Robin Williams was a comic genius as well as a consummate character actor and there was widespread shock at his untimely passing, apparently by his own hand.
However, his gift for entertaining people will live on long after the tragic circumstances of his death are forgotten. His range of talent was astonishing but for such a big star he also seemed a genuinely nice man.
Of course the public only glimpsed his professional life.
In private he had many demons which led to drug abuse and depression. It is almost a cliché that those who make us laugh the most are often themselves the most troubled.
Today we remember him and shed a tear for one of Hollywood's greatest clowns.