Robin Williams' most distinctive roles - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Robin Williams' most distinctive roles

Posted: Updated:
This 1987 file photo released by Touchstone Pictures shows actor Robin Williams in character as disc-jockey Adrian Cronauer in director Barry Levinsons comedy drama, "Good Morning Vietnam." This 1987 file photo released by Touchstone Pictures shows actor Robin Williams in character as disc-jockey Adrian Cronauer in director Barry Levinsons comedy drama, "Good Morning Vietnam."
This March 23, 1998 file photo shows Robin Williams holding his Oscar high backstage at the 70th Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles after won Best Supporting Actor for "Good Will Hunting." This March 23, 1998 file photo shows Robin Williams holding his Oscar high backstage at the 70th Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles after won Best Supporting Actor for "Good Will Hunting."
  • RelatedMore>>

  • Official: Robin Williams hanged himself with belt

    Official: Robin Williams hanged himself with belt

    Tuesday, August 12 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-08-12 18:30:13 GMT
    Tuesday, August 12 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-08-13 00:49:35 GMT
    Struggling with depression, Robin Williams tried to cut his wrist and hanged himself with a belt in a bedroom of his San Francisco Bay Area home, officials said Tuesday. 
    Struggling with depression, Robin Williams tried to cut his wrist and hanged himself with a belt in a bedroom of his San Francisco Bay Area home, officials said Tuesday. 
  • Death of Robin Williams: his time in San Diego

    Death of Robin Williams: his time in San Diego

    Tuesday, August 12 2014 10:17 AM EDT2014-08-12 14:17:30 GMT
    Tuesday, August 12 2014 2:31 PM EDT2014-08-12 18:31:28 GMT
    From his start in stand-up to his incredible charitable generosity -- Robin Williams certainly left his mark here in San Diego.  
    From his start in stand-up to his incredible charitable generosity -- Robin Williams certainly left his mark here in San Diego.  
  • Comedian Robin Williams dead in apparent suicide

    Comedian Robin Williams dead in apparent suicide

    Monday, August 11 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-08-11 23:13:19 GMT
    Monday, August 11 2014 10:21 PM EDT2014-08-12 02:21:06 GMT
    Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63. 
    Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63. 

The kinetic bundle of energy that was Robin Williams took on many forms during a long and versatile career. He may have been best known for his fast-talking, funnyman roles, but he mesmerized in serious ones as well — creepy ones, too — and was memorable well beyond the big screen: on television, on the comedy stage, even on Broadway. Here are 10 of Williams' most distinctive roles — and the list could be much longer:

"GOOD WILL HUNTING" (1997) — A rare but welcome serious role for Williams, who played the stubborn yet empathetic therapist who was somehow able to help math prodigy Will Hunting (Matt Damon) figure out how to handle his life. Won a supporting actor Oscar.

"MRS. DOUBTFIRE" (1991) — Who couldn't love a bumbling dad who dressed up as a portly nanny — with a latex mask, a wig and a Scottish accent — in order to spend time with his young kids? (A sequel was in the works.)

"ALADDIN" (1992) — Will it ever be possible to see a cartoon genie and not think of Williams? Remember him shooting out of that bottle: "Ten thousand years will give you SUCH a crick in the neck!"

"GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM" (1987) — Williams' fast-talking style was perfect for the role of a DJ on Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War. (First Oscar nomination.)

"ONE HOUR PHOTO" (2002) — Another serious role, and it was a creepy one: Williams played a photo counter worker at a huge suburban store who got a little too involved in the lives of his customers when he realized one of them was having an affair.

"DEAD POETS SOCIETY" (1989) — Played an unconventional poetry teacher who taught his Vermont boarding school students to stand on their desks, think on their own, and "seize the day." (Second Oscar nomination.)

"THE FISHER KING" (1991) — Williams played a half-mad homeless man, convinced that the Holy Grail was sitting in the Fifth Avenue abode of a billionaire. (Third Oscar nomination).

"MORK & MINDY" (1978-1982) — Mork from Ork. Nanu, nanu. What more need be said? This TV series, a spinoff of "Happy Days," is how many of us first learned of Williams' sublime nuttiness.

"MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON" (1984) — Williams played a Russian — and quite credibly, too — in this film about a comically lovable circus saxophonist, Vladimir, who defects while touring New York (turning himself in at Bloomingdale's, naturally.)

"BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO" (2011) — Appearing on Broadway, Williams gave an admirably thoughtful performance in the role of a tiger — actually, the ghost of a dead tiger — locked up at the Baghdad Zoo at the time of the U.S. invasion in 2003.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • German doctors: Pussy Riot poisoning 'highly plausible'

    German doctors: Pussy Riot poisoning 'highly plausible'

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 4:26 AM EDT2018-09-18 08:26:55 GMT
    Tuesday, September 18 2018 10:48 PM EDT2018-09-19 02:48:22 GMT
    (Cinema for Peace Foundation/dpa via AP). This photo provided by the Cinema For Peace Foundation shows Pjotr Wersilow, member of the Russian Punk band 'Pussy Riot' receiving medical treatment in an ambulance as he arrives at the Schoenafeld airport in ...(Cinema for Peace Foundation/dpa via AP). This photo provided by the Cinema For Peace Foundation shows Pjotr Wersilow, member of the Russian Punk band 'Pussy Riot' receiving medical treatment in an ambulance as he arrives at the Schoenafeld airport in ...
    German doctors treating Pyotr Verzilov, a member of Russian protest group Pussy Riot, say claims that he was poisoned are "highly plausible," based on his symptoms. 
    German doctors treating Pyotr Verzilov, a member of Russian protest group Pussy Riot, say claims that he was poisoned are "highly plausible," based on his symptoms. 
  • Emmys: An epic proposal, but winners lacking in diversity

    Emmys: An epic proposal, but winners lacking in diversity

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 3:16 AM EDT2018-09-18 07:16:55 GMT
    Tuesday, September 18 2018 10:48 PM EDT2018-09-19 02:48:10 GMT
    (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP). Glenn Weiss, right, winner of the award for outstanding directing for a variety special for "The Oscars" and Jan Svendsen pose in the press room after getting engaged at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, S...(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP). Glenn Weiss, right, winner of the award for outstanding directing for a variety special for "The Oscars" and Jan Svendsen pose in the press room after getting engaged at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, S...
    A romantic marriage proposal captured the hearts of the Emmy audience _ and deflected attention from a lack of diversity among the winners. 
    A romantic marriage proposal captured the hearts of the Emmy audience _ and deflected attention from a lack of diversity among the winners. 
  • Tracee Ellis Ross leads parade of pink on Emmys carpet

    Tracee Ellis Ross leads parade of pink on Emmys carpet

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 12:46 AM EDT2018-09-18 04:46:53 GMT
    Tuesday, September 18 2018 9:27 PM EDT2018-09-19 01:27:42 GMT
    (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP). Tracee Ellis Ross arrives at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP). Tracee Ellis Ross arrives at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
    The pinks had it on Emmys gold carpet, led by Tracee Ellis Ross, with a heavy dose of yellow. 
    The pinks had it on Emmys gold carpet, led by Tracee Ellis Ross, with a heavy dose of yellow. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.