The View From Here

Robin Williams: a career in clips

Robin Williams: a career in clips
Michael Bonner

Sad news this morning about the death of Robin Williams, aged 63. Of course, Williams had been a dynamic and prolific screen presence since the late 1970s, from early contributions to The Richard Pryor Show to his sitcom breakthrough in Mork & Mindy and beyond into a hugely successful film career. In tribute, we've compiled below 10 clips that we hope do justice to his prodigious talents.

Speaking to Uncut in 2002, filmmaker Christopher Nolan reflected on Williams' career to date. Nolan had cast Williams as Walter Finch, a killer stalking an isolated Alaskan town in his psychological thriller Insomnia. It's a role that may arguably be the most compelling of Williams' non-comic performances. "You look at his films, he's done a bit of everything," said Nolan. "He's done amazing dramatic work as well as great comedy. He's played bad guys and good guys, but perhaps the thing he hasn't done so much before is play a totally unexceptional guy. A guy who, if he sat next to you on the bus, you wouldn't give him a second glance. Completely ordinary. That's the stretch, if ever there was one. And the reality of evil is that killers are often normal and rational in their own way. They're not all, y'know, Jeffrey Dahmer. Ninety per cent of people who murder are grey and average. And sometimes get away with it because of that. We love to feed our imaginations, but Robin's performance is truthful."

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Mork & Mindy
(1980)

On Johnny Carson's Tonight Show
(1981)

The World According To Garp
(1982)

Good Morning Vietnam
(1987)

Dead Poet's Society
(1989)

The Fisher King
(1991)

Mrs Doubtfire
(1993)

Good Will Hunting
(1997)

One Hour Photo
(2002)

Insomnia
(2002)

Photo credit: Cynthia Gould/REX

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