On Monday the world lost one of our greatest comedians, inspirations, and lights. Robin Williams passed away in his home at the age of 63. Here are nine of his greatest moments of laughter, brilliance, or advice:
9. Snickers Commercial
This 30-second ad reminded us all of just how silly Robin could be. It was the epitome of his quick wit. “I want you to go out there and hit anything with an O.”
As kids, this movie set our imaginations running wild – what if elephants could just appear and start crushing cars in the street? What if I was a monkey? It was pure adventure and terror rolled into two hours with Robin steering the ship.
7. Mrs. Doubtfire
The antics of a man pretending to be a woman, let alone Robin Williams pretending to be a stodgy old nanny, are enough to get anyone’s giggle box going. But when he set his (her?) shirt on fire, we all lost it!
“Bangarang!” Nothing has ever more clearly defined the line between children and adults than Robin as grown-up Peter Pan in “Hook.” He stole our hearts and took them to Neverland.
I think an entire generation of kids learned who Robin Williams was when they met him as Genie in “Aladdin.” Genie was the perfect representation of how Robin would have contorted and reshaped if he was able. And like in most of Robin’s roles, Genie had a soft side that showed with brusque humor.
4. What Dreams May Come
This gorgeous, heartrending movie gave us a glimpse of Robin’s internal workings. And through his sheer humanness, he showed us a side of heaven and earth that we never could have imagined. “What some folks call impossible is just stuff they haven’t seen before.”
3. Patch Adams
Only Robin Williams could turn a serious, national profession into a circus. But then again, he proved that laughter is medicinal. “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”
2. Good Will Hunting
Robin teamed up with a young Matt Damon is a combination none of us could ignore. Hundreds of thousands of people still claim “Good Will Hunting” is their favorite movie. Robin knew how to touch something common inside each of us, how to draw it out and coax us to feel right along with him. “People call those imperfections, but no, that’s the good stuff.”
1. Dead Poets Society
This one is my favorite, of course, because I’m a writer. But the fire and respect Robin built into the boys (and into the viewers) for the power of words, for poetry, for beauty, for life, lingers long after the credits have rolled. And we each – almost without meaning to – reserve “Oh Captain, my Captain” as only the highest of compliments.
Rest in peace, Robin. The world is a dimmer place without you.
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