When I first read yesterday that Robin had committed suicide, I was deeply saddened, much more so than when I have read of other famous people's untimely demises. I'm not quite sure what Robin had that so appealed to me and millions of others all around the world, but it was something special that spoke directly to your heart and your soul. He simply made people happy, he made them briefly forget the problems of their lives and of the world, and so it was for me. I mourned his passing in much the same way as I would mourn the passing of someone I knew personally and loved personally. He had that ability to inculcate himself into your very being, through the roles he played on television and in the movies. Few actors or comedians have that ability, and Robin had it in "spades".
Like many people everywhere, my first view of Robin Williams was that of the zany, but adorable "Mork from Ork". The very first time I saw "Mork and Mindy", I was hooked. It is a tribute to his comic genius and the show's brilliant writers that words such as "Nanu-Nanu" and "Shazbat", became a living part of our lexicon. I suppose for many people, like myself, Mork represented the unusual outsider, the odd-ball, who wanted nothing more than to fit into regular society. We watched, each week, transfixed, as Mork encountered mundane, everyday, earth dilemmas and brought to them his simple, yet refreshingly sweet, cosmic responses and solutions. We also watched the sweet romantic relationship develop between Pam Dawber (Mindy) and Mork. Mindy was the quintessential "girl next door" - beautiful, sweet and adorable. Men wanted to marry her and women wanted to be like her. We all rooted for Mork and Mindy to be a couple, that was part of the magic of the show. It's staggering to think that 35 years later, after all Robin's amazing comedic and dramatic movie roles, for most of us, it is that naive, little alien, Mork, that we remember and love him the most for.
My personal favourite movie of his was actually not a great success at the box-office, but it was such a departure from his usual roles, I found it intensely compelling. "What Dreams May Come" was, for me, a highlight of his career. This comic actor played a harrowing, gut-wrenching role focused on death, the afterlife and hell. His performance in this movie was compelling and I for one, rate it as one of my top movies ever watched.
From a comedic point of view, I still think the funniest line ever spoken by Robin in a movie was from "Mrs Doubtfire". When Pierce Brosnan's character asked Mrs Doubtfire if she had seen who threw the fruit at him, she replied with a perfectly straight face; "I don't know dear - perhaps it was a 'drive-by' fruiting". Truly classic comedy - I loved it.
For me,, like millions of others who didn't know Robin Williams personally, it still is like saying goodbye to a dear and close friend.
Goodbye my friend, you deserve the ultimate accolade - "This world was a better place, for your having been in it". Now you may rest in peace.