As many, if not all, of you know by now; Robin Williams has passed away at age 63. Williams was found in his California home, the believed cause of death, suicide by asphyxiation, was confirmed just this morning.
Apparently, Williams had recently been battling depression. The actor has had issues with cocaine and alcohol addiction in the past, and many believe those issues stemmed from his fight against his depression.
Unexpected deaths are always tragic, but even more so when suicide is involved. The hardest part seems to always lie with those left behind. What's more tragic to me is the fact that Williams was such a beloved actor and person. Here was someone who made a career out of lifting people up, putting smiles on faces and strengthening hearts - but he had inner demons that wouldn't allow him to find that happiness or strength for himself. His light is one that will surely be missed.
Robin took on many roles in his career. He was just as celebrated for his ability to make us feel as he was for his ability to make us laugh. I'm a 90s kid, so my earliest experience with him was probably either Aladdin or Mrs. Doubtfire. As I got older I went back to his early stuff sparingly, but Good Will Hunting was the one that did it for me. It worked for everyone else also, as that was the role that got him an Oscar. He started with standup, did Comedies, did Drama and even had some darker roles in Insomnia and One Hour Photo. He's completed 4 films that will be released posthumously.
I know a lot of people will be reconnecting with his body of work via Netflix, Hulu and their DVD/Blu ray collections over the next couple weeks. I definitely plan on brushing up on a couple of favorites. As per the usual when a celebrity leaves us, the more immediate story is about how and why he/she did what they did. In this instance, I feel it's more important to remember what Robin Williams did for us. He was a genie that made our wishes come true, he was a doctor that gave us smiles and hope when we needed it most, he was a lawyer that forgot who he truly was until he made it back to Neverland, he was a nanny that did what he had to do to keep his family together, he was a teacher that showed us the things we live for; he was all that and more. Most importantly, he was a human. Robin Williams put himself into many different shoes for the enjoyment of others.
Mr. Williams, I'd like to say thanks for the laughs, thanks for the lessons and thanks for the memories. I appreciate it. Rest peacefully.
Zach & Everyone at 5&A Dime