ByBrian Finamore, writer at
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Brian Finamore

Wow. I am beyond words right now. No less than a few hours ago, reports coming through various news sources indicate that veteran film and television comedic actor Robin Williams was found dead on Monday. He was 63.

The cause of death is believed to be suicide via asphyxiation, according to the coroner’s office in Tiburon, Calif. He was found in his home.

Perhaps this is too early to write an article recapping his best work, but when the name Robin Williams is mentioned, so many things come to mind. He was a brilliant, versatile actor, and comedian who showed depth uncommon of any actor labeled a "comedian" first.

Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy, Williams went on to establish a successful career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. His film career included such acclaimed films as Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting (1997), as well as financial successes such as Popeye (1980), Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night at the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006).

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Williams went on to receive the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Good Will Hunting (1997). He also received two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards.

  Robin Williams in World's Greatest Dad
Robin Williams in World's Greatest Dad

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Williams had an addiction to cocaine; he has stated that he has since quit. Williams was a close friend of and frequent partier alongside John Belushi. He says the death of his friend and the birth of his son prompted him to quit drugs: "Was it a wake-up call? Oh yeah, on a huge level. The grand jury helped too."

On August 9, 2006, Williams checked himself in to a substance-abuse rehabilitation center (located in Newberg, Oregon), later admitting that he was an alcoholic.

Williams was hospitalized in March 2009 due to heart problems. He postponed his one-man tour in order to undergo surgery to replace his aortic valve. The surgery was successfully completed on March 13, 2009, at the Cleveland Clinic.During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Williams discussed the fact that Propofol had been used on him during his operation, the same drug which had been involved in the death of Michael Jackson. Williams commented that Jackson had been taking the drug to sleep, which he compared to "doing chemotherapy because you're tired of shaving your head". This comment caused much hilarity among the audience and other guests, but Williams emphasised the fact that Propofol is a "devastatingly powerful drug" that should be only administered in hospital, whereas Jackson had been using it at home

This is not about speculating what may have caused Robin Williams death, but a celebration of his work as an actor and comedian.

Dr. Sean Maguire - Good Will Hunting - 1997

The film that proved all Williams doubters wrong. A powerfully understated and emotional performance. His much deserved Oscar was won for his portrayal.

John Keating - The Dead Poets Society - 1989

The second time Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor was for this 1989 Peter Weir film. There's no doubt he elevates the cliches with his stirring performance.

Lance Clayton - World's Greatest Dad - 2009

Only an actor with range like Robin Williams could have pulled off this tricky, brilliant satire by Bobcat Goldthwait. This is a dark movie for sure, but Williams adds levity to the role and that makes the situation so much more believable.

Seymour "Sy" Parrish - One Hour Photo - 2002

Again, only someone with Robin Williams immense talent could pull off such a complicated, isolated role. We feel for Sy because Williams is that good at making him sympathetic.

Walter Finch - Insomina - 2002

Again, part of the 2002 renaissance for Robin Williams as a major serious actor. He plays a smart, slick, but ultimately sad creep.

Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer - Good Morning, Vietnam - 1987

Robin Williams first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and really one of those films that combine his amazing comedic talents while showcasing his dramatic range.

Dr. Malcolm Sayer - Awakenings - 1990

Henry "Parry" Sagan - The Fisher King - 1991

If their was a match made in Heaven, certainly it was Terry Gilliam and Robin Williams, who's endless comic energy suits a Gilliam world well.

Gabriel Noone - The Night Listener - 2007

Beyond underrated. One of his most unsung performances of his career.

While they're are certainly many more performances I could have highlighted, those are the roles that immediately come to mind when I think of Robin Williams, an unbelievable talent who will sorely be missed.

Dr. Christopher (Christy) Nielsen - What Dreams May Come - 1998

Not only one of Robin Williams most underrated films but one of the most underrated films of the 90's.


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