This Week in the Mercury

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams Has Died

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Sad news, as reported by the Marin County sheriff's office: Robin Williams has died at age 63. His death is believed to be due to suicide by asphyxiation. His wife Susan Schneider issued a statement confirming the news, and a publicity representative for Williams has issued one as well, stating that the Academy Award-winning actor had been suffering from depression.

Ugh, this is just plain terrible. From about ages eight to 10, Williams might have been my favorite actor ever. I thought this scene in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was just about the funniest thing in the world when I was a kid. (Sorry for the subtitles and that the audio/video is not in sync.)

Williams was capable of a lot more than just high-speed antics, though; he was a terrific actor, even when he was devouring the scenery in massive, unchewed gulps. As his schtick became familiar and as cultural tastes changed, Williams fell somewhat steeply off the cliff of critical and audience acclaim during the '90s, but his legacy is that of an excellent actor, one of America's best. Dead Poets Society. Good Morning Vietnam. Good Will Hunting. The World According to Garp. The Fisher King. Popeye, for christ's sake. And, whatever you might think of the movie, can you name another actor who could have even attempted Mrs. Doubtfire?

He will be greatly missed. It's important to remember that depression like Williams' can be overcome, and suicide is never the only option: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be called, at any time, at 1-800-273-TALK.

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