Sadly, actor Robin Williams was found dead Monday morning, August 11th, 2014. This man was my childhood. He starred in many 90’s movies that did more than entertain, he made me believe.
I loved Hook. Hook was the first movie I remember seeing with Williams. Despite how well the movie holds up today, the idea is brilliant. A grown-up Peter Pan? There was no actor more suited for the role than him. The child-like joy in his eyes when he finally remembered to fly wasn’t acting, it was real. He was a grown-up Peter Pan.
Being a latchkey kid, living in the middle of nowhere, I had little better to do with my time than watch movies. Hook was one of many. Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, and Jack are others I remember fondly. They all had one thing in common, Williams’ uncanny ability to make you smile. Funny voices aside, and make no mistake, the man was talented, there was always a twinkle in his eye with his smile, letting kids know he was one of them.
Of course, he didn’t just do family friendly movies. Everyone’s seen Good Will Hunting, but what about What Dreams May Come, or The Birdcage? I don’t care what you say, I’ve always liked Death to Smoochy.
Everyone of those made my childhood, one way or another. I’m fairly sure I wore out the VHS of Hook, and Mrs. Doubtfire. Still, there’s one role Williams will always be to me, Genie. I’ve told the story before, how one summer I watched Aladdin everyday while eating french toast. Sometimes twice a day. Aladdin is still my favorite Disney movie, thanks in no small part to Williams. He owned the role.
It’s hard writing this and not get teary eyed. As I’ve been watching with my kids the same movies I grew up with, his were first I went to. Robin Williams, thank you. Even now, watching your movies as an adult, you always felt like my friend.