Following today’s sad news we pay homage to Robin Williams, taking a look at seven of his most remarkable on-screen characters
On Monday, it was announced that Robin Williams had tragically died, a devastating loss to his family, friends and a generation of people who had grown up watching his hilarious portrayals of a diverse array of characters. He had an unwavering devotion to his craft and a uniquely ranging talent, being both capable of playing serious roles such as his chilling portrayal of obsessive photo-developer Sy in One Hour Photo whilst also being able to make millions laugh, as he so successfully did in his unforgettable portrayal of Mrs Doubtfire.
In honour of the one of the words finest and most entertaining actors, we take a look at 7 of Robin Williams best characters…
If you switched on the television and Mrs. Doubtfire was on, it was impossible to turn it back off. Whilst being both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Mrs. Doubtfire tells the story of a man going through a divorce who pretends to be a nanny in order to see his children more, whilst also being able to keep a watchful eye on his wife. Williams takes us on a journey through Mrs. Doubtfire’s mishaps as she struggles to keep up the disguise. Hilarious throughout, there’s not denying that Mrs. Doubtfire stands to be one of Robin Williams funniest and most defining roles. Remember, it’s okay poppet.
Demonstrating that even his vocals were enough to make people smile, Robin Williams offered his voice for the 1992 animated version of Alladin. Although initially unsure about the part, he accepted the role after director Ron Clements animated the Genie to a voice over to one of Williams’ standup performances. All we have left to say is: Genie, you’re free.
Undeniably one of those glue-your-eyes-to-the-TV type films, Williams portrayed Alan Parrish in Jumanji, a boy who has been stuck in a board game for 26 years. He kept us entranced as he fought off mental monkeys, mamouth mosquitoes and a massive monsoon after two naive children reopen the game and begin to play. The film did well in the box office but only gained mixed reviews from critics. Despite this, it’s a classic and probably at the top of Robin Williams most famous filmography.
In a re-timagined version of the timeless children’s classic, Robin Williams takes on the role of the infamous Peter Pan. Instead of having a young boy playing the role, Robin is cast a father who has to reclaim his youth in order to rescue his children from Hook. His childlike persona deemed Williams the perfect candidate for the role.
SEYMOUR “SY” PARRIS
Stepping aside from the comical roles and taking a more serious and somewhat disturbing role, Williams portrayed stalker “Sy” in the psychological thriller ‘One Hour Photo’. Working as a photo developer, he becomes obsessed with a family in which he wishes to be involved. However, after discovering that the husband is cheating, Sy becomes enraged and breaks into a hotel room and armed with a knife, sets to seek revenge. The film is a huge step away from Williams’ more comfortable comical roles, but highlights his diversity as an actor.
PROFESSOR PHILIP BRAINARD
In a film that earned more than double it’s budget at the box office, Robin Williams played Professor Philip Brainard in Flubber. In an attempt to raise enough money to save the college, Brainard seeks to create a new energy source but instead creates Flubber, a living material which eventually becomes a useful source for a variety of different tasks. Another unforgettable film with Williams stamp firmly on it.
AIRMAN SECOND CLASS ADRIAN CRONAUER
A mash-up of comedy and war may not sound conventional, but when it comes to Good Morning Vietnam, it works.Here, Williams plays a DJ who plays tracks and reports news for servicemen fighting in the war. We’re taken through a journey of bomb-blasting one-liners in the film that earned WIlliams a well deserved Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
Words: Ryan Cahill