Robin Williams has been an entertainer for a lifetime, and his unforgettable charisma and onscreen warmth has made the lives of millions of people around the world brighter and merrier, even if it so for the length of one movie at a time. The world has lost one of its best actors. To celebrate Robin Williams' career of inspired roles, we offer our pick of the five must watch characters played by Robin Williams on film. If you haven't seen any of these five movies, you need to get your hands on them now!
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
It's almost impossible to read the title of this movie without hearing Williams' booming voice shouting it. A huge success that earned him his first Oscar nomination and first Golden Globe, Good Morning, Vietnam dramatized the wartime experience of real-life Armed Forces Radio Service DJ Adrian Cronauer, finding belly laughs as well as poignant drama in his attempts to survive the war while finding friendship and battling the hypocrisy of his superiors.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1991)
In the role that inspired Tobias Fünke's Mrs. Featherbottom, Williams plays man who plays a British nanny (with an inexplicably Scottish accent) in order to spend time with his kids. Williams cross-dressed his way into the second-highest-grossing movie that year, and created an icon which is fondly remembered even today.
Good Will Hunting (1997)
After earning Oscar nominations for his work in Good Morning America, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King, Williams finally scored a win for his crucial supporting work in Good Will Hunting. As the therapist who helps Will Hunting (Matt Damon) move beyond his troubled past, Williams provided an impetus for the film's touching final act while delivering some of his most sensitive dramatic work.
Patch Adams (1998)
Patch Adams is based around the true life story of Hunter Adams, a very interesting man, who, after becoming suicidal and committing himself to a mental hospital, found a new lease of life and wanted to help people. Enrolling at medical school to become a doctor, Hunter became a flag waver for the "laughter is the best form of medicine" train of thought. This is one of Robin's most soulful and passionate performances, and the story packs in not only comedy, but only well-written drama between people who find new hope and meaning in life.
Insomnia saw Robin Williams move out of his comfort zone of a comic actor. Even Williams' most manic work has always been limned with a palpable sense of sadness, helping him navigate between comedy and drama since the beginning of his film career - and, as Christopher Nolan discovered with 2002's Insomnia, making him a natural for bone-chillingly creepy villain roles like Walter Finch, the crime writer suspected by police detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino) of having something to do with the death of a teenage girl.