Jeremy here with some horrible news...
Robin Williams, one of the funniest men who ever walked the Earth, has passed away at the age of sixty-three. His publicist has issued the following statement.
“Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has been battling severe depression of late. This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
We'll update this story as we receive more information. AICN sends its sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
I am devastated by the loss of Robin Williams. I grew up on him, from MORK AND MINDY to POPEYE to his brilliant, brilliant stand-up. I listened to him wax about parenting, politics, and life in general with his rapid-fire, deeply contextual humor. His was a mind in motion, constant motion, and his energy onstage was unparalleled. Even when he played serious roles, such as in the magnificent THE FISHER KING, or GOOD WILL HUNTING, for which he won an Oscar, you could see the leaping and dancing behind the eyes - always in on the joke, always looking at everything in front of him at every funny angle.
There's a moment in AWAKENINGS, as Williams' Dr. Sayer mourns the loss of his friend Robert De Niro, that he showed his kindness and empathy, wounded at his inability to make things better. Or in WORLD'S GREATEST DAD, as a father coping with the loss of his only child the only way he knew how, trying to navigate the strange world of celebrity. Even in roles like CADILLAC MAN, Williams gave his complete all to his performances. In INSOMNIA Williams could play menacing and chilling, even under the armor of an innocent-seeming man, like in his masterful work in ONE HOUR PHOTO. In DEATH TO SMOOCHY, Williams turns his comedy to acidic, angry wit, and he's amazing in it.
And then there's the roles we all know him from - from the hugely successful MRS. DOUBTFIRE, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, his voice as the Genie in ALADDIN, where Williams found a medium that could keep up (if barely) with the constant flow of comedy and ideas that emanated from the man. I remember my favorite skit from Robin Williams in his stand-up, as he talked about changing a diaper during A NIGHT AT THE MET, one of the best comedy albums of all time.
My second favorite role of Robin's was THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, one of the finest films of the 1980s. Williams did great work in one of his first films, and he handled himself well with such juggernauts as Glenn Close and John Lithgow. It's one of the most moving, empathic films I've ever seen, and I never fail to cry as Garp, in the helicopter, proclaims to his love, "I'm flying." Oh, this hurts.
My favorite role that Robin Williams ever played was in THE FISHER KING, as a seemingly insane man who has suffered tremendous loss. There's real beauty in it - not just with Williams' work but in the imagery and beauty of director Terry Gilliam. I urge you to see it if you haven't. It's one of those truly beautiful movies, multi-faceted like a gem, meant to be examined and cherished. I will miss Robin Williams tremendously, and now, unlike Robin was in his work and life, I am out of words.