This week we mourn the loss of one of the most notable performers of a generation. Actor and comedian Robin Williams was found dead in his Tiburon, California, home from an apparent suicide on Monday, August 11. He was 63 years old.
His unexpected passing comes as both a shock and a loss to his fans and the entertainment community. From comedy to drama, stand-up to animated voiceovers, Williams' talents stretched far and wide. Which is why, as we think of him today, we're remembering him for not one but 11 of his most memorable roles.
See also: Robin Williams Dead at 63
Alan Parrish in Jumanji
In this 1995 family adventure film, Williams played a man trapped for decades inside a magical board game. Once he escapes, it's up to him, two young siblings, and his long lost friend to finish what they started. The film was an action-packed hit that epitomized Williams' mass appeal to audiences of all ages.
Mork in Mork and Mindy
Whether you watched re-runs on late night television or followed him from the start of his career, Robin Williams playing the loveable sitcom alien in Mork and Mindy may be his most memorable role of all. It launched Williams' career as a comedian and an actor, and without it we may never have been able to enjoy the numerous projects he made in the decades following.
Batty Koda in FernGully
Shortly after Captain Planet but well before Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, kids of the 1990s took their environmental cues from a little animated number called FernGully. Providing his signature comic relief was Robin Williams as Batty Koda. This served as a less-known precursor to what would later be his most famous animated role of all time.
Peter Banning in Hook
In this 1991 adaptation of the classic tale of Peter Pan, Steven Spielberg could not have picked a better actor to play a man reclaiming his inner child than Williams. He was joined by Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and this film once again shows that Williams knew how to work the genre of family adventure.
Patch Adams in Patch Adams
Patch Adams may have been an actual person, but when you hear the name you picture Robin Williams with a big red clown nose. This 1998 that's part feel-good, part tear-jerker is a testament to how well Williams could transform into his characters.
Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam
This 1987 comedy in which Robin Williams played an Armed Forces radio DJ earned him an Oscar nomination and further propelled his comedic career. Later, Williams would go on to win an Oscar -- just not in the genre many would have originally expected.
Genie in Aladdin
Although the movie was named Aladdin, this real star of this animated film was the genie played by the equally-animated Robin Williams. In this Disney film, Robin Williams used his signature speedy one-liners and spot-on impersonations to make this two-dimensional cartoon entirely his own.
Armand Goldman in The Birdcage
Man, woman, gay, straight, Robin Williams could take on nearly any role in any gender. Case in point, his comedic performance as the gay Florida cabaret owner Armand Goldman. In this slapstick scheme of mistaken identities, Williams was the perfect counter to his onscreen partner Nathan Lane.
Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire in Mrs. Doubtfire
Robin Williams' role as incognito father turned nanny Mrs. Doubtfire will go down in the history books as one of the most endearing cross-dressing performances of all time. Williams rocked his granny drag, much to the delight of audiences around the country. To this day, it's hard not to picture cold cream as anything other than an impromptu whipped cream face mask.
John Keating in Dead Poets Society
"O Captain! My Captain!" This coming of age tale is just one of several we will associate with Williams. In this story of an English teacher who inspires his students through the literary arts, Williams comes across as the teacher we all wish we'd had in high school.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting
This drama about an underprivileged underdog who shows unexpected potential as a genius may have attributed most of its success to writers/actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, but it also won Robin Williams an Oscar for his performance in the supporting role of mentor Sean Maguire.