Robin Williams was one of the most critically acclaimed actors of his time, receiving three Academy Award nominations for best leading actor and winning an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1997. As such, now that he has passed, it is only fitting to look back on some of his most memorable films.
5: “Mrs. Doubtfire”: Williams played Daniel Hillard, a recently unemployed voice actor. After he is divorced from his wife and loses custody of his kids, he disguises himself as Mrs. Doubtfire, a supposedly Scottish nanny, in order to spend more time with his kids. Williams performance shows how versatile of a performer he was, showing some nice dramatic acting while still playing a hilarious old woman.
4: “Aladdin”: In one of his most well known roles, Williams played The Genie, who has near omnipotent powers but can only use any of them when his master, Aladdin, wishes for him to do so. The role was written specifically and it shows, making full use of all of Robin Williams comedic talents. He also puts in a very nice singing performance in the song “You’ve Never had a Friend like Me.”
3: “Good Will Hunting”: In the role that earned him an Oscar, Williams played Sean Maguire, a doctor of psychology. Playing opposite of Matt Damon, who plays the character Will, Williams challenges his patients instead of simply comforting them. Williams turned in one of his most heart-felt performance of his career, and was one of the films that showed audiences he can do more than just comedy.
2: “Good Morning, Vietnam”: In one of Williams’ earliest roles, he played Adrian Cronauer, a member of the United States Air Force, who is sent to Saigon, Vietnam to serve as a DJ on the Armed Forces Radio Service. The amazing thing about Williams’ performance in the film is that the vast majority of his broadcasts were improvised, a testament to his immense wit and natural talent.
1: “Dead Poets Society”: In a film that inspired a generation, “Dead Poets Society” stared Williams as John Keating, an English professor at a very distinguished academy who tries to teach his students the art, philosophy and beauty of poetry and literature, instead of cold hard facts. Williams touches his students on a level even he did not expect, and even in his darkest hours, Williams’ students stand by their teacher. Combining humor and heart, Williams’ best performance of his career comes from the best movie he was ever in.