Fast-talking and frenetic, his delivery and ad-libbing was pure genius. That type of comedy is hard to pull off, but what lingers in my heart were the characters he played in his more serious roles. Robin was smart, wise, and sardonic. His thought-provoking monologues made you think and learn about life. There were always puns in his lines. Twists. Wisdom. His greatest talent was his sincerity. He had a rare gift for becoming his characters. Actually, I think the characters mirrored the man.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
John Keating: Thank you for playing Mr. Dalton. I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.
John Keating: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!
Good Will Hunting( 1997)
Sean: So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that.
Sean: You’ll never have that kind of relationship in a world where you’re afraid to take the first step because all you see is every negative thing 10 miles down the road.
Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
Adrian Cronauer: Excuse me, sir. Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn’t we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? ‘Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we’d all be put out in K.P.
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Chris Nielsen: There’s a man Ian never got to know, the man he was growing up to be. He’s a good-looking clear-eyed fella… about 25. I can see him. He’s the type of guy men want to be around, because he has integrity, you know ? He has character. You can’t fake that. And he’s a guy women want to be around, too. Because there’s tenderness in him… respect… and loyalty, and courage. And women respond to that. Makes him a terrific husband, this guy. I see him as a father. That’s where he really shines. See, when he looks in his kid’s eyes and that kid knows that his dad really, really sees him… he sees who he is. Then that child knows that he is an amazing person. He’s quite a guy… that I’ll never get to meet. I wish I had.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Mrs. Doubtfire: Dear, I always say, a flawed husband is better than none at all.
Miranda: Who needs a husband when I’ve got you?
Peter: I want always to be a boy, and have fun.
Wendy: You say so, but I think it is your biggest pretend.
Patch Adams (1998)
Hunter Patch Adams: All of life is a coming home.
He made all of those mentioned so special. I’m still reeling because of this truly sad news. I’m hoping to wake from the nightmare. God, I’m going to miss him something fierce. Fine tribute, Cindy.
It really (surprisingly) hurts that a complete stranger entered your heart and mind and affected how you look a the world. The power of actors! I feel like Robin is a long time friend of mine.
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Could not have put it better myself, Cindy. It’s really quite amazing how much this has been a painful week.
He has always been there ever since the days of Mork & Mindy. Nanu nanu. It is a sad day, indeed. There was no one like him, and I don’t think there ever will be.
He was utterly originial. What energy!
An immensely gifted man. I liked his film with Robert DiNero, ‘Awakenings.’
I liked that one, too. He played a lot of doctors, didn’t he? Very comfortable for his humane, comforting love to another character and still managed to insert a pun when necessary.
Cindy, off topic – are you considering doing a post on the lovely Lauren Bacall, a personal favorite of mine? I hope so; I think you could do her justice.
Kate, thanks for the confidence! I did one on Bogey and Bacall last year. Yes, sure, I’ll see what I can do 🙂
I too am overwhelmed. Unbelievable. I didn’t know he had settled and made himself feel at home in my heart. Now I wonder, can I ever fill that empty spot?
How ironic. He made so many people happy and yet he couldn’t make himself happy.
So sad that this act is his swan song. He will be greatly missed.
Great way of putting it. Reading so many tributes about him reminds me of many films I didn’t think about — Genie, Awakenings — I think he was so spinned up inside his head it must have been very loud in there.
Great piece, Cindy. He delivered so many great performances on stage and screen and I think you’re spot on when he say “the characters mirrored the man”. He was at his very best in these kind of roles.
He really seemed to be playing himself. I loved your trivia bit, by the way. My computer crashed when I was responding to it and then my day took off at break-neck speed. I liked the one about Christopher Reeve. 🙂
Great tribute – the fact that your selections are very different from ours is a reflection of the range that Williams had, despite being labeled in the box labelled ‘zany’.
I thought the same thing when I read fellow blogger tributes. He had a gift I can’t think of any other comedian having–adlibbing and an amazing, fast mind.
Some nice quotes from some beautiful movies starring a great actor. He shall be missed.
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Lovely choices Cindy. An incomprehensibly talented actor and performer. Love so much of his work. He’ll be sadly missed.