Movie Fans Pay Tribute To Robin Williams On What Would’ve Been Legendary Comedian’s 70th Birthday

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Mac Miller. Anthony Bourdain. Robin Williams. These are the three celebrity deaths during my lifetime that have well and truly affected me, that have made me feel as though I’ve lost someone that I actually knew. Robin Williams especially. Longest book I’ve read in the last, I don’t know, decade or so was Dave Itzkoff’s biography Robin, which was north of 500 pages. I don’t think I’ve read a book that long since I was crushing Harry Potter as a youngin’. My Mom still likes to brag about the fact that I read The Prisoner of Azkaban in one sitting. That was many lifetimes ago, though.

If I had to guess, I’d reckon that my affinity for Robin Williams has to do with when I grew up, which was the glorious late 90s. I tell ya, the 90s look better and better with each passing day we spend in this hellscape reality of ours. At that time, Williams — whose primary skill as a dramatic actor was his ability to imbue his characters with an almost father-like empathy — was starring in movies like Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, and hell, even Flubber. Not only were those films very much geared towards children, but they all allowed Williams to provide the emotional core as the tender father figure at the center of it all. More so than any other actor I’ve watched in my lifetime, Williams felt like an on-screen Dad. It was only in my adult years did I come to learn about the wild, drug-fueled life that fueled the previous decades of his career — knowledge that only further added to his legend, for better or for worse.

Given what I consider to be a genuine love for Williams, whenever his birthday or the anniversary of his death passes, I feel admittedly melancholy, as I’m reminded of the inescapable truth that this world was simply brighter with him in it. Luckily, though, I’m far from alone.

Rest in Peace, Robin. We still miss you and always will.

Eric Italiano Avatar
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Contact him