This week started with the awful news of the passing of Robin Williams, after a long battle with depression. The tributes hit the television and social media immediately, with countless friends, family, colleagues and fans expressing their deep sorrow at the passing of one of the greatest stars the movie industry has ever seen. A wonderful comedian, turned actor, Williams excelled at everything he tried. He was hilarious on stage, great in comedy movies and incredible in dramatic features as well, being nominated for multiple Oscars and even winning the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting.
More than anything though, his death seemed to hit home more than most because by all accounts and according to basically anyone who ever knew him, he was one of the few completely and inherently kind people in Hollywood. Countless stories have been revealed of simple gestures of kindness or caring that other now world famous actors and actresses, musicians and filmmakers say made an incredible impact on their lives. As for me personally, he was one of my favorite actors, and I thought of him as one of the ‘happiest’ people I’ve ever seen, in that you couldn’t help but be happy when you watched him on screen. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that he was far from happy, but the fact that this was the case, and yet he still managed to push such happiness on others is a testament to the heart that he must have had.
So with that, I present Movie Melts 10 Best Robin Williams Movies, along with video clips of each, and I say: ““Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish, and think of me. Make your life spectacular.” – Jack
10. Insomnia (2002)
One of Robin Williams first truly dark roles, allowed him to excel completely free of comedy, in one of the early Christopher Nolan thrillers. Williams starred as the villain, alongside Al Pacino, in what was a brilliant and quite creepy performance. Careful! Video contains SPOILERS.
9. The Fisher King (1991)
One of his Oscar nominations came for this portrayal as a witty homeless man who helps bring another man back from the brink of complete darkness. A wonderful performance, right in Williams wheel house.
8. World’s Greatest Dad (2009)
A surprise for me, was how much I liked this dark, black comedy, which is the newest film on this list by a long shot. Williams plays a dad with a son who is a complete ‘douche’ as we say these days, and who has become stuck in a life he isn’t satisfied with.
7. Aladdin (1992)
One of the most iconic Disney characters and voices of all time, is the much beloved Genie. Perhaps the funniest and most fun character in all of their early films, it was Robin Williams incredible voice acting and manic comedic ability that brought this character to life, plain and simple. Not another actor on earth could have done it, as he essentially played himself in Genie form.
6. Awakenings (1990)
A lesser known film of William’s is actually one of his best. Starring alongside Robert De Niro, Williams played a neurologist whose incredible work is helping catatonic patients make breakthrough recoveries. One of his early dramatic roles, was a great example of his acting ability outside of just comedic films.
5. Hook (1991)
A personal favorite of mine, this was a dream come true for children of all ages. An immortal story, remixed a little, and who better to play an aging, forgotten Peter Pan, but the epitome of a young soul, Robin Williams. Everything about this film was fun, and will forever be a favorite of mine. “You are the Pan!”
4. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
The earliest film in this list, is also the one that many think launched Williams acting career into the realms of real success. He plays an unconventional disc jockey who brings a little joy to the soldiers at his camp, but who also draws the dislike of some superiors as he refuses to lie to his fellow comrades, but rather give them the truth about what is going on around them. If you want to see the origins of a great career, this is a great example.
3. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Perhaps not the most critically loved film, is certainly an all time favorite of families everywhere, including my own. His iconic role as a man who dresses as an old lady nanny, in order to stay closer to his children following a bad divorce, is perhaps his most well known role. Charming, funny and even heartfelt at times, it was a film that it’s hard not to love.
2. Dead Poets Society (1989)
Williams had a knack for inspirational movies throughout his career. He managed to inspire in real life, and on camera, and Dead Poets Society is a fantastic example. He plays an unconventional teacher, at a dull and overly conventional school, who manages to breath new life and inspiration into a group of kids who have dreams that they aren’t necessarily ready to follow. There are countless quotes and lines in this film that resonate with all kinds of people, and it’s a great pick me up movie for those lacking a little inspiration.
1. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Finally, my favorite, and probably the favorite of many others, on this list, is the role that won Williams his one and only Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Good Will Hunting was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, and tells the story of a troubled but incredibly smart young man, whose meetings with a thoughtful therapist (Williams) change his life for the better in countless ways. Williams role as Dr. Sean Maguire will forever be his greatest performance, and one of the best ever. Seeing the pure joy he expressed when accepting his award, as well as the joy of his colleagues on the film will forever be one of my favorite videos to watch when I’m feeling a little rough.
Farewell, Mr Williams. The movie world, and the world in general will miss you.