We first met him as Mork from Ork on the 1970s sitcom Happy Days.. The cute, little, long-haired alien was popular enough to get a spin-off series, Mork & Mindy, co-starring Pam Dawber.
With his zany, impulsive humor, Williams was, indisputably, a wild card on talk shows. David Letterman, Jay Leno – they never knew what to expect when Williams was on the show. His constant jumping from one subject to the next (however unrelated), a constant string of punchlines begetting punchlines, was quite reminiscent of the likewise uncontrollable Jonathan Winters, whom Williams credited as somewhat of a comedic idol.Williams was one of the few to transition from television to a super-successful movie career. Many cite Good Will Hunting (for which he won an Oscar) as their favorite. I loved Good Morning, Vietnam. though he was nominated for an Oscar, I’m pretty sure he was really playing himself. My kids adored Mrs. Doubtfire when they were little – watched it over and over, and over again.
The stories of Robin Williams’ addiction problems are well known – no need to address them here. He had been clean and sober for decades. Though when he recently checked into rehab, it made me wonder if addiction is something like the old joke about weight loss – “You never really lose weight – you just misplace it for a while.” I don’t really believe that. There are far too many success stories (about addiction and weight loss) to prove both problems can be conquered.
Current reports are he had been battling severe depression. Between the addiction problems and depression, an old saying comes to mind. I have always heard there is a “fine line between genius and insanity.” I used to joke that was just something crazy people said to make others think they were geniuses. On some level, I think that old saying holds some truth. Robin Williams was truly a genius. He gave us years of great entertainment, and the planet will miss him.
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