Like many people, I felt a connection to Robin Williams. I never met the man, but like so many others I felt like I knew him. I grew up watching his comedy specials, with his “Live at the Met” something I had to sneak to watch as a kid. There was a lot of cursing and some of the content was a bit explicit for my young ears, but I understood the humor. I remember seeing him on "Happy Days" (a show my family all watched together) as Mork from Ork. I sat riveted as I watched him drink a glass of water with his finger while he cracked jokes at Richie Cunningham's expense. My family continued to watch him on "Mork & Mindy," where his childlike sense of wonderment and joy for life reminded us how lucky we all are.
In high school I was inspired by the teacher Robin Wiliams played in “Dead Poets Society,” which is probably my favorite role of his. A couple years later in college I took a date to see “Aladdin.” I was living in Denver at the time and we had to drive to Thornton to see it. We left the theater laughing. As I grew older Robin Williams continued to be a part of my life. I cheered when he won an Oscar for his role as a kind counselor in "Good Will Hunting." And I have watched “Mrs. Doubtfire,” who reminded me of my British grandmother, with my kids countless times.
It may seem strange to feel sad when a celebrity dies but I believe it makes sense. Fellow TV critic Louis Peitzman said on Twitter Monday, “I believe movies and TV matter. When someone who brought so much joy into your life dies, it’s normal to grieve even if you didn’t know him.” I believe that as well so feel free to feel crummy about this. I know I do.
That said, feeling down is probably not something Robin Williams would want you to do. As someone who battled depression, I’m sure he’d want you to realize there is help if you are struggling with depression yourself and you should seek it out. He'd also probably want you to remember him for what he truly was - a brilliant actor and comedian. With that in mind, I present to you five of Robin Williams' most inspirational quotes.
1. “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.” - Good Will Hunting
2. "Sometimes you got to specifically go out of your way to get into trouble. It's called fun." - Good Morning, Vietnam
3. 'What good amid these, O me, O life?' Answer — that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" - Dead Poets Society
4. "Avoid using the word 'very' because it's lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don't use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason boys - to woo women - and in that endeavor, laziness will not do." - Dead Poets Society.
5. "You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it."
Okay, how about two more.
“There’s three things in this world that you need: Respect for all kinds of life, a nice bowel movement on a regular basis, and a navy blazer.” - The Fisher King
“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish, and think of me. Make your life spectacular.” - Jack