The world lost a comedic icon Monday with the death of Robin Williams, reportedly a suicide. The 63-year-old actor won an Academy Award, revolutionized stand-up comedy and developed a reputation as one of the greatest improv comics. From his start in ABC’s “Mork and Mindy” in 1978 to his final television show, CBS’s “The Crazy Ones,” Williams held audiences captive by not just making them laugh, but by tapping into the inner child in all of us.
IBTimes compiled a list of Williams’ best scenes:
"Happy Days" (1978)
Williams was first introduced to the world as a character from another world. He got his start playing the alien, Mork, on the hit ABC show “Happy Days.” Initially, a one episode guest role to play an antagonist to the Fonz, the character was so popular it earned a spin-off series, “Mork and Mindy,” which turned Williams into a star.
"Good Morning Vietnam" (1987)
Maybe no role more exemplifies his unique comic skill than “Good Morning Vietnam.” The role as a radio DJ in the war was the perfect vehicle for Williams’ ability to slip seamlessly in and out of dozens of characters, accents and bits at break neck speed.
"Dead Poet’s Society" (1989)
Williams plays the teacher everyone wished they had. The “Captain, my captain” scene might be the more iconic scene, but the better one to showcase Williams is earlier on when he explains to his students the merits of studying poetry (while having them tear out the academic intro to the poetry book).
No role may better capture what Williams meant to audiences more than his turn as a fantasy character in Steven Spielberg’s “Hook.” With his comedy, Williams seemed to never want to grow up, never want to conform, and never want to listen to what anyone else had to say.
For many of a younger generation, the first exposure to Williams is likely to be Disney’s “Aladdin.” These scenes showcased his trademark style of non-sequitur comedy, which literally let the genie out of the bottle for a generation of new fans.
"Mrs. Doubtfire" (1993)
At the end of "Mrs. Doubtfire," where Williams pretends to be a female nanny to see his kids after a divorce, the actor is made up in his elderly, cross-dressing costume doing a children's TV show. It is not hard to believe the show, which had become a popular kids’ show in the movie, would work. Mrs. Doubtfire did not feel like an old woman, she felt like a friend.
"The Birdcage" (1996)
Here is another instance of Williams playing an unconventional character so naturally that the audience barely blinks. As a gay club owner living with his partner, played by Nathan Lane, Williams creates a real, loving relationship onscreen in a performance ahead of its time in both its humor and sincerity.
"Good Will Hunting" (1997)
This speech from "Good Will Hunting" (the role won him an Oscar) is worth remembering as one of Williams’ most brilliant moments as an actor, and also worth heeding as the world discusses the actor’s life.
What is your favorite Robin Williams scene? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.