The Reality Of It All.
His awkward charm erupted in Flubber. His kind hearted spirit shined in Patch Adams. His extraordinary knack for physical comedy sparkled in Mrs. Doubtfire. His versatility as an all around performer was highlighted in Good Will Hunting and his ability to humanize even the nastiest of villains was showcased in August Rush. The list goes on (and on and on), and if I were to give a complete rendering of the plethora of remarkable performances given to us by Robin Williams in his sixty-three years, I’d have a blog post that would most likely last until the end of this year.
Simply said, our beloved Mr. Williams was a genius, not only comedically, but artistically, creatively, and intellectually as well. And as I sit here writing, it has now been a little over a week since that tragic day the world lost another kindred spirit, another especially unique performer that simultaneously warmed our hearts, touched our souls, and brought tears to our eyes with his multifaceted and memorable portrayals of any (and every) single character imaginable to the human mind.
The passing of Robin Williams has undoubtedly triggered an unprecedented outpouring of tributes, memorials and pure grief within the entertainment industry– and the world of social media as a whole. These words, my words, only add to the multitude of mournful sighs and touching reflections that have already graced the public space since we were forced to face a haunting new reality: We’ve lost, yet again, a great actor. What’s more is that this time, we’ve lost our greatest comedian as well– the man who never failed to turn even the most enormous of frowns upside down is forever gone.
It’s depressing to say the least, truly and completely heartbreaking. And it seems that his untimely death, along with that of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s only a mere six months ago (and Cory Monteith’s a year or so ago), initiates an obvious discussion of the connections between creativity, depression, addiction, and suicide. It also forces us to not only acknowledge the seriousness of mental illness, but to carefully examine why such a complex (and sensitive) issue has taken over the lives of so many creative individuals throughout history.
Williams once said, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” And for many artists, I think that really just says it all.
Last Monday, one of the world’s brightest lights went out– and though we have lost in Mr. Williams our most gifted comedian, our most cherished magician, and for many of us, the funny and eccentric uncle we never had, I know for a fact that children and adults everywhere will never learn to forget his warmth, his depth, and most of all, his incredible spirit.