My heart stopped when I heard the news. "It couldn't be true", I thought. "This has to be a hoax." However, confirmation from his publicist proves that this is in fact no sick joke, just a cruel reality. Robin Williams has died at the age of 63.
The legendary actor was discovered this morning in his Marin County home. The investigation has just started into the cause of his death, so at this point I will not fuel speculation on what caused it. Rather, I'd like to take a few moments to celebrate the life and career of one of Hollywood's purest talents.
You'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn't seen a Robin Williams film. He's been in everything: kids movies, comedies, and hard-hitting dramas. Williams' career spanned nearly four decades, an eternity in Hollywood.
The actor and comedian rose to fame in the late 70's playing the quirky alien Mork on the television show Mork & Mindy. From there his career skyrocketed with a string of memorable performances through the 80's, the most famous of which being his turn as English teacher John Keating in 1989's Dead Poet's Society.
Williams proved that his appeal as an actor was not just limited to adults. He gave unforgettable performances in Aladdin, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Jumanji, four films that helped define my childhood and the childhood of millions more.
His career peaked in 1997 when the Academy finally recognized his brilliant artistic talent by awarding the actor an Oscar for his portrayal of Sean Maguire in Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Good Will Hunting.
Robin Williams may be gone, but his legacy will endure for an eternity. Not only was he one of my favorite actors, but one of the greatest film actors of all time. The world has lost a shining star. He will be sorely missed.
"O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead."