Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Farewell to Robin Williams

"Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams." - President Obama, 2014

As many of us are aware by now, American actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday at the age of 63.  Many of us I'm sure remembered his performances very well, and for people like me, we knew him during our childhoods.  I remember his performances in Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning Vietnam, two of Disney's Aladdin movies, Flubber, Robots, Hook, and even cameos in Sesame Street.  What we might have never known was that despite being a man full of energy, passion, and life, he was battling depression for a long time, but of course it still comes across as a big shock that he was driven to take his own life when he did.

Today, I heard a student from the New England Institute of Art say "Why couldn't it have been Justin Bieber?"  As much as I'm aware that Justin Bieber is disliked by some people, maybe a lot, we should not have to wish that someone else had died instead of Robin Williams because we shouldn't wish for people to die, as bad as they are, granted the circumstance of Osama bin Laden's death was entirely different.

So I'm sure we are all deeply saddened by this man's passing, as am I, and our prayers and thoughts should go out to his family.  Rest in peace, Robin Williams.  You were a great man and you shall be missed and remembered for touching America.

- Alex Ratta (a.k.a. The Thunder)

"The terrible news of the passing of Robin Williams reached me here in the Peruvian Amazon late Monday night with tremendous sadness. Surrounded by over 100 friends and clowns on our annual clown trip, we mourn this tragic loss and continue to treasure his comic genius. Robin Williams was a wonderful, kind and generous man. One important thing I remember about his personality is that he was unassuming—he never acted as if he was powerful or famous. Instead, he was always tender and welcoming, willing to help others with a smile or a joke. Robin was a brilliant comedian—there is no doubt. He was a compassionate, caring human being. While watching him work on the set of the film based on my life—Patch Adams–I saw that whenever there was a stressful moment, Robin would tap into his improvisation style to lighten the mood of cast and crew. Also, I would like to point out, Robin would be especially kind toward my children when they would visit the set. Contrary to how many people may view him, he actually seemed to me to be an introvert. When he invited me and my family into his home, he valued peace and quiet, a chance to breathe—a chance to get away from the fame that his talent has brought him. While early in life, he turned to drug use and alcohol to escape, he replaced the addiction with moments of solitude to help cope with the stress that fame brought. This world is not kind to people who become famous, and the fame he had garnered was a nightmare. While saddened, we are left with the consequences of his death. I’m enormously grateful for his wonderful performance of my early life, which has allowed the Gesundheit Institute to continue and expand our work. We extend our blessings to his family and friends in this moment of sadness. Thank you for all you’ve given this world Robin, thank you my friend."

- Patch Adams

No comments:

Post a Comment