I’ll be honest, it has been fascinating watching the reaction to the death of Robin Williams. This piece by Andrew Sullivan is probably the most interesting and I agree with it to an extent but, unlike Andrew, I feel effected in some way by this death.
And I find the extent of my sadness strange – I find my reaction to be very selfish. I’ve known for some time that Robin Williams was an alcoholic and drug addict, but like many off-the-wall entertainers, I thought that this was just part of what made him great. The idea that Robin Williams was extremely unhappy or struggled with overwhelming depression was laughable to me. Why the hell would he be severely depressed? He was Robin Williams for crying out loud.
I truly feel like I grew up with Robin Williams – it is frightening to think of the amount of films he starred in which I loved as a kid. For example, Mrs Doughtfire, a film I scoff at today, was on a seemingly constant loop in my childhood. Jumanji, Flubber and Hook were not far behind.
And then there is Aladdin… more about that film on a later date, but needless to say, it is one of my favourite films of all time. Believe it or not, I forgot that Robin Williams was the genie in that movie.
What I find frustrating is that people are almost forgetting what a fantastic dramatic actor Williams was. Anyone that has seen Awakenings, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting will know that this man was far more than a hyperactive comedian. I remember the first time I watched One Hour Photo and how completely flabbergasted (no pun intended) I was by Williams’ performance. One Hour Photo is one of those films that is criminally overlooked and Williams’ performance is both touching and completely haunting.
It’s all just… sad, and it feels like a terrible waste. I guess there is a wider conversation to be had about mental health, but I’m really not qualified to take part in such a discussion. All I can do is mourn the entertainer.
My heart truly breaks for his family. I can’t imagine how I would feel if one of my loved ones passed in such a way and to have the gory details published in every major newspaper around the world. To have your family’s business out there in the jungle that is social media is just unimaginably horrible.