Robin Williams passed away Monday, bringing an end to one of the most memorable lives and acting careers of the last 40 years.
Williams began his career with a breakthrough role on the television show "Mork & Mindy." He followed that up with success on the stand-up comedy circuit, delivering some of the most uproarious routines anyone had ever seen.
From there, Williams went on to become one of the most accomplished movie stars of his generation, highlighted by several award nominations and box office successes. Here are some roles to remember him by:
"Good Morning Vietnam"
Every great actor has a one-man tour de force where they carry a movie to spectacular heights. "Good Morning Vietnam" is that movie for Robin Williams. And while Williams shows of considerable comedy skills through a series of amazing monologues, "Good Morning Vietnam" was also the first big showcase for Williams' well-rounded acting skills. The performance earned him a Golden Globe as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
"Dead Poets Society"
Williams continued to show that he was much more than a talented comedian in "Dead Poets Society," a film where he doesn't have the most screen time but does as much as he possibly can with the time he's given. "Dead Poets Society" still ranks as one of the best coming of age films of the past 25 years thanks, in large part, to Williams' sophisticated turn as an unorthodox teacher who guides his students on a journey of self-discovery using literature.
"Good Will Hunting"
At the time, Williams winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Good Will Hunting" seemed like a bit of a surprise. Seventeen years later, it's hard to imagine anyone else winning. "Good Will Hunting" is a film that's aged well. So has Williams' touching performance as Dr. Sean Maguire, a therapist who finds a bit of himself in a troubled young man (Matt Damon) with all the potential in the world. In typical Williams fashion, much of his memorable dialogue in the film was improvised, including the final line which he said off-script: "Son of a b****. He stole my line."
Mrs. Doubtfire" tells the story of a divorced man who misses his children so desperately that he disguises himself as a middle-aged British nanny in order to be near them. The man's ex-wife and three kids are all, of course, completely fooled by the deception, leading to great poignancy when the man hears himself discussed in what appears to be his absence. This one is personally my favorite. He was not just a man dressing in drag. He WAS Mrs. Doubtfire. Williams could usually do that with a role.
As you can see, Robin Williams was amazing in all of his movies. Lets ALWAYS remember that.