Robin Williams: Farewell, funny man

His career spanned around 42 years and included a variety of acclaimed films. (Reuters)

His career spanned around 42 years and included a variety of acclaimed films. (Reuters)

From Good Will Hunting, to Good Morning Vietnam, to his legendary role as the genie in Aladdin, Robin Williams’s dynamic performances were unmatched. 

Known for putting a smile on many an audience’s face, the actor, who was found dead from a suspected suicide, will be missed. 

It’s hard to choose highlights from a career like his that spans around 42 years and includes a variety of acclaimed films, but here are five of his most memorable movies to remember him by.

1. Dead Poets Society

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” 

Who could forget Williams’s role in 1989 as the inspiring poetry teacher Mr John Keating. 

2. Good Will Hunting

 “You don’t know about real loss ‘cause it only occurs when you’ve loved someone more than you’ve loved yourself.”

In 1997, Williams starred in Good Will Hunting, a film written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. His role as a psychologist earned him a Oscar.

3. The Birdcage

“Yes, I wear foundation. Yes, I live with a man. Yes, I’m a middle-aged fag. But I know who I am Val. It took me twenty years to get here, and I’m not going to let some idiot senator destroy that. Fuck the senator, I don’t give a damn what he thinks”.

Williams delivers a cracking comedic performance as Armand in The Birdcage, a gay nightclub owner forced to play it straight for the sake of his son Val who is about to marry a senator’s daughter.

4. Good Morning Vietnam

“Goooooood morning, Vietnam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll…” 

Williams’s portrayal of Adrian Cronauer, a rule-breaking, light-hearted and rather unorthodox DJ at an armed service station in Vietnam is one of his most-loved performances. 

Williams ad-libbed all of his radio broadcasts in the film and his dramatic performances during the more intense conflict scenes earned him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award.

5. Aladdin 

“The ever impressive ... the long contained ... and often imitated, but never duplicated ... duplicated ... duplicated ... Genie of the lamp!”

Williams delivered a big performance for a big character as the loveable blue genie in Aladdin

This role in the 1992 animation introduced the actor to a whole new generation of younger fans. 

In his first scene, upon emerging from the lamp, Williams runs through more than 12 different impressions – from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Ed Sullivan – in just one minute. Unforgettable.

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee is the social media accounts director at Ogilvy PR. She was previously the deputy digital news editor and social media editor at the Mail & Guardian. Haji has an honours degree in journalism from the University of Stellenbosch and continues to write columns for the M&G. Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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