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Monday night, it was announced that Oscar-winning actor/comic Robin William, 63, was found dead in his California of an apparent suicide.
Though many of us didn’t know Williams on a personal level, he’s been in our homes making us laugh and think for many years. I’ve seen few actors who could portray the range of characters as he did from the dramatic role of Will Hunting’s psychologist, Sean Maguire, in the film “Good Will Hunting” to the fun, light-hearted role as the Genie in Disney’s “Aladdin.” He was a master of improvisation to play off of situations and make it seem like the dialogue was always written that way. I can imagine he kept many actors and actresses on their toes over the years.
In honor of Robin Williams’ life, I wanted to list of some of my favorite Williams’ movie quotes.
• “Mister Aladdin Sir, what will your pleasure be? Let me take your order jot it down, you ain’t never had a friend like me.”-Genie, “Aladdin.”
• “Oh sir, I saw it. Some angry member of the kitchen staff. Did you not tip them? It was a run by fruiting.”-Daniel Hillard, “Mrs Doubtfire.”
“A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in heaven,” –Chris Nielsen, “What Dreams May Come.”
Peter Banning:” I’m not a pirate. It so happens I am a lawyer.”
Rufio: “Kill the lawyer!”
•Williams character here is a professor at a posh boys’ college in New England. The film is set in the 1950s. He inspires the students to see the world differently and feel things about literature and poetry they have never felt before.
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, those are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for,” John Keating, “Dead Poet’s Society.”
• My absolute favorite quote is from “Good Will Hunting.” Williams plays a psychologist trying to get through to a young, cocky math prodigy played by Matt Damon. Williams tries to make him understand that though he knows a lot, some things in like can’t be learned from a book; they have to be experienced. Here is only a snippet of this long speech he gives. If you have not seen this movie, I encourage you to go see it. It’s amazing. Too many good quotes in there to name them all.
“I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms ‘visiting hours’ don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.”
I am so saddened to hear about Williams’ death, but I hope it will shed like on the fact that anybody can suffer from depression, even the person who seems light-hearted and is always seen with nothing more than a smile. I hope we can start a real dialogue about mental health and move away from the stigma that people suffering from a mental disorder are weak people. The strongest people are the ones that carry the weight of their demons, day after day.
Rest in Peace Robin Williams. I hope angels greeted you in heaven by standing on chairs, shouting, “O Captain, My Captain.”