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August 13, 2014

A Tribute to Robin Williams: Therapist, Housekeeper, and Legacy

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In honor of Robin Williams’ incredible talent and in light of the tragic news of his passing this week, we want to take a moment to honor his legacy. Robin was an incredible actor with a career that spanned both television and film. A graduate of Julliard, Robin first entered into the film industry on NBC’s The Richard Pryor Show. With his charismatic presence and ability to truly assume his acting roles, Robin Williams quickly became a legacy in the American movie industry.

Good Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting is one of Robin Williams’ most amazing performances. Playing Dr. Sean Maguire, the therapist of super-genius Will Hunting (Matt Damon), Williams received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. After getting in an altercation with a former bully, Will Hunting is required to undergo behavioral therapy while studying mathematics to cultivate his untapped intellectual abilities. Sean and Will become close, as Sean is able to break down some of Will’s emotional barriers and Matt Damonconnect with him in a way that even Will’s closest friends and girlfriend cannot. Both Sean and Will have had painful pasts, and Sean challenges Will to see past his emotional trauma, pursue jobs commensurate with his intellectual abilities, and form meaningful, lasting relationships with others. In the end Will eventually follows in Sean’s footsteps of pursuing the woman he loves, and Sean decides to reconnect with his estranged college roommate. Although the plot is compelling, the acting genius of Robin Williams sets this movie as one of the best.

Mrs. Doubtfire

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Unlike the serious Good Will Hunting, Mrs. Doubtfire is a clever comedy that has become a staple in American film. Robin plays Daniel, an unemployed actor recently divorced from his wife, Miranda (Sally Fields). Because Miranda receives full custody over their children due to the fact that Daniel is unemployed, the heartbroken father resorts to unconventional methods of seeing his children. When Daniel sees Miranda’s ad for a housekeeper, he decides to dress up as the fictional Mrs. Doubtfire and apply to be their housekeeper. Not only does he get the position, but he does such a fantastic job caring for the children that Miranda and the children agree that life is better with their new nanny. Daniel eventually gets a small acting job, and once his double life is exposed due to conflicting schedules between his acting job and Mrs. Doubtfire’s commitments to the family, Miranda recognizes his contribution to the family and agrees to allow him back into the children’s lives.

 

Although both of these movies are wonderful examples of Robin Williams’ acting expertise, his contribution to American culture is so much more that what can be expressed in a single article. While we mourn his passing and will miss his charismatic acting, we will always remember him for the legacy that he has left behind. Thank you for a wonderful 63 years, Robin Williams.

What do you think is Robin Williams’ greatest legacy?



About the Author

Hannah S.
Hannah S.
Hannah hails from San Diego and brings a lifelong love of reading and writing to the magazine world.