The first time I ever saw Robin Williams, he was in Milwaukee, Wisconson in the middle of Richie Cunningham’s house.
I was 8. I thought it was HILARIOUS when he sat in the chair on his head with his butt up in the air.
When he got his own show, I was all in!
Mork was an innocent, well-meaning, sweet alien who always had a message in his calls to Orson, his superior. He portrayed Mork in such a real way without making him seem stupid.
Over the next few decades, I saw a lot of Robin Williams’s movies. I saw Popeye, Good Morning Vietnam, and Dead Poet’s Society. I’ve been wanting to rewatch the latter for some time now. I loved him in that. I loved how he inspired all those students. Perhaps it’s the teacher in me. Perhaps it’s the human in me. Either way, he was amazing.
I saw Awakenings, Dead Again, Hook. I saw Aladdin.
I loved him in Aladdin. Loved. But it wasn’t until at least 10-12 years later that I really, really got to know that character. My son embraced Aladdin when he was 2 or 3. He loved everything about that movie, and the genie was just mesmerizing. It was wonderful to get to revisit that character, not only through my own eyes, but through the eyes of my child.
Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage, Jack, Father’s Day, Flubber. And then came Good Will Hunting. Such a wonderful performance. I was so happy when he won the Oscar.
Patch Adams, Robots, Happy Feet, and Night at the Museum. There couldn’t be a better Teddy Roosevelt!
Sadly, I didn’t see most of his recent work. When you have kids, you miss a lot of movies. Sometimes, however, you see an older movie years after it’s made and it touches you. What Dreams May Come was probably one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen. I cried so hard. He broke my heart in that movie.
I’ve heard news of many celebrity deaths throughout my life. Sometimes I’m shocked. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I’m really sad. Sometimes it makes me shake my head.
The death of Robin Williams yesterday hit me harder than most celebrity deaths. At first it was shock. Then sadness. Then I saw this picture one of my friends posted and I started crying. I’ve had several crying jags since then.
Robin Williams brought a lot of joy and inspiration to the world. He showed that he could be brilliantly ridiculous and ridiculously brilliant. He brought a real depth to all his characters – whether it was John Keating or Mork from Ork.
And this brilliant man had a sadness that was so deep, most people can’t imagine. So many of us were so shocked because how could someone so brilliant and so funny and full of energy and life be so sad that he felt that was his only way out?
I’ve struggled with depression at different points in my life. I’ve even had fleeting thoughts that people would be happier without me being here. But I never once thought that I truly had no other option than to end things.
And then I came close to death after my youngest was born. When I came out the other side, I truly, truly was thankful I was still here, and I realized how my life did affect other people. It’s something I hold onto, even on my bad days.
I can’t imagine how his family feels, but I can only assume it’s what we all feel times 1000.
Good Night, Robin. You will be missed. ❤