It’s hard to write an article like this. I promised myself I’d get through it without crying and yet here I am sobbing as I read through the submissions of my staff members and other tributes online and on Robin Williams’ IMDB page. His loss has been devastating to generations of fans around the world and the staff of Nerdophiles are no exception. Most of us grew up watching his movies – from childhood classics like Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire to more serious films like Good Will Hunting and the Dead Poets Society. He was truly a Hollywood icon but more than that he gave people hope. He made people smile. He gave us moments that will last forever and that we will share with our own families someday.
He wasn’t just an incredible actor – he was an incredible person. If you’ve following any of the coverage since his passing you’ll know that he was a great supporter of the USO, a loving father, and an absolutely genuine person all around.
We lost a truly amazing person yesterday.
It will be bitter sweet to see Robin Williams ride one last time as Teddy Roosevelt in the upcoming Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb when it comes out in December at Christmas time. He’ll also be seen this September in Merry Friggin’ Christmas later this year and lastly – and perhaps most fittingly for those of us who first met him as the Genie in Aladdin so many year ago – he’ll be lending his voice to Dennis the Dog in Absolutely Anything which should come out sometime next year.
I asked out staff to think of their favorite Robin William’s movie and share a few memories. You can read their responses below and, when you’re done, we’d love for you to share your own favorite films and memories in the comments.
It’s hard to pick just one favorite Robin William’s film. He was such an amazing actor and he was in so many movies that I grew up on. Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook, Jumanji, Jack (yes, I liked Jack, okay?)… I could sit for hours watching them as a kid. He wasn’t just in the movies I watched either. I remember hearing him shout, “Good morning, Vietnam!” while watching that film with my dad and seeing Patch Adams for the first time with my family.
I think I have to pick Jumanji as my favorite Robin Williams role, though, just because that was the first movie in which I really remember recognizing him for him. It’s such a classic kid’s movie, full of action and funny at the same time. I like to think if there is any one kid’s movie that truly defines the 90s it’s probably Jumanji. Who doesn’t remember eyeing board games a little warily after watching it for the first time? It’s timeless thanks to the story and the humor and it’s truly Robin Williams who sold it. I still can’t believe that he’s gone. Is it too much to hope against all hope that it’s only until the dice read five or eight?
I was sitting at work when I saw a tweet from Bryan Fuller saying ‘RIP Mr. Williams’. At first I shrugged it off, but then I did a double take and clicked the link. Devastation came soon after that as I tried to hold back tears at the realization that Robin Williams passed away. If I had to choose a favorite movie, it would probably be the Dead Poets Society. The funny thing is, that movie helped me work through some of my own issues when I was younger. His role as the stoic, gentle mentor giving hope to those boys gave me hope. Robin Williams, through his acting, convinced me that life was worth it.
The second movie of his that sticks out is Good Will Hunting, because it hit me in a different way. We watched it for my Counseling Skills class when I was working on my BA and we learned from the man Robin Williams portrayed. We discussed and analyzed all the ways he helped his student and it helped us understand to a fuller extent the range of counseling techniques we can use to help people. The fact Robin Williams in part inspired my career and my passion for helping people struggling is probably why I am so absolutely devastated that he’s gone. He w
Robin Williams was one of the movie giants of my childhood. His filmography ranged from the lighthearted and wacky to the groundbreaking and Oscar-winning. The man had the range that very few actors have nowadays. He could pull off prancing about in a loincloth one moment and then sell out theatres night by night doing hard drama on Broadway. He was a giant of his time and it is genuinely heartbreaking to hear of his passing. He was a behemoth in the stand up circuit pushing the boundaries, ruffling feathers and causing controversy. That was his charm, all he set out to do in his life was to make people laugh in any way he could.
I’ll be honest in saying that I can’t really choose an all-time favourite movie of his as there are so many greats, but the first thing that comes to mind is Mrs. Doubtfire. It remains to this day a brilliant film with the obvious family comedy tropes about it, but at the same time it has terrific subtlety and heart. A man who loves his children with such ferocity that nothing will stop him from being with them, teaching them and nurturing them even if it means they don’t know that he’s really there. I have fond memories of watching Mrs. Doubtfire with my father for the first time and then most recently watching it with my 9 year old nephew. Robin Williams was a troubled soul, it has been evident for a long time that he has struggled through some very hard times. I hope that he is now at peace and can finally get the rest that he truly deserves for bringing such joy to the homes of millions.
Robin Williams. What can I say about you that hasn’t already been said? My short life has been shaped by you, your movies, words of wisdom, and laughter. You taught me that comedy is acting out of optimism, and that comedy is nothing without drama. Mr. Willliams, your movies helped inspire me to a life of acting, and if not acting, psychology. I can attribute Patch Adams to my love of psychology, of helping others when their lights seem so dim. Jack helped me see that though our outsides are different, our insides are the same. Judging someone for what they look like is useless. Your role as Genie has helped me though some of the darkest times in my life, because your song, “You’ve never had a friend like me,” has always reminded me that my friends are there, though I may not hear them. Your life affected so many lives. You brought laughter and hope into this dark world, and this world will never be the same. Thank you, my Captain. For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding.
When my friend told me that Robin Williams died today, I felt that sinking feeling in my heart like I had lost a friend. Like so many others, my life was touched by Mr. Williams’ illustrious career, especially when I was young. Movies like Aladdin and Hook were my favorite as a kid, they inspired the imagination of an only child who had no other playmate but her imagination. I remember laughing along to Mrs. Doubtfire with my grandma who despite her language barrier with English was still touched by Mr. Williams’ humor. But I have to agree with Katie, my favorite movie of his has to be Dead Poets Society. I first watched this movie not long after I had started college. It was a rough time for me, doing something I didn’t love for the wrong reasons, and watching Dead Poets Society reminded me of what I loved. Robin Williams’ John Keating reminded me so much of my own English teacher that I adored in high school and eventually inspired me into doing something that I loved. It is sad for me to think that a man who brought so much light into the lives of millions has had his own light extinguished so soon.
A few years ago, one of my best friends in the world convinced me to watch Death to Smoochy. I was kind of hesitant since all I had really heard about it was the bad reviews and all the jokes Jon Stewart would make about his performance in it. Still, I watched it and actually came out of it laughing my ass off. It’s a weird and dark film and Stewart was right about his performance, but Robin Williams shines as the nasty and maniacal, but still dark and broken Rainbow Randolph. It’s certainly one of the most underrated performances of his long and storied career.
There’s a lot to remember Williams for that’s all been mentioned before. I don’t want to know anyone who can’t quote the ‘great cosmic power line’ from Aladdin. There’s just a lot of little things I remember him for too. Like his classic appearance on Whose Line Is It Anyway, the beautiful commercial he did with his daughter Zelda for the Ocarina of Time 3DS, his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Cobra Starship’s ‘You Make Me Feel’ video, his cameo as John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar and his entire routine on golf from his Live on Broadway special. Wherever Williams is now, I hope he’s still making people laugh and smile, even for the little things.
What else can be said? I was laying in bed, casually scrolling through Twitter when I saw a tweet from NBC Bay Area stating that Robin Williams had been found dead in his Marin County home and I paused. The world seemed to stand still, and all I could think of was how I had been singing a horrible mash up of “Friend Like Me” and “Party Here in Agrabah” just that morning. Robin Williams was one of the first actors I was able to recognize as a child; his presence was just larger than life and instantly infectious. He could weave a joke out of nowhere and his ability to flow with his audience during his stand up was masterful. His chemistry with his costars was honest and heartfelt and I’ll always remember the scenes between him and Nathan Lane in The Birdcage, where the love between the two was so palpable even through the screen. He was a man who could portray the exuberance and tragedy of life with the greatest of ease, and his voice is one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
I grew up watching Robin Williams in movies like Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin, and Mork and Mindy reruns on TV Land. As I got older, I started watching some of his stand-up acts, and and The Birdcage–loving those just as much as his films I watched as a kid. Robin Williams was one of those actors who can always make me laugh. I loved his mile-a-minute style of humor, his ridiculous impressions, and his over-the-top physical comedy. Robin Williams felt like he was a part of my childhood, and to lose him so early and in such a tragic fashion breaks my heart. He was a brilliant actor who was able to easily go from a comedic role to a dramatic one, and he seemed to be a genuinely nice man. Though his life ended in tragedy, I do hope that he wasn’t fully unaware of the impact he made on the lives of his fans. Robin Williams certainly will not be forgotten, and his legacy will be one of bringing joy to millions of people.
Mrs. Doubtfire was the very first movie I saw with Robin Williams and I loved it. The ending message is very sincere. I also loved Patch Adams. Even though I never met Mr. Williams you knew he was a kind man. He was a comedic/dramatic genius. His performances in Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come were phenomenal. Listening to him talk you’re pulled in because he has this presence. He made everyone else laugh and love him. I hope he has found his peace. You will be greatly missed, Mr. Williams.
Robin Williams’s death was absolutely devastating and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this terrible time. He touched the lives so many people and he will live on in laughter he gave us all, the people he worked with, and the work he’s done.
Depression, mental illness, and addiction can strike anyone and you do not have to battle it alone. It’s okay to ask for help and to reach out. There are people out there just waiting to help you. No matter how you might feel and even if you might think it’s not true, people do care. You matter.
If you or someone you love is having thoughts of suicide, please, contact your local resources or call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (US).