Over a successful 36-year career, he played an alien, an elderly woman, a teacher, and even a US president. But in the end, the role that proved most challenging was just being himself.
The actor in question is the incredibly talented Robin Williams. Williams was one of Hollywood's brightest stars. Younger generations may remember him as Teddy Roosevelt in the Night at the Museum films, or as Ramon in Happy Feet. Others might recall Williams dressed up as a woman to get closer to his children in Mrs. Doubtfire. And older generations can think back to Mork and Mindy, the show that gave Williams his big break in 1978.
Robin Williams is one of those rare actors who is loved by all. He began as a stand-up comic and had a well-known gift for improvisation. No matter what the scene was, Williams could make it work—and get a big laugh in the process. Yet Williams would not have made it as far as he did if he had relied on his comedy skills alone. There was a very genuine quality in his acting style. He was willing to reveal a vulnerable side to characters he played on-screen. This display of weakness helped people connect to Williams, because it’s what we all feel sometimes in our everyday lives.
Williams may have been drawing from his own troubled private life during these performances. Struggles with depression, drugs, and alcohol were constant themes in his life. During his later years, a brain disease led to other physical problems like poor vision and trouble sleeping. In 2014, Williams ended his life at his home in California. It is very sad that he left the world so soon. However, he left behind an incredible body of work, one that has made the world a better place.