The Many Faces Of Robin Williams

August 12, 2014



Every now and then a celebrity who really touched us passes away. Someone who touched us, maybe, in ways we didn’t really realize until we hear that they’re gone. For many of us, Robin Williams is one of those movie stars that it’s hard not to feel a personal connection to.

While he was an accomplished standup comedian, it was his ability to inhabit, flesh out and totally become the memorable characters that we loved that made him who he was.

Whether you were laughing at the manic genie’s fantastical antics, reciting poetry with the inspiring proof or holding back tears watching the grizzled therapist break it all down, here are some Robin Williams roles we’re going to remember him by the most. Rest in peace, Robin McLaurin Williams.

In 1987, one could argue that Robin Williams took on the role that launched him from bankable comedian to leading actor. In Barry Levinson’s 1987 hit “Good Morning, Vietnam,” Williams brought his manic energy and sympathetic style to a role as a radio DJ ruffling feathers during the conflict.

Adrian Kronauer was the perfect subject for him to embody and use all the tools in his huge bag of tricks. Never mind the broadcasts that served as great fodder for his patented rants, his emotional range left a mark as well. It was a star-making moment. It earned Robin Williams his first Oscar nomination – and the respect of his peers.

“Aladdin” came out in 1992, when animated films were just starting to become a force to be reckoned with when it came to the Academy. Robin Williams was one of the first actors to lend his star power to an animated vehicle and truly make a cartoon character soar into the stratosphere.

As the voice of the unforgettable Genie, the multi-talented actor turned the film into a blockbuster, and it earned 16 Oscar nominations coming away with two wins.

We’d been hearing rumors of a “Jumanji” sequel for so many years and it’s kind of sad it never actually happened, given the reboot- and sequel-crazed culture of Hollywood as of late. The 1995 film was a classic for kids of that generation, and was a wholly original story that still sits in kids’ movie collections for Saturday distractions as the parents grab a nap.


Robin Williams was the right choice to carry the role of Alan Parrish.

From a freaked-out, caveman-esque version who is finally released, to a childlike adult who develops a close relationship with the kids that spring him, Williams pulled all of it off with ease.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that “Good Will Hunting” works only because of Robin Williams’ beautiful performance as the widowed university teacher Dr. Sean Maguire.

The film’s tear-jerking climax, which sees Matt Damon’s tortured title character finally have a powerful psychological breakthrough, would be schmaltzy and completely unearned if we didn’t buy the authenticity of his relationship with Maguire.

By perfectly selling the complex role that cast him as a father figure, a friend, a therapist and a challenge to Matt Damon, Williams was rewarded with his one and only Oscar.