We lost a legend Monday. Robin Williams was an iconic entertainer who was equally charismatic as a comedian and an actor. He was always funny, and seemed to be a genuinely good guy. And that’s what he was, according to a recent Twitter tribute from someone who would know—his daughter.
Robin—who was 63—had struggled with depression for years, and his death was an apparent suicide. This highlights the need to spread awareness about depression—it’s much more common than many people think, and can strike anyone, quickly consuming their lives. You may think you could spot someone who’s depressed. But depressed people don’t tend to mope around, wear black, and weep all day. Instead, they generally cover it up and carry on with their lives—and everything appears fine on the surface. So when someone confides in us (or someone we know) that they’re suffering from depression, it’s important to take that very seriously.
On a brighter note, let’s recap some of the highlights of his incredible film career. Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting were three heavyweight classics, each featuring a virtuoso performance from Robin Williams. They also showcased the actor’s brilliant range—he keeled us over with laughter playing an old, female housemaid in Mrs. Doubtfire, inspired us with an impassioned “carpe diem” speech in Dead Poets Society (this was the movie—I think—that catapulted that phrase into mainstream culture), and brought tears to our eyes playing the understanding psychologist in Good Will Hunting. The man could act.
Then there was Jumanji, to this day one of the most entertaining movies I’ve ever seen. Robin William’s genie in Aladdin was one of the all-time iconic Disney film characters. Williams was also great in Hook, Good Morning Vietnam, What Dreams May Come, Jack, Flubber, and Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest. We lost a legend Monday.