Robin Williams, A Tortured Comedic Genius

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After the death of Robin Williams yesterday I decided to look over his filmography and what made him so great. His first major role was in Robert Altman’s Popeye, which is a movie that he was perfect for but I never really cared for the movie itself. This movie is what sparked his career. He stared in plenty of movies afterwards but it wasn’t until Good Morning Vietnam that people started to realize that he was also a powerful dramatic actor. It was the first of three Best Leading Actor nominations at the Academy Award, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later he starred in Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society in which he plays an English teacher who attempts to teach his students about seizing the day and the love of poetry. For his performance he scored a second nomination Academy Award for Best Actor. Another two years later he teamed up with Terry Gilliam and Jeff Bridges for the movie The Fisher King. He played a homeless man on a search for the Holy Grail. It was yet another critically acclaimed performance and scored him his third nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Robin Williams managed to score three Academy Award nominations in four years. In 1992 and 1993 he stared in Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire, which he is best known for. In 1997 he teamed up with relatively unknowns Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Good Will HuntingHis performance was highly acclaimed and completely brilliant as the therapist Sean Maguire and finally earned him Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. After this his movie choices become less interesting. He stared in a few comedies and dramas here and there but never lived up to his former glory of the 80s and 90s.

To me Robin Williams was one of the best comedic actors and a hell of an amazing dramatic actor. He acted in movies that I loved as a child and in movies that I appreciate as an adult and his death is personally effective to me.

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