For nearly 40 years, the screen has been graced by the characters played by Robin Williams that touched the lives of so many people men and women, young and old, rich and poor. His death on August 11, 2014 was sad news to millions worldwide, who know the actor as a jolly, good fellow, who always give viewers more than one reason to smile or laugh. We mourn his death but like most of the roles he portrayed in his movies, I'd rather celebrate the life that he lived and shared with all of us who were blessed to witness his talents on this Earth. Here are seven most memorable characters played by Robin Williams:
1. Mrs. Doubtfire
Mrs. Doubtfire is the funniest and most lovable among all characters played by Robin Williams. That's a verdict that my younger siblings and I agreed to a few hours after his death was announced. As Mrs. Doubtfire, Williams was adorably fun and charming. As children, I remember that we always bugged Mom to get it from the video rental score again and again until such time she decided to buy us our own copy.
2. Seymour Sy Parrish
Have you ever had that uncomfortable feeling towards someone who appears to be nice and funny? Like he/she is hiding something? Robin Williams as Sy Parrish in One Hour Photo made me feel just that. Williams as a photo technician named Sy Parrish made me feel uneasy and for quite some time, I did look at the staff of the photo company where I have my photos developed and printed with suspicion. To say that Williams was convincing in playing the role is an understatement.
Terry Gilliam, who directed Williams in The Fisher King, revealed in a recent interview the level of commitment the actor accorded to his role as Parry in this 1991 film. Parry became a homeless man with illusions of being chased by the Red Knight as he continues to be traumatized from witnessing his wife's horrific death. Interesting note: someone in this film attempted to commit suicide.
4. Dr. Sean Maguire
This is a story of two people (the doctor and the patient) helping each other become better versions of themselves. In Good Will Hunting, Williams played the role of Dr. Sean Maguire, psychologist to a mathematical genius named Will Hunting (Matt Damon). Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote the story (and acted) and won an Oscar for Best Writing. As for Williams? He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Insert smile here.
5. John Keating
Losing Robin Williams is like losing John Keating, that unorthodox teacher who inspired the Dead Poets Society in Welton Academy for Boys. I will forever love these lines: And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. This is a film that all teachers should watch if only to inspire them more in the calling that they chose to heed.
6. Armand Goldman
This is downright hilarious! Robbin Williams and Nathan Lane was a lethal pair I never stopped laughing until the end of the movie. It's the movie you watch just so you can laugh.
Tony Award-winning actress and singer Lea Salonga (who did the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Aladdin) said she never met Robin Williams in person but noted in her column at the Philippine Daily Inquirer that his comedic talents were put to their best use in Aladdin, where he provided the voice of the Genie. As Genie, Williams proved to the world that even his voice can launch a thousand ships.
What's your favorite Robin Williams' movie?