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A Tribute to Robin Williams

Remembering the World's Most Adored Comedian

Photo+courtesy+of+Time+Magazine.
Photo courtesy of Time Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Time Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Time Magazine.

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It’s difficult, if not impossible, to find a person who did not like Robin Williams.

At least, it is at Centennial High School.

Of thirty students surveyed, all thirty knew who Robin Williams was and all thirty had seen at least one of the movies he starred in. Not a single one had a negative impression of Mr. Williams or his works. Even the five students who did not know of Williams until after his passing on August 11th, 2014, thought highly of him.

And yet, over 90% of the students surveyed has never watched Good Morning Vietnam, the movie that earned Williams his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor, or Good Will Hunting, the movie for which Williams won his first Oscar. Furthermore, all thirty students have never seen The World According to Garp, arguably Mr. Williams’ best work, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Though many adolescents of today have not seen much of Williams’ critically-acclaimed work, most admired him and consequently, were saddened at the news of his tragic passing. Students at Centennial High are not an exception.

The fact that Mr. Williams was able to capture the hearts of so many students with only a few, or even just one of his movies is a testament to his greatness. Robin Williams was able to do in two hours what many cannot do in the entirety of their lives: make people like him.

Robin Williams was able to do in two hours what many cannot do in the entirety of their lives: make people like him.”

Williams was one of the few thespians who was able to bring joy to multiple generations of people. He was beloved by parent and child alike. His fame did not come and go. His heyday seemed never to end. His career had a longevity that is unfathomable in today’s youth-centric culture.

Whether he was playing the lovably charismatic spirit, Genie, or the rambunctiously hilarious, motormouthed DJ, Adrian Cronauer, Robin Williams breathed life into the characters he portrayed. It was as though the characters were souls that found a host in his body, for Williams was so uncannily talented at putting on a charade that it often can feel as though his character is the subject of a based-on-a-true-story documentary rather than part of a fictional movie. And yet, Williams had the ability to disappear into his character without being forever labeled as that character. In other words, his character never overshadowed him. People recognized Robin Williams as Robin Williams, not as the goofy alien man-child, Ork, or the quick-witted English teacher, John Keating. He created such a perfect balance between becoming the character and making it his own that Williams himself is now a character, the beloved, versatile, and respected actor, that all young thespians hope to one day have the chance to become.

Beyond his acting career, Williams was a philanthropist. He not only elicited laughter from audiences in movie theaters, but also from the troops serving in the USO, United Service Organization. Williams travelled to war zones including Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan to entertain soldiers who were struggling to cope with the lasting effects of war. Shortly after Williams’ death, on behalf of the Department of Defense, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said of Williams,

“…he was a loyal and compassionate advocate for all who serve this nation in uniform…many of whom were personally touched by his humor and generosity.”1

President Obama paid tribute to Williams, thanking him for giving “his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”1

Robin Williams created an unforgettable legacy. Despite his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction and depression, Williams left behind nothing but positivity. For many, Robin Williams will not be remembered for the last effect he had on the world, which involved his heartbreaking suicide, but for the first: filling it with joy.

 

 


http://www.people.com/article/robin-williams-uso-military-troops-death

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