I must have heard Monday’s news about Robin Williams just after the news broke. I remember thinking this is another hoax about an actor’s death; Robin Williams can’t be dead. Then slowly the news was everywhere and I knew it was true. However, it didn’t really hit me until my drive home from work Tuesday. One of the funniest actors of all time was gone. It’s hard to believe someone who brought such joy to so many around the world could leave us in the manner he did. I will never forget the laughs he gave me as the magical Genie in Aladdin, or as the savvy advertisement guru Simon Roberts in the short-lived sitcom The Crazy Ones, and everyone in between. There have been many celebrity deaths over the last few years, but Williams has impacted me the most because he has always been there throughout my entire life as my experiences changed. When I was younger, I enjoyed movies like Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire and Flubber. As I grew older there were more mature movies like RV and The Final Cut. When cursing seeped into my rhetoric, I found his stand-up to give me a hard laugh. He can uniquely fit his humor for any audience of any age. To commemorate Williams’s long and memorable movie career, here are my Fave Five movies starring Robin Williams.
5) The Final Cut
I know The Final Cut isn’t one of Williams’ more popular movies, but I have always found this movie interesting. For one, this was the first serious movie I saw Williams act in. I thought he did a great job showing the emotion of a man carrying a tragic memory throughout his entire life. Also, the idea of splicing together footage of all the good memories of a person’s life to remember them positively, even the life of a less-than-noble person, I found fascinating.
4) Night at the Museum
Williams was a perfect choice to play President Theodore Roosevelt in Night at the Museum because he was to Larry Daley as Roosevelt as Williams was to those around him in real life: a mentor. He guided Larry through becoming the new security guard the same way he has guided so many over the years, whether it be in person or through his films.
3) Mrs. Doubtfire
Come on, do I even need a reason to include Mrs. Doubtfire in this list? Williams brings so much heart to the story about Daniel Hillard, a man who just wants to spend some time with his kids after his divorce. It’s hard not to root for Hillard because Williams plays the character so well you can empathize with the character. I watched this movie on TV so many times there was a point where I would just flip past it. Shame on me. Good thing that didn’t last long.
Jumanji is another one of Williams’ movies that is just so much fun. As a man out of time, the only way I can think to describe Williams’ Alan Parrish is zany. This was the same energy Williams brought to most of his comedy, in or out of film. I like to watch behind the scenes and anything with Williams reminds me of his character in this movie. Just non-stop off-the-wall animation, always making people laugh and making him so lovable.
There was no doubt in my mind Aladdin going to be anywhere but the top spot on my list of Williams’ top movies. Remember the energy I said he brought to Jumanji? (You should, it is in the paragraph above) Well take that and multiply it by ten and you have Genie. Williams displays how versatile he was with his voice with this single role. Despite Aladdin being an animated movie, he also shows his range as an actor. From comedy to drama, it’s all there. Genie made this movie for me, and a big part of that was Williams.
Rest in peace, Robin Williams. You will be greatly missed.