Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams: From the Crazy Alien, to the 'Crazy One'

#RobinWilliams #RIPRobinWilliams

It saddens me today to know that one of my favorite actors/comedians has died today of an apparent suicide.

Robin Williams made us laugh on the screen and stage, and sometimes he made us cry. My memories of Robin Williams begin with 'Mork and Mindy' when I was a child. I'll never forget that funny little man who was being hatched from a space egg in the open credits, nor that funny little way he greeted people, "Nanu-Nanu." It was often what I would say to my parents before being put to bed.

But what caught my attention was when he went on to play one of the greatest children heroes of all, Peter Pan, with the twist that he was a grown up Peter Pan who had lost his memory and had to return to Neverland to save his children and rediscover himself. It was most definitely here that parents realized how child friendly this comdian really was, and he captured all of our hearts with the swashbuckling tale.  

Thinks got risky but over all hilarious when he played the cross dressing out of work voice actor Daniel Hillard, a man who's divorce and separation from his children prompt him to take on the persona of a 60 year old English house keeper woman in order to stay in close contact with his kids.

This movie hit me really hard as a child, and it turned out to be one of my favorites not only because of Williams' hilarious appearance and portrayal as an overweight elderly lady, but because the movie came out while my own parents were in the middle of a very rough divorce. So the movie coincided with what was actually happening in my life, and I'll never forget her words at the end of the movie when she said,

"You know, some parents, when they're angry, get a long much better when they don't live together. They don't fight all the time, and they can become better people, and much better mummies and daddies for you. And sometimes they get back together, and sometimes they don't, dear. And if they don't don't blame yourself. Just because they don't love each other anymore doesn't mean that they don't love you."

It was then that Robin Williams had a place forever in my heart. Whenever I was sad, I thought of that seemly insane man who went to such great lengths to prove his love to his children. 

It wasn't until later I discovered that he loved the video game Legend of Zelda, and I knew I loved him even more. He even named his daughter Zelda. I mean hell, who isn't a Zelda fan?

Another thing that I didn't know about Williams until today was that he spoke in front of a Senate panel back in 1990 on the subject of homelessness in America.

Another one of his gags I liked came in the Woody Allen movie, 'Deconstructing Harry', where he plays a movie actor who is 'out of focus' or 'soft'. It was a sight gag of course, as Robin was completely out of focus and you couldn't see his face, but knowing that it was him made it great.

I don't know what else to write about Robin Williams, other than this comes as a shock to me as I am sure it does to all of you. I express my deepest condolences to those Williams left behind. Robin gave us all one of the greatest gift ever, laughter.

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