Robin Williams’ defining roles
Robin Williams has passed away in an apparent suicide. News of the much-loved star’s death has led to an outpouring of grief from the public and big names in Hollywood and beyond, from co-stars Sally Field and Steve Martin to US President Barack Obama.
Here’s our pick of the Oscar winner’s defining roles including Mrs Doubtfire, Good Morning, Vietnam and the 1970s sitcom Mork & Mindy.
Mork & Mindy
Robin’s big break in Mork & Mindy proved that he really was out of this world. The award-winning sitcom saw him play a naïve alien from the planet Ork who gets accustomed to life on Earth with the help of his flatmate Mindy.
Good Morning Vietnam
Good Morning, Vietnam was one of the first roles to show off the comedian’s range. His role as a DJ for the troops in the Vietnam War won him his first Golden Globe.
Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society follows a group of privileged students and the poetry teacher, played by Robin, whose unconventional teaching methods inspire them to be better. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role.
The Fisher King
Robin gave a moving performance as a mentally-ill homeless man on a mission to find the Holy Grail in The Fisher King, for which he received his third Oscar nomination.
What could have been a farce about a cross-dressing man was instead a moving tale of a father grieving for the loss of his children after his wife files for divorce. That was all down to the comedian’s nuanced performance.
Good Will Hunting
Robin played therapist Dr Sean Maguire alongside Matt Damon’s troubled labourer/genius Will Hunting in the 1997 drama. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Hook saw Robin play Peter Pan, who grew up, got married, had kids and forgot about who he truly was, until a return visit to Neverland changes everything. His heart-warming and funny portrayal of the ultimate childhood character touched audiences all over the world.
Williams’ Genie in Aladdin is one of the best-loved Disney characters of all time. He voiced the big, blue shape-shifting best friend to ‘street rat’ Aladdin, providing the funniest moments in the film. He also performed the lead vocals for two songs: the Oscar-nominated ‘Friend Like Me’ and ‘Prince Ali’.
His flair for physical comedy was put to good use as a man trapped in a board game in the fantasy adventure Jumanji.
A heart-warming real-life tale of a medical graduate whose unconventional use of humour to treat patients puts him at odds with the medical establishment.
This was a departure for Williams; he played a murderous novelist in a battle of wills with an insomniac policeman, played by Al Pacino.
Francis Ford Coppola directed Robin in Jack, as a boy who ages four times faster than normal. At age 10, he looks like a 40-year-old man, and must navigate life and all its prejudices.
Night at the Museum
Robin won over a new generation as Theodore Roosevelt in the 2006 family adventure Night at the Museum. A sequel was released three years later; the third instalment, featuring the comedian, is due in December.
The Crazy Ones
Robin’s last significant role was on television – in the sitcom The Crazy Ones opposite Sarah Michelle Gellar. He was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for his role as an audacious advertising executive. In May it was announced that the series had been cancelled after one season.
Williams was married three times, most recently to graphic designer Susan Schneider in 2011, pictured. He is survived by three children from his first two marriages – a son Zachary, and Zelda Ray and Cody Allen.
I loved him as batty from ferngully! But will always remember him as Genie, flubber, Jumanji, Jack, Mrs Doubtfire and Batty in Ferngully. He really was an incredible comedian and actor! The best comedian actor of our time! Rest in peace Robin Williams.
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. – Robin Williams