Rest in peace, Robin Williams.
A light has gone out in the world, and the rest of us are going to have to work our butts off to compensate in brightening up this dump.
Of all his roles, the obvious stand-outs come to mind: Mork, the alien visitor confused by life on this mad planet; Adrian Cronauer, the unconventional airman/deejay who tried – fought – to liven up the dreary broadcasts he was tasked with; John Keating, the English teacher who inspired his students to carpe diem; Sean Maguire, who told Will Hunting “It’s not your fault”.
I remember his crazy-mad voice acting as Batty from FernGully more fondly than the genie in Aladdin.
He played “twisted” roles with a compelling vulnerability. I recall the tortured photo shop employee who obsesses on a customer’s “perfect” family in the overlooked and underrated One Hour Photo; and the chilling and all-too-real Merritt Rook, the manipulative and arrogant character he played on Law & Order: SVU’s amazing episode Authority.
I remember how he brightened up the otherwise humdrum Nine Months (Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore) as Dr Kosevich, a recently-arrived-in-America and somewhat English-challenged Russian veterinarian who decided to switch his speciality to babies. “Now let’s take a look at your Volvo” and “You have a girl... unless I cut the wrong cord.”