The acting career of Robin Williams spans several decades and dozens upon dozens of films. His first calling, however, was making people smile. Beginning his career as a stand-up comedian, Williams took all he’d learned to the big screen, where he gave heartfelt performance after heartfelt performance, solidifying his legacy as one of modern cinema’s most recognizable and beloved faces.
On August 11th, 2014, Williams’ body was found in his home in Paradise Cay, California. The cause of death was ruled suicide by hanging. According to authorities, no drugs or alcohol were involved in the killing, and friends and family members of the actor have since named his long-lasting depression as the foremost cause of his untimely end. He was 63 when he passed.
The dissonance between the circumstances of Williams’ death and the way he lived his life are tremendous. As critics and relatives alike have pointed out, however, there are traces of pain and suffering to be found beneath even his most erratically gleeful performances. Aside from that, Williams had been taking serious matters to combat his depression during the months leading up to his death. As such, it came as a tremendous shock to everyone when he passed away and today, on what would’ve been his 69th birthday, fans are paying tribute.
Robin Williams would be 69 today, such an amazing talent but tortured soul!
"I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that" – #RobinWilliams pic.twitter.com/EYoBa01rZi
— Keith Mahon (@MrKeithMahon) July 21, 2020
He used to think that; "the worst thing in life was not ending alone, the worst thing in life is ending with people who make you feel alone."#RobinWilliams would turn 69 on this day. pic.twitter.com/IOG8omNDQ0
— cine_visual (@cine_visual) July 21, 2020
Happy Birthday #RobinWilliams
May your memory be honored and your words be lived by…. pic.twitter.com/1xPPcjRrx4
— Sami Cuda🍍✌🖤 (@Samicuda) July 21, 2020
Remembering The Late and Great #RobinWilliams
Happy 69th Birthday Mr. Williams 🎂🎈🎉
Good Will Hunting (1997) “Your move chief.”pic.twitter.com/MZO6Td1SoV
— 𝔞𝔫𝔤𝔢𝔩 🇺🇸 (@AngelWest) July 21, 2020
— Ruby Southerland (@SoutherlandRuby) July 21, 2020
Today We Celebrate What Would’ve Been Robin Williams’s 69th Birthday.
Born Robin McLaurin Williams on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, IL., this Actor Comedian Appeared in Over 100 Movies & TV Shows.
— 80sThen80sNow (@80sThen80sNow) July 21, 2020
You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
— Brad Heckman (@heckman_brad) July 21, 2020
— jonathan perron (@jonathanperron3) July 21, 2020
Missing my hero #RobinWilliams on what would have been his 69th birthday. You know he would have had a field day with that.
Rest in peace, Robin ♥️ pic.twitter.com/VlfIsEkSLf
— Dan Emerson 😷 (@dscapp) July 21, 2020
Remembering The Late and Great #RobinWilliams…
Born in 1951, today would have been his 69th Birthday, so…
Happy Birthday Mr.Williams, we miss you. ✌️ pic.twitter.com/5tlROKPVMY
— The Retro 80s (@RetroPAT_78) July 21, 2020
Some of Williams’ most famous roles include nanny-in-disguise Daniel Hillard from Mrs. Doubtfire, therapist and life coach Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting and, of course, the Genie of Disney’s Aladdin. His performances for many of these roles were so iconic, so idiosyncratically him, that directors of the films he worked on often rewrote the script to accommodate for his ad-libbing.
Robin Williams further distinguished himself from other actors in the way he used his body. Like voice or facial expressions, his limbs were an equally viable tool for communicating thoughts and feelings. Many of his performances, therefore, feature extensive choreography that went on to inspire the likes of Jim Carrey as well as other comedians.
As always, he was, is and will be dearly missed.