In just a couple weeks, the anniversary of the death of legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams will be here. On August 11, he will have been gone for six years. Honestly, it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
Since that time, I have not been able to bring myself to watch any of his films or TV appearances. In a lot of ways, I can see how this might be considered odd. I didn’t know him personally; I just watched him on the screen. As a 90s kid, however, Robin was a big part of my childhood, as well as growing up.
He’s had no shortage of iconic roles and classic films. His stand up and his talent were all unforgettable. And yet, what’s sticking out in my mind right now as I type this are the promos he did as Genie for Disney’s One Saturday Morning on ABC:
The message of the promo was that great minds think for themselves. For a young girl watching, it was such a revolutionary idea. I was fully expecting him to say, while floating at the chalkboard and wearing a graduate’s cap, that “great minds think alike.” But he went left, inspiring my mind, and changing my perspective on everything. That simple statement helped me ignore peer pressure in school, and make decisions for me.
So yes, Robin Williams had made an impact on me early on, and his work has always impressed or inspired me.
Today, after a six-year hiatus, I was able to watch one of my favorite 90s comedies, “Mrs. Doubtfire.” It was just starting, and I simply felt compelled to watch. It was just as fun as I remembered.
A big part of Robin’s acting included ad libs. I’m grateful the directors on his projects allowed him to do his own thing. There was a magic to it, and was ultimately a bonus gift to any audience that watched him.
An important note as I watched: I didn’t feel sad as I thought I would, but just was able to re-experience the joy I felt from before. And now I want to watch more of his films (particularly now as the world is being torn asunder). Some of my favorites include the best remix of Peter Pan of all time, “Hook.” Then there’s of course “Aladdin.”
Note: For those that may have missed it, Dan Castanella was in the Aladdin sequel and not Williams, though he did return for the third and final film.
A bit random, but his ep on Law & Order: SVU where we got to see a different, darker side of Robin’s acting is also thrilling to watch.
For those that haven’t visited his work in a while, I must encourage you to do so. Remembering him and having a laugh is a great medicine to have at the moment.