Like many 20-somethings, I grew up on the comedic genius of Robin Williams. From his vocal talent behind the Genie in ‘Aladdin,’ to his cross-dressing portrayal of an elderly woman in ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ to his tear-jerking performance as a rapidly-aging boy in ‘Jack,’ Williams was a fixture on my television screen as a child. It’s because of his roles in these movies why so many people my age are now saddened by the news of the comedian’s apparent suicide, which was announced Monday evening.
I was working a local baseball game for the newspaper when the team’s public relations director informed me of the news. I scoured through my Twitter feed to find reputable news sources who could confirm the news. When we realized it was true, the press box went silent for a solid 5-10 minutes.
All of us — from myself, to the PR director, to the team’s interns — grew up laughing and admiring Williams’ expertise. We didn’t know who he was, personally; we only knew that he was a man who brought so much joy into our lives during our adolescence.
While Williams was known as an off-the-wall goofball, he was one of the most skilled entertainers of our generation. His serious performances in movies like ‘Dead Poet’s Society,’ ‘Good Will Hunting,’ and ‘One Hour Photo’ showed that he was a man who was filled to the gills with talent.
I, like many 20-somethings, will likely spend the rest of the week re-watching Williams’ classics, reliving our childhoods through the man who made us laugh hard, then, and harder now. Only this time, when we watch, we will not be watching for laughs; we will be watching to pay respect. We will be watching to remember Williams and all he did during his spectacular career in entertainment. Rest in peace, Mr. Williams. Thank you for all the joy you’ve brought into my life and millions of others around the world. We will never forget you.