If you’re like me, there was a a period in your life where Aladdin was always in your VCR. The music was fantastic, the art was beautiful; but what always made the movie special to me was Robin Williams. I’d watch my little brother impersonate his whimsical, fun-loving portrayal of the Genie, while my sister and I sang “A Whole New World,” and we would all grin from ear to ear. Every time we had discussion of which Disney movie to watch together, Aladdin always won out.
When I heard the news of his passing, I was driving, and I thought, surely this was a hoax, surely this hilarious man still graced this world. I already felt the sting of tears as I quickly flicked through my Facebook feed, only for it to be confirmed that he had taken his own life earlier this morning. After quickly pulling into a gas station, I fired off a quick text to my sister and brother, before being overcome with emotion. Some of you may think me silly, but please allow me to explain that Robin Williams touched my life. I can tie so many childhood memories to his movies, and quote tons of them by heart, to the point where this particular celebrity death truly feels like I’ve lost a very dear friend.
If you’ve had the pleasure of viewing one of his many interviews, you would see just how authentic of a person he was. He never shied away from his flaws, never cared if he said the wrong thing; all while giving off this light–this pure comedic glow, as he talked about performing stand-up, the controversy with Disney, and his ever-present battle with depression and addiction. He was an avid gamer, a loving father, and an actor whose absence will be felt for years to come.
So, here is all I can offer you, Peter Banning, Patch Adams, Alan Parrish, John Keating, Leslie Zevo, Daniel Hillard, Batty, Genie, everyone else you’ve played onscreen, and off….just a letter of love from me, and one that’s maybe echoed by many, many more. The fact that 99% of my feed is people saying they’re watching their favorite Williams flick is telling of just the sort of impact he’s had. I am filled with sadness that he was hurting so much when he was loved by so many.
Nanoo nanoo, Mork.