|Williams and Reeves at Julliard|
His appearances on Saturday Night Live, the Tonight Show, Letterman, etc. were always memorable, but one that stood out for me was when he burst in on an interview with Jonathon Winters, his "Comedy Buddha," at the 7:30 mark and the two took over the Late Show with David Letterman. I can't help but think that Winters' death last year left a deep hole in Williams, who had long acknowledged Winters as his primary inspiration.
|Williams and Winters in 2008|
Saturday Night Live took the format, added sketches, brought in guest stars to light up the evening, having a great run between 1975 and 1980 that inspired NBC to bring back Laugh-In for one year. This is where Robin Williams first appeared on television, before taking a guest role on Happy Days as an alien from the Planet Ork that would launch his own television show. Jonathon Winters would make numerous appearances on Mork and Mindy. The rest as they say is history.
Teddy Roosevelt in Night in the Museum. He seemed to have a penchant for presidents, taking on Dwight D. Eisenhower in The Butler and wonderfully mocking Ronald Reagan in a segment of Saturday Night Live, which he visited several times.
He won an Oscar for Good Will Hunting in 1998, but probably his best loved role was that of Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam. He won the Golden Globe that year. Like Cronauer himself, he would entertain troops when the occasion arose. He became the Bob Hope of his generation.
In this wonderful segment of Inside the Actors Studio from 2001, Williams shares insights into his many faces and many roles, for the most part demonstrating them to a captive audience and host James Lipton. He talks about his work on Awakenings, one of his more memorable films, and the time he spent with Oliver Sacks. He expressed his great admiration for the neurologist and author, and said if he could be anything other than actor it probably would be a neurologist. Sacks likewise was very much taken by Williams, as he tells about his time with him at the 2 minute mark of this video clip on the making of the movie.
|Sacks and Williams on the set of Awakenings|
His death has touched seemingly everyone, but no persons more than his family. His three surviving children offer their touching tributes.