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RIP Robin Williams 1951 – 2014

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 4:42 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

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It is truly a sad day for comedy fans the world over. Another comedy legend has left us too soon. Robin Williams was found this afternoon non-responsive in his Tiburon, CA home, and was pronounced dead on the scene. No official cause of death has been announced, but several outlets are reporting this as a suicide.

Williams’ publicist Mara Buxbaum told The Hollywood Reporter: “Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

Williams was nominated for four Academy Awards, and finally won one for his role in Good Will Hunting. He rose to prominence as the goofball alien in Mork & Mindy and delighted audiences with his frenetic and manic humor for the next 40 years.  He will reprise his role as Theodore Roosevelt in the third installment of Night at the Museum this December. He had recently signed on to reprise his beloved role as Mrs. Doubtfire in a sequel to be directed by Chris Columbus, and was last seen opposite Annette Bening in the indie film The Face of Love. His sitcom The Crazy Ones premiered on CBS last fall, but was not picked up for a second season.

The-Birdcage-2For me personally, when I think of Robin Williams I will always envision him as Armand Goldman from The Birdcage. Not only is it one of my favorite comedies of all time, but Willaims kills it as the straight man in the film (pun intended). To see Williams play a muted character and allow the Nathan Lane and Hank Azaria to go bat shit crazy with their amazing performances, is a thrill that stands up 18 years later. He was also the fore-runner of the comedian-turned-dramatic actor that seems so commonplace now, but when he attempted to do it he was met with backlash and resistance.

He was also one of the first big names to voice an animated character when he took on the role of The Genie in Aladdin. Nowadays every major animated film has numerous big names, but in 1992 it was unheard of, and he absolutely nailed the role. His natural manic-ness and compulsions made him a living cartoon, so it was a perfect marriage.

There is so much to say, but someone next to me put it best. “It feels like I lost a member of my family.” So true, I have been watching Robin Williams my entire life, and although he hasn’t done a lot of quality work lately I would have been thrilled to see the planned Mrs. Doubtfire sequel and anything else he might have had for us. My deepest sympathies go out to his entire family, and I hope that they are able to cope with the tremendous loss the world has been given today.

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