Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Robin Williams: The memorable roles from Mork to Mrs Doubtfire

Robin Williams died at the age of 63
Robin Williams died at the age of 63
Na-Nu Na-Nu: Robin Williams as Mork and co-star Pam Dawber as Mindy McConnel
Robin Williams was found dead at his home in California
File photo dated 15/5/1997 of Robin Williams, Annabella Sciora and Cuba Gooding Jr publicise their new film "What Dreams May Come", at the 50th Cannes Film Festival.
Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (1989)
Robin Williams at Andre Agassi's Grand Slam for Children at MGM Grand Garden Arena on October 2, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bob Brye/Las Vegas News Bureau via Getty Images)
Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting (1997)
Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire
Robin Williams in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Robin Williams
Robin Williams starred in the original Mrs Doubtfire movie
Robin Williams in Jumanji (1995)
Actor Robin Williams appears onstage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios on April 27, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
Robin Williams jokes around during Google co-founder Larry Page's keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show January 6, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Zelda Williams and Robin Williams backstage during the 33rd Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 9, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for PCA)
Sarah Michelle Gellar said that she wanted co-star Robin Williams to adopt her
Actor Robin Williams presents the Pioneer Award onstage during the 6th annual "TV Land Awards" held at Barker Hangar on June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TV Land)
Robin Williams performs at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 25, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bob Brye/Las Vegas News Bureau via Getty Images)
Robin Williams speaks during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA)
Actor Robin Williams arrives at the premiere of Magnolia Pictures' "World's Greatest Dad" at The Landmark Theater on August 13, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Robin Williams accepts the Favorite Scene Stealing Guest Star award during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for PCA)
Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for PCA)
Actor Robin Williams and Susan Schneider arrive at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Old Dogs" held at the El Capitan Theatre on November 9, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for PCA)
Actor Robin Williams attends the Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Happy Feet Two" at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 13, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Robin Williams joked about undergoing heart surgery
Robin Williams said he enjoyed working with the cast of Happy Feet Two in Australia
Robin Williams says Happy Feet 2 is as good as, if not better than, the original
Susan Schneider and comedian Robin Williams attend The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Comedian Robin Williams accepts an award onstage at The Comedy Awards 2012 at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Robin Williams attends CBS 2013 Upfront Presentation at The Tent at Lincoln Center on May 15, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Robin Williams in Boulevard (Courtesy Tribeca Film Festival)
Actor Robin Williams poses for a portrait during the 35th Annual People's Choicre Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on January 7, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images for PCA)

Robin Williams took on many characters during a long and versatile career. He may have been best known for his fast-talking, funnyman roles, but he mesmerised in serious ones as well and was memorable well beyond the big screen: on television, on the comedy stage, even on Broadway.

Here are 10 of his most distinctive roles:

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 maths 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 father 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 children? (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 realised 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 needs to be said? This TV series, a spin-off from Happy Days, is how many of us first learned of Williams' sublime nuttiness.

Moscow On The Hudson (1984) - Williams played a Russian - quite credibly - 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 US invasion in 2003.

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