No one forgets the first time they see a Robin Williams movie. Robin Williams was first introduced to me as Peter Pan in Hook and soon after, as the Genie in Aladdin. Of course I would grow up to watch him in amazing works of art that were created both before and after Hook but that movie will always remain one of my all time favorites.
As we learned about the tragic passing of one of our most beloved and brightest stars earlier this week, people took to social media to share their favorite Robin Williams moments. Remembering first appearances, favorite movies, and his funniest jokes were both heart breaking and healing for many fans.
What was most remarkable was seeing just how many people he has touched with his talent and spirit, both young and old. There are young fans who know him simply as the Genie or the man from Jumanji. There are those who know him from his outstanding performances in Dead Poet’s Society, Good Will Hunting, and Good Morning Vietnam. Then there are those fans who are all too familiar with the greeting, “Na nu na nu”. Regardless of age, it seems that everyone has seen Robin Williams on screen and he has captivated us all.
My mother watched Mork and Mindy as a teenager so I can only imagine her delight when I would ask her to rewind Hook so that I could watch it again and again. Robin Williams taught me that it is not just acceptable to march to the beat of your own drum but it is absolutely phenomenal if you do so. This is a lesson my mom and countless others learned from him as well. His work was a constant encouragement to exercise one’s imagination. Just the sparkle in his eye was enough to inspire a smile while preparing to laugh hysterically. I look forward to the day when I have children of my own and my husband and I can introduce them to their first Robin Williams movie. I know that my future children will be just as thankful as I am for the inspiration, innovation, and above all else, the laughter.