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Robin Williams RIP


Bruce Wall
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And while I was taking in the shock of this,I found out about 3 hours later that Miss Doris Haug of the Moulin Rouge has died as well. Been awake all night thinking of her,and the kindness she always showed me.At one point I burst into tears and sobbed for about half an hour. I will be eternally grateful to her for believing in me and giving me a contract,even though I was a bit too short. Dancing there was probably the best year of my life and I owe it to her. RIP Robin and Miss Doris.

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A short note; decades ago, having graduated from Cambridge I got a fellowship to take a PhD at the University of Toronto in dramatic literature.  I would have just turned 20 at the time.  Some friends of mine dragged me (and I mean literally - as I didn't want to go I recall) to some horrid hole in the ground where people 'did comedy'.  (It hadn't become a fad yet; still very much on the outskirts of civilized comprehension.)  I was bored silly.  It was a Sunday and was what would have been now called an open mic night - only there was no mic.  Suddenly this young man pushed his way (again, literally) up onto what passed for a stage.  The audience were screaming at him to get lost.  It was all quite barbaric.  Still he persisted.  The season at Straford, Ontario was in full flight and he started in on and about that.  Suddenly he took on the guise of Olivier (then still thriving) having to deal with these colonial numskulls on that most extraordinary stage (then copied in this country at Chichester and Sheffield).  His efforts were dazzling.  Even today I have never heard a better take on Olivier.  His knowledge of Shakespeare was truly encyclopedic.  After 20 minutes or so - with the same audience now in his more than ready fist - he finished.  This time they wouldn't let him go ... He did another 20 minutes (at least) and then took questions AS OLIVIER. ... Some really bizarre ones as you can imagine.  It was well after midnight when I and my friends walked out.  Just before we left I had gone up to him to say how much I admired his skill.  He seemed frighteningly shy and was literally backed into a dark corner on his own.  How could this be?  Perhaps people were just intimidated at the extraordinary volume of his gift.  There is no question but that he had been glittering in the sweep of his rapier wit on that platform some minutes before.  I asked his name.  'Robin Williams' he mumbled.  'Honoured to meet you, Mr. Williams,' I said taking his hand to shake.  His dramatic performance - for that is what it was - is something I've never forgotten.  (This was some time before even MORK AND MINDY.)  I owe those friends of mine a great debt of gratitude.  I'm so glad I went. 

 

RIP Robin Williams. 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Yet another sad case of someone very talented who is miserable inside;  am thinking of Tony Hancock, another great comedian who took his own life.  It seems to be so common, the 'pagliaccio' syndrome. 

 

Although he was brilliant in just about everything he did, for me his best performance was in The Fisher King.  So very heart rending and sad, just like his premature death.  I hope he is at peace now.

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What an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing it.

 

Although I'm not a chat show fan (apart from the spoof ones)  I was glad when someone alerted me to Robin Williams on one of these shows, he was naturally screamingly funny leaving me with aching sides.  For some reason I  always feel he loss of these funny-men acutely perhaps because they do so much to lighten modern stressful lives.  My thoughts go out to his family who are no doubt doubly distressed at the nature of his demise.  RIP Robin.

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So sad.  What a gifted and talented man.  My favourite film of all time is "Good Will Hunting" and I love "The World According to Garp".  Hopefully his passing will raise awareness about depression which is a terrible illness, not well understood by the general populous.

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 "He seemed frighteningly shy and was literally backed into a dark corner on his own.  How could this be?  Perhaps people were just intimidated at the extraordinary volume of his gift."

 

Thank you for sharing Bruce. I also think that he was extremely talented, intelligent and versatile, and by all accounts, generous and kind hearted too.

 

 His scene in the Birdcage where he is 'coaching' one of the dancers, is one of the few comedy moments on film in 'recent' (:0) years, which made me laugh out loud....

 

So sad.

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Yes, I couldn't work out the reasoning behind that one, but there you are.

 

A much underrated actor, as well as a comedian.  His performance in "One Hour Photo" is really creepy (and yet in the extras on the DVD the actors relate how he was keeping them in stitches off-camera, if I remember correctly).

 

Deepest sympathies to his family and friends, in particular in view of what's come out since his death.  I hope they will (come to) realise that there was almost certainly nothing they could have done: depression is so often like that.

 

"Generous and kind-hearted": yes.  I knew he was good friends with "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve, but only found out the other day that they'd been roommates at college.  After Christopher died, and his wife died not that long after from cancer, I believe Robin and his then wife took in/adopted Christopher and Dana's young son, Will.

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