I’m not usually one to get emotional over the loss of a celebrity. Having never met them my reaction is usually a “Oh no thats such a shame” today was different.
Today I am genuinely saddened like a part of my early teenage years has died. Robin Williams Live at the Met remains an often quoted reference from that time between my friend and I. The CD of the recording itself a story, brought, lost, found, lent out, lost, dodgy MP3 copy made, CD repurchased.
Everything about that performance makes me laugh now as it did for the first few times I listened amongst friends. It brings me a comfort that even the most masterful performances of Hicks and Pryor can’t touch. It was educational, made me research to understand the sections on American politics in the mid 80’s. Above all this performance oozed energy and showmanship like I’d never heard before.
Not being a particular film buff I have not seen too many of his screen performances. (I will rectify this in the coming months) But again those I have, have memories attached to them. I saw Mrs Doubtfire at the cinema after a sleepless sleepover night.My friend dozed off during the trailers at the beginning with a big tub of popcorn balanced in his lap. When the movie began he woke with a start showering the two rows in front of us with popcorn. Williams delivered a touching comic performance, I can’t imagine any other actor delivering given the somewhat creepy “man dresses as woman to gain access to home” story.
Good Morning Vietnam, again an education. Being a teenage Brit knowledge of the Vietnam conflict was at the point of first watching this was very limited. The humour and warmth of Williams drew me in and his ability to switch from mapcap high energy comedy to genuine emotion is something that other most other actors can only dream of. This film was the very first DVD I purchased.
The last performance I caught was his guest appearance on Louie. Where he appeared as himself and joined Louie at a funeral where they were the only two mourners. The two characters decided to search to find people who loved the deceased. No such search will be required for Robin Williams who will be so sadly missed. Rest in Peace.