A comedian, an actor and a personality who defined a generation and long held the mantle as one of Hollywood’s most loved, most unique characters passed away on Tuesday, the eleventh of August, after a longstanding battle with depression. Robin Williams first entered the public consciousness with his inimitable performance as an odd alien in the late 70s TV sensation Mork & Mindy. He went on to balance the role of comedian and that of formidable dramatic actor in a way almost unprecedented in Hollywood, by turns dressing up, acting out, or gender bending and moving audiences to tears in hard-hitting, emotional roles for which he was thrice nominated for Best Actor and once won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Hollywood has erupted with an outpouring of love for this actor, who acted in around 50 films – some of which are as yet unreleased – and grossed well over $3 billion at the box office. His family, fans, and even political leaders have made heartwrenching tributes to the actor whose death has shaken millions if not billions of fans the world over. Here, we look at some of the most memorable and touching tributes to the legend that is Robin Williams. These are just a selection of the many statements released since his death which attempt to embody just how important Williams was as a man, a comic and an icon.
Williams’ 25 year old daughter from his second marriage, Zelda Rae Williams, sent a beautiful if cryptic message to her father via Twitter in the hours following the announcement of his death. She quotes the French writer of the Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, in this touching tribute to her comedian father.
Williams had a tumultuous personal life, with cheating scandals and divorces marring his relationships while he battled with ongoing addiction, but he seemed to have settled down with his third wife, with whom he married in 2011. She has released a personal and heartrending statement about her husband which speaks to the legacy he left behind:
“This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions,”
A number of fellow comedians have paid tribute to one of their greatest inspirations; Steve Martin, Williams’ contemporary. Eddie Izzard, a young admirer of the Hollywood icon; and Dara O’Briain, an Irish comedian worlds away from Williams but touched and influenced by his work like so many comedians the world over.
Celebrity Fans and Admirers
President Obama himself has led the outpouring of love, sympathy and loss from the international community. In a statement, he noted that Willaims “arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.”
Perhaps one of the sweetest, simplest and most moving tributes to Williams came from the Sesame Street team:
The Academy, which awarded Williams the title of Best Supporting Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting, released this simple but incredibly appropriate picture and quote from Williams’ memorable turn as the Genie in Aladdin. It was this statement, above all, which captured the idea articulated by many that this world was just not big enough for Williams’ genius.
Actors Who Worked With Williams
Ben Stiller was a self-professed fanboy when it came to WIlliams’ work, and even working alongside him in Night at the Museum (with one unreleased movie in the franchise coming up) didn’t dull the lustre of his hero worship. His pain at Williams’ passing seemed one of the sincerest, most moving tributes to grace the twittersphere in the hours following Williams’ death.
In a statement released to People magazine, Sarah Michelle Gellar – who worked closely with Williams on CBS show ‘The Crazy Ones’ – stated “I will miss him everyday, but I know the memory of him will live on. And to his family, I thank them for letting us know him and seeing the joy they brought him. Us crazy ones love you.” She posted the above touching photo montage to her Twitter account soon after the news of the tragedy broke.
Kevin Spacey worked with Williams on the 2009 independent movie, ‘Shrink’. His words were moving and truly heartfelt.
Nathan Lane, Williams’ co-star in one of his most iconic movies, ‘The Birdcage’, released a statement saying that he would always remember Williams’ “tremendous kindness, generosity, and compassion as an acting partner, colleague and fellow traveler in a difficult world.”
Sally Field, who played opposite Williams in his memorable turn as Mrs. Doubtfire, spoke highly of Williams and with great regret in a statement released to the press; “He always lit up when he was able to make people laugh, and he made them laugh his whole life long – tirelessly. He was one of a kind. There will not be another.”