Robin Williams– Home Town Boy

Robin Williams– Home Town Boy

On EatDrinkFilms, Gary Meyer, senior curator of the Telluride Film Festival, wrote a moving story about Robin Williams.


Though I met him casually at screenings or film gatherings here in San Francisco, I especially remember once at La Strada in LA in Mork and Mindy days when he said “sit down” as I returned from the restroom – he was sitting at a round booth with David Steinberg – and made us laugh non-stop for at least half an hour. He didn’t know me but loved an audience, even between bites of his spaghetti. And I was thrilled to be part of it.

Like so many comedians who hit it big in the movies, Robin had a string of successes and then a series of bad decisions resulted in a run of failures. But when you look at his filmography there are enough impressive roles, both comic and serious, to more than tip the scale in his favor.  We don’t need to watch the bad ones and can enjoy his best which include, in my opinion, The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Seize the Day, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, Dead Again, The Fisher King, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, One Hour Photo, Insomnia, his cameos in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Hamlet – and of course his Oscar-winning role in Good Will Hunting.  That’s quite a career when you put together such a list.

We experienced him in a serious role on Broadway in 2011 doing The Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo. The challenge was for him to make us forget we were watching a great comic  and believe that he was not Robin Williams but the Tiger in a cage and part of an ensemble of players. The audience knew who they were watching and initially we expected to laugh each time Robin spoke. Despite some dark humor, it was serious work and soon enough we were in its world….

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