blooper reel of the show appeared on my facebook page and just from that you can see why Robin (and the show) was so loved. This past year he made his comeback to the 'small' screen with The Crazy Ones  and we could enjoy his humor and tricks weekly (like the scene where he dressed up as Priscilla, Queen of the Desert). Remarkably he played a character, Simon Robberts, who also had a battle with alcohol addiction behind him. A few years ago Robin talked about his problems. In the beginning of the eighties he even used cocaine, but after his friend John Belushi died, he quit cold turkey. It is said that he had a relapse in 2006, but there's not much info to be found about this period in his life. Which emphasises that he shouldn't be remembered for this addiction, but all the more for all the pleasure and laughs he shared through the years. 

The friend of your youth
The first movie I ever saw in a movie theatre was Aladdin. Of course it was the Dutch version, and it wasn't until many years later that I found out Robin voiced the role of Genie. I think everyone will remember both the song ‘Friend Like Me’ and the moment where Genie finally gets his freedom. It's this moment that lives on social media. But I think the first movie I ever really 'saw' Robin in, was Mrs. Doubtfire. All I needed to see was Robin doing those voices and I was impressed by his talents. After that many more adventures followed: Like those of the board game in Jumanji, enjoying his green invention in Flubber, flying through the wonderful world of Neverland in Hook and the beautiful drama where he played Jack who had a condition and was a boy in a grown ups body (not to forget that he had a crush on his teacher, played by Jennifer Lopez). I grew up with all of these movies and Robin has brought many a smile to a lot of kids with it. 

Mrs. Doubtfire, voices
With heart and soul
He wasn't always the comic. In movies like Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams and Dead Poets Society he showed another side of him. Where he received his first Oscar nomination with Good Morning Vietnam, he landed it with his role in Good Will Hunting. Even though he began his speech by saying he was speechless, he ended with - you couldn't expect anything else - a lovely comical quote by his dad. It didn't matter what role Robin played, he always put his heart and soul into it. He could touch a classroom to give him a heartfelt goodbye with ‘Oh Captain, My Captain’. It's one of those moments you'll always remember. Robin Williams is one of those special people that kan make you both laugh and cry. When you stop and think about his death, it'll choke you up, even while watching his (funny) movies. It can't be said in any other way than that the world will miss him and his wonderful sense of humor.
Robin's acceptance speech for Good Will Hunting

When something like this happens, it's ‘gone but not forgotten’. His entire oeuvre is an enrichment for everyone who's been in contact with it. From funny kids movies like Mrs. Doubtfire to beautiful drama’s such as Dead Poets Society: Robin could do it all and did it all. Just like with Philip Seymour Hoffman he didn't sit still either. There are still some movies that are planned to come out: Soon we'll be able to enjoy his wonderful characters once more in Night at the Museum 3 and Merry Friggen’ Christmas. Until then I'll remember him by watching the pearls from his career, just like many others like me I think. Rest in peace Robin Williams, you are free.

As I said, social media is filled with memories of Robin. From quotes, short vids, interviews, GIFS and touching pictures. Here's a couple of responses from twitter (mostly by actors who worked with him). There are also some vids, both funny and touching:

 The last picture he shared on twitter/Instagram for his daughters birthday
 (Scott Weinger played Aladdin)

 (Bill Cosby played alongside him in Jack)
 (Ben Stiller is his co-star in the Night of the Museum trilogy)
 (His daughter)
 (Robin Williams and Billy Crystel both appeared in one episode of Friends)

 (Forest Whitaker played his Butler)

 (Julianne Moore had Williams as her doctor in Nine Months)
 (Mara Wilson played on of his daughters in Mrs. Doubtfire)
 (Minnie Driver played Matt's love interest in Good Will Hunting)
 (Ricky Gervais also stars in Night at the Museum)
 (Samantha Mathis played Christa in FernGully)

A tribute about his work
Aladdin – Friend Like Me

Oh Captain, My Captain – beautiful compilation from Dead Poets Society
Some of his best quotes

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