Jordan’s 5 Favorite Robin Williams Roles
By now, there is no way you haven’t heard about the tragic loss of Robin Williams. When I heard about it, like many others, I was hit pretty dang hard. Immediately, his beloved face (and all the roles that partially defined my childhood) flooded into my memory.
When looking at his filmography, Robin Williams was everything from a crazy professor exploring a funny green energy source to Teddy Roosevelt himself. He played a crime writer in Insomnia, an institutionalized doctor in Patch Adams, and balanced himself between the funny, the absurd, and the dramatic. His comedic roots didn’t stop him from exploring and conquering all genres.
Up until now, I still haven’t even given away my favorite Robin Williams performances. Below you can find my homage to one of the best, and definitely one of the most diverse, actors of all time.
Here are the five Robin Williams roles I’ll miss the most:
I normally reserve one (or two) picks as a nostalgia picks. When I think of my childhood, one of my favorite movies was Jumanji. And while I’ve admittedly went over a decade between my last viewing and now, I still adore this movie. In it, Williams plays Alan Parrish, a man who is stuck in a board game for 26 years before being released into the real world. I’ll never forget the monkeys, spiders, stampeding rhinos, or Williams’ super-awesome beard. Jumanji is the first example I had of Williams’ comedic prowess.
I’ll admit I hadn’t seen Dead Poets Society until yesterday. I also will admit I was completely embarrassed I’d missed it, especially since I’m an English teacher myself. Not only did the movie turn out to be a great example of how teachers and role models can greatly impact the youth, but it was probably the best example I’ve seen of an effective teacher on the big screen. If you haven’t seen it (hey, I admitted I hadn’t), go check out how great of a teacher Mr. John Keating (a.k.a. Oh Captain! My Captain!) is now.
If I had to put money on what people consider Williams’ most iconic role, I’d most likely choose Daniel Hillard (a.k.a. Mrs. Doubtfire) from Mrs. Doubtfire. The film is considered one of the funniest movies made (it made an appearance on American Film Institute’s Funniest Movies) and Williams’ double-duty as a degenerate husband/made-up housekeeper is the chief reason why. Even Arrested Development spoofed the comedic situation that still hasn’t been replicated.
Perhaps the most beloved role Williams had, though, was his turn as The Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. Even if it was just his voice you could hear, Williams’ loving persona is completely embodied by his turn as the jolly blue giant. Recently, I found out that directors Ron Clements and John Musker had to use Williams’ stand-up in the animation process to convince the higher-ups to cast him. Boy did they make the right (and most hilarious) decision.
From The Genie to Sean Maguire, Williams is absolutely at his dramatic best in Good Will Hunting. In it, Williams plays a therapist that is in charge of taming a smart but irascible brainiac (played by Matt Damon). Tragedy or not, Williams’ “it’s not your fault” scene is one of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever seen. It’s not a fluke Williams went on to win an Academy Award for his performance and just thinking of this role made me want to instantly rewatch this classic.
What other performances did I miss? Sound off below! And, of course, Rest in Peace Mr. Williams.
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