I’ve heard it said that some of the funniest people sometimes live the saddest lives. When it comes to Robin Williams, I don’t know much about his personal life, even though he was very open about his struggles with drugs and alcohol. But what I do know is that he was more than a legendary comedian – he was an artist, an inspiration, and a man who made us smile and feel better with characters that he put every effort into creating.
Probably my favorite movie of his is Dead Poets Society, where he plays a English teacher at a boy’s school. In that movie, his character talks a lot about being yourself, living life to the fullest, and leaving a legacy – lessons that you just don’t find in modern films because people find these topics boring. But Williams created a character that made these lessons not only entertaining and powerful, but memorable.
And that is really the story of his entire career – people remembered his roles. Whether he was the star, or simply making a cameo, his time on screen was nothing short of incredible.
I want to personally thank Robin Williams for every single piece of art that he created. He influenced me in surprising ways. Above all, he taught me to be myself in a world of duplicates.
I went to my local record shop this afternoon to browse. As I rounded the corner to the comedy section, I found an early album of his. That album is now sitting with the rest of my record collection, just waiting to be played.
Rest in peace, Mr. Williams