Tens: My Favorite Robin Williams Performances

Robin-Williams-10s

Today marks the one year anniversary of Rob Williams untimely passing. The wound still stings today as it did exactly one year ago when I first read the news stream on my phone. As I noted in my tribute on the man last year, Williams had this air about him that was… otherworldly. He was an enigma; A guy who felt as if he were pulled from an alien world and allowed to mingle among us for a few decades to lighten things up. It’s apt then that his career breakthrough was the role of Mork in Mork & Mindy. Unlike many of my colleagues in the film world, I neither have a personal Robin Williams story to recount nor a performance of his I hold dear to my heart. In fact, I don’t even consider him among the greatest actors of his generation. Despite my love of his performances and personality, Williams was also an actor with a wildly uneven track record. For someone with such unbridled talent, he sure had a penchant for appearing in a lot of garbage. In spite of this, he ALWAYS gave it all. And he wasn’t afraid to take the risks. That’s rare in risk-averse Hollywood. How many performers would fully commit to a role as outrageous and bizarre as Rainbow Randolph in Death to Smoochy? Or give it all in maudlin and ill-advised projects like Patch Adams and Jakob the Liar? The industry punished him for taking those gambles but I’m glad there was someone who had the cojones to take them and ultimately OWN those roles, just as well as he did with his greatest ones. But this list isn’t about those unworthy films. It’s about the 10 performances that he’ll be remembered for, or at least the ones I’ll remember him for.

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Rainbow Randolf in DEATH TO SMOOCHY

 

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Lance in WORLD’S GREATEST DAD

 

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Sy Parrish in ONE HOUR PHOTO

 

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The Genie in ALADDIN

 

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Daniel Hillard in MRS. DOUBTFIRE

 

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Adrian Cronauer in GOOD MORNING VIETNAM

 

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Armond Goldman in THE BIRDCAGE

 

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John Keating in DEAD POETS SOCIETY

 

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Parry in THE FISHER KING

 

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Sean Maguire in GOOD WILL HUNTING

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS

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