Entertainment

Charm, wit and intelligence - the legacy of Robin Williams

FUNNY MAN: Stand-up comedian Robin Williams in the TV series Set List, and (inset) fan tributes.
FUNNY MAN: Stand-up comedian Robin Williams in the TV series Set List, and (inset) fan tributes.

FROM an eccentric alien to a genie let out of a bottle, Robin Williams infused all his characters with his charm, wit and intelligence.

From the moment he uttered Mork's famous phrase "Nanu, nanu" in the sitcom Mork and Mindy in 1978, Williams became the man who made the world laugh.

As fans across the globe mourn the 63-year-old, found dead at his home in California on Monday from a suspected suicide, the NewsMail pays tribute to a career that spanned about four decades.

And those decades are littered with memorable performances.

Everybody has their personal favourite.

Perhaps a favourite was his first Academy Award-nominated role as an unorthodox American DJ who shook up the status quo when he was assigned to a US armed services radio station in Vietnam - Good Morning Vietnam.

Maybe it was it was as inspirational English teacher John Keating in Peter Weir's 1989 film Dead Poets Society.

Or it could be as Daniel Hillard, a father so desperate to be around his estranged kids he dresses up as an old Scottish nanny to be close to them in Mrs Doubtfire.

Whichever performance left an indelible mark on your life, Williams was undoubtedly an engaging, ferociously funny and manic performer with rapid-fire quips and an arsenal of uncanny impersonations at his disposal.

Born in Chicago in 1951, Williams was inspired by comics Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor and like them he pushed the boundaries of comedy with no subject taboo.

His razor-sharp tongue and ability to ad lib meant this titan of comedy was equally at home riffing on everything from politics and relationships to Hollywood and masturbation.

Williams, who studied acting at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, had serious and engaging roles in The World According to Garp, The Fisher King and his Oscar-winning performance in Good Will Hunting as well as very dark and restrained roles in One Hour Photo and Insomnia.

He brought enthusiasm and emotional depth to his voice work in animated features such as FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Happy Feet and of course as Genie in Disney's Aladdin.

He was simultaneously funny and touching in films such as The Birdcage and childhood favourites Jumanji and Steven Spielberg's Hook.

Williams was sometimes let down by poor scripts, such as those for Old Dogs and Jack, so it would often be in candid interviews or on stage performing stand-up routines that he could let loose his comedic brilliance.

On stage he was limited only by his wild and vivid imagination.

US president Barack Obama paid homage to the actor in a statement, saying Williams made people laugh and cry and "gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most - from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalised on our own streets".

While Williams made no secret of his struggle with alcohol, drugs and depression over the years, it's still sad to think that a man so gifted at bringing joy to many people's lives could not in the end find joy in his own.

Topics:  film movies robin williams



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Bridge that's built to last

OPEN ROAD: Work completed on Monto-Mount Perry Road bridge, with two lanes of traffic.

Monto-Mt Perry Road bridge works completed last Thursday.

WATCH: Amazing creature caught on camera at Agnes Water

Sarah Cassell took a video of this whale at Agnes Water.

Early season visitor for Agnes Water

Local Partners

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

BEN Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day in a joint announcement.

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!