Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams, Dead at 63

Image from source, LA Times
Few celebrity deaths hit me with any oomph. Michael Jackson. Gilda Radner. Madeline Kahn. And now, Robin Williams. I heard the news on my drive home from work, and it had apparently just broken. My mouth hung open for close to a minute, as I drove. "Suspected suicide." I just. . .some people aren't supposed to end.

I was the perfect age for the character of Mork, when he was introduced on Happy Days. 12 years old, and--like every other kid in America--a fan of both that show and Laverne & Shirley. Williams' zany character took off instantly, and helped turn the already burgeoning ABC TV schedule into a juggernaut. For a pop culture fan like me, it just put me deeper in. He was so funny and bizarre in the role, it somehow felt both safe and dangerous. I think Williams was often like that. Inconceivably, network meddling killed Mork & Mindy, after its very first season, but it took three years to die. Cast and timeslot changes caused a huge amount of viewer loss. I never left, but the audience eventually did. It's a shame too, because when Williams' hero, Jonathan Winters joined the show as his son, there were some classic moments.

Image from source, LA Times
I continued to be a fan of Williams, though not to the degree I did as a kid. I've always enjoyed his brand of humor, and thought he was a great actor. I just wasn't a fan of some of the roles he picked. Still, whenever he's pop up on Letterman or elsewhere, he was just a hoot to watch. Then, when he returned to television, with The Crazy Ones (a terrible title, unfortunately), I had to watch. To be fair, it had something to do with costars Sarah Michelle Gellar and James Wolk, but Williams' part was part of the draw. I watched every episode. It gelled into a wonderful ensemble, and it's really sad that it didn't make it. I've got to wonder if his spirits wouldn't have been better. . .or better enough. . .had the show been renewed instead of cancelled this spring. RIP, Robin.


Robin Williams dies in apparent suicide; actor, comic was 63

Robin Williams, a comic and sitcom star in the 1970s who became an Oscar-winning dramatic actor, died Monday at 63 in Marin County. The Marin County Sheriff's Office said he appears to have committed suicide. The news of the beloved actor’s death rocked the nation. Channels broke into their usual programming to make the announcement, and within minutes, Williams dominated online trending topics. Even President Obama noted his passing. . .

Read more at: Los Angeles Times



  1. Yep, I was surprised as well. The guy was so full of life when he appeared in public, but you have to come down at sometime.
    This may be inappropriate, but I always thought Williams was gay because he fit the stereotype.
    But he was a great man, even if he was a liberal and he will be missed.

  2. No, I kind of understand what you mean. He did characters so well, you could think he was anything. A lot of people thought he was Jewish.


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