Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam

It's been almost seven years since the world lost an amazing talent in the great Robin Williams. But while the accomplished actor and comedian may be gone, he certainly has not been forgotten. Yesterday would have been Williams 70th birthday, and social media exploded with remembrances of the man with sweet, touching, and heartfelt posts remembering the man who clearly touched so many lives everywhere. If you saw them you probably began to think about your favorite roles that Robin Williams played and why he means so much to so many.

We all have those great actors or performers that we love, those roles that mean something special to us. But there does seem to be something about Robin Williams himself that makes him unique. The sheer volume of people who feel personally affected when they consider his death is staggering. People who only knew him through his work still feel like they knew him, and the fact that's not with us anymore is clearly an emotional subject for so many.

Maybe all the love just comes from the fact that while Robin Williams may have passed away far too young, he accomplished an incredible amount in the years he was with us. For some, he was always a stand-up comedian first, putting together incredible stage performances that left fans laughing so hard they cried. For another generation, Williams was the voice of the Genie in Disney's Aladdin. For others, he was Mr. Keating or Adrian Cronauer. There were so many different roles, some for all ages, and some more grown-up, that left their mark on the audience.

And the fact that Robin Williams created so many roles that mean so much to so many, it makes the fact he's no longer with us that much more upsetting. We can be all but certain that he would have given us many more great performances if he were still here. Perhaps he would have won another Academy Award to sit beside the one he took home for Good Will Hunting. He was also nominated for Oscars for his performances in movies like The Fisher King, Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society.

For me, it will always be his role as James Keating in Dead Poets Society that I'll remember. It was the movie where I remember realizing just what an impressive actor Robin Williams was. While the movie isn't without its humor it certainly is lacking in Williams' trademark manic style. And yet, the performance feels like only Robin Williams could have ever done it justice.

Robin Williams may be gone but he will certainly never be forgotten. His great performances will stand the test of time and while future generations may only discover him through his past work, we can rest assured he will be discovered.

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