The 6 Robin Williams Roles We'll Never Forget

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We don’t mention Popeye, where he collaborated with Robert Altman. We don’t mention Steven Spielberg’s Hook. We don’t mention The World According to Garp, Good Morning, Vietnam, The Fisher King or Death to Smoochy.

When trying to honor the cinematic legacy of the late Robin Williams, the only guarantee is that you are going to leave at least one classic film off of the finalized list. The impossibly gifted performer did so much in his too-short time, entertaining and amazing audiences in imaginative comedies, heartwrenching dramas and whip-smart stand-up routines. His talent seemed unlimited. The loss, at the moment, seems immeasurable.

But while we currently lament the future features Robin Williams won’t be able to deliver (including a Mrs. Doubtfire sequel that recently was discussed), let’s do something healthier. Something happier. Let’s turn our attention to the movies that have and will earn Robin Williams a spot in Hollywood’s nonexistent Hall of Fame – the classic performances that touched our spirits over the years and gave us a taste of the genius walking among us. These are our favorite Robin Williams moments, the movies we could never live without.

Good Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting
"It’s not your fault." Serendipitously, I watched Good Will Hunting on a cable movie channel a few weeks back. I hadn’t seen it since 1997, and saw it through fresh eyes. The Matt Damon-Minnie Driver relationship is doe-eyed but passionate. The blue-collar speeches of better days shared between Damon and Ben Affleck are the clichéd traps of first-time screenwriters. But the intermittent scenes between Damon and Robin Williams, as damaged therapist Sean Maguire… oh man, those are breathtakingly combustible powder kegs of honest, searing human emotion.

In his Oscar speech, Robin Williams thanked the boys – Damon and Affleck – for taking a chance on him with the dramatic role of Maguire. The truth is, they couldn’t have thanked Williams enough for bringing the raw tenderness of an open wound to Good Will Hunting. The actor had dabbled in drama numerous times before. But making Maguire a sorrow-filled widower unwilling to trust again tapped into Williams’ own depression. And when Sean and Will tear down their walls and forge an unbreakable bond ("It’s not your fault"), you can almost feel a piece of Williams’ broken soul healing – if only temporarily. It’s a devastating performance by an incredibly versatile actor who’d corralled so many demons in his personal life that they somehow enhanced one of his greatest professional roles. How do you like them apples? -Sean O'Connell
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