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Robin Williams: Remembrances from Today and Glimpses from the Past

Robin Williams: Remembrances from Today and Glimpses from the Past

Regardless of what decade claims ownership over your childhood, there’s a good chance that the work of Robin Williams had a hand in some of its most treasured moments.

With the news of his passing earlier today, an outpouring of heartfelt remembrances came in from a variety of sources. Some of these were anecdotes of personal encounters, but many reflected on Williams’ career, both on stage and screen.

As one astute observer pointed out, there’s no better way to celebrate Williams’ legendary and genre-spanning filmography than to do so offline. But for tributes from the world of the written word, here are some thoughts (in 140-character form and otherwise) from those in the spheres in which Williams contributed the most. We’ll continue to update these lists as lengthier remembrances continue to be added to the already countless others.

Dan Kois, Slate

“But Williams’ finest roles displayed his quiet side, too. His gentle comedic touch could be overwhelmed by sentimentality on one hand and wackiness on the other, but the films in which he gave his most affecting performances were the ones in which he found a happy medium between antic verbal energy and elegant physicality.”

Ben Collins, Esquire

“Now this feels fatherly, personal. It feels like news you should only hear in person, maybe on the phone in a quiet room, or on the side of the road. He felt like the funniest or the saddest or the most admired part of ourselves, and our fathers, and our brothers, and our wives, and our mothers.”

There’s an ocean of video proof of Williams’ range as a performer, but these particular selections show his skill on both TV and film, as well as his lauded stand-up career. 

Perhaps one of the most apt tributes to Williams as a performer is that his work inspired a tremendous amount of instant gratitude and reflection, poetic in both its conciseness and immediacy.

Those who had the chance to write about Williams and/or share a few personal moments with him during his lifetime shared their thoughts as well.

It would be a Herculean task to collect all of the video and journalistic evidence of Williams’ lasting impact, but we’ll continue to gather further work on and from his career here:

1992 Playboy Interview

Esquire’s “The Life of the Man” Entry on Williams

Presentation of Honorary Oscar to Walter Lanz

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