Remembering Robin Williams (1951-2014)

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)


On Monday, Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams, a comedy legend, passed away. Details to the real cause of death are still sketchy at best, and many media outlets are alleging that he died in an apparent suicide. His publicist said he had been “battling severe depression” lately. In how the world responded, fans to fellow performers have expressed great empathy towards the loss.

In a statement to press by his wife, Susan Schneider said, “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.

On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

For this fan, I saw him first in the television series Happy Days, playing the alien out to kidnap Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard). Fonzie (Henry Winkler) had to use all his thumb power to outmaneuver him, and the laughs, joy and mirth I felt had me wishing Williams to get his own television show. I loved this man! His boyish charm is what I liked the most.

Soon, I was glued to the television set watching Mork & Mindy. To see him quickly rise to fame with films such as Good Morning, Vietnam just showed how diverse he is in his shotgun manic approach to humour. The pathos he injects in his performance just cannot be contained. His quick wit made him a superstar. To see him do improv was just amazing. But on cinema, the diversity he demonstrates in the type of characters he plays is just nothing short of amazing. Standout films include Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin and The Fisher King.


I remember going to see What Dreams May Come, an Orphic tale where his character has died in a tragic accident and goes in search for his wife. There was something magical about the film and in Williams’ performance that I liked.

I don’t think many fans remember him in Bicentennial Man, where he played an android who develops emotions. Despite problems with adapting the short story to screenplay, the film was really engaging on a sentimental level that I thought Williams perfectly brought out. To see him appear in Night at the Museum as Theodore Roosevelt showed a subtle humility in his love for Pocahontas that not everyone may notice. I have to wonder what the producers are going to do now that this film is in post-production. I can easily see that a dedication will be made. Other movies that are slated to come out this year or next that includes him are Boulevard, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Merry Friggin’ Christmas and Absolutely Anything. At least Williams’ is going out in style.

No matter what Robin Williams’ demons were that led to him taking his life, if that’s the case, I’m sure he’s at a happier place now. All I can imagine is that he’s with Orsen (Ralph James) from the Mork & Mindy show that made him famous and having a merry ol’ time catching up. For the rest of the world still learning about his passing and mourning, well shazbot.

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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