Best films of Robin Williams

By: AXS Contributor Aug 12, 2014
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Robin Williams was one of the most versatile actors to ever hit the silver screen. From comedies to dramas, action movies to coming-of-age films, Williams gave memorable performances in virtually every genre.

Williams' untimely death on Aug. 11, 2014, echoes the message of so many of his films... life is short, so live while you can. As Williams said as the character John Keating in “Dead Poets Society,” “Carpe Diem. Seize the day boys. Make your lives extraordinary.” Williams did just that.

Here is a look at some of Robin Williams' best films.

  • Good Morning, Vietnam
    The 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam” showed the world that while Williams is inarguably a comedic genius, he is also a brilliant serious ac
    Touchstone Pictures

    The 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam” showed the world that while Williams is inarguably a comedic genius, he is also a brilliant serious actor. As the radio DJ Adrian Cronauer, Williams used his incredible timing and improvisational skills to bring levity to this war film.

  • The Birdcage
    The 1996 film “The Birdcage” was directed by Mike Nichols and features an all-star cast including Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Di
    United Artists

    The 1996 film “The Birdcage” was directed by Mike Nichols and features an all-star cast including Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Dianne Wiest. In the film, Williams plays Armand Goldman, the owner of a drag club who hides who he really is in order to make a good impression on the parents of his future daughter-in-law. Throughout the film, Williams highlights his hilarious physical comedy, while using his expressive eyes to convey his inner thoughts.

  • World's Greatest Dad
    “World's Greatest Dad” is a hidden gem in the massive catalog of Williams' films. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, this 2009 dark comedy exami
    Magnolia Pictures

    World's Greatest Dad” is a hidden gem in the massive catalog of Williams' films. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, this 2009 dark comedy examines the complex emotions that English teacher Lance Clayton (Williams) feels when the suicide note that he writes, to cover up that his son died in an autoerotic asphyxiation accident, receives critical acclaim. Williams shows great range in his performance as Clayton becomes increasingly desperate for admiration while dealing with the crippling guilt of exploiting the death of his son.

  • The Fisher King
    Terry Gilliam's 1991 film “The Fisher King” finds Williams in the role of Parry, a man whose life is in shambles thanks to a mass murderer w
    Columbia Pictures Corporation

    Terry Gilliam's 1991 film “The Fisher King” finds Williams in the role of Parry, a man whose life is in shambles thanks to a mass murderer who killed his wife. Parry finds an unlikely ally in Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges), a talk radio host who inadvertently provoked the mass murderer to strike. Williams and Bridges have a natural chemistry that helped lead the film to receive five Academy Award nominations.

  • Awakenings
    Williams once again took on a serious role as Dr. Malcolm Sayer for the 1990 film “Awakenings,” based on Oliver Sacks' memoir. Penny Marshal
    Columbia Pictures Corporation

    Williams once again took on a serious role as Dr. Malcolm Sayer for the 1990 film “Awakenings,” based on Oliver Sacks' memoir. Penny Marshall directed the film, which also stars Robert De Niro as Leonard Lowe, Dr. Sayer's catatonic patient. There is very little comedy in this film, but it is one of Williams' most heartfelt performances.

  • Aladdin
    Robin Williams' performance as the Genie in “Aladdin” is one of the most impressive and iconic roles in any Disney film. Throughout the 1992
    Disney

    Robin Williams' performance as the Genie in “Aladdin” is one of the most impressive and iconic roles in any Disney film. Throughout the 1992 animated film, Williams shows his endless supply of impressions while giving the Genie a larger than life personality of his own. “Aladdin” also features a great vocal performance from fellow comedian Gilbert Gottfried as Iago.

  • Jumanji
    The 1995 film “Jumanji” is a perfect example of what can happen when a film combines just the right elements of action and imagination. Will
    TriStar Pictures

    The 1995 film “Jumanji” is a perfect example of what can happen when a film combines just the right elements of action and imagination. Williams plays Alan Parrish, a man who has been trapped in the Jumanji game for over 20 years. He is finally released by siblings, played by Kirsten Dunst and Bradley Pierce, and hilarity ensues. David Alan Grier, Bonnie Hunt and Bebe Neuwirth co-star in this childhood classic.

  • Dead Poets Society
    “Dead Poets Society” is a great coming-of-age film that shows that a little inspiration can go a long way. As English teacher John Keating,
    Touchstone Pictures

    “Dead Poets Society” is a great coming-of-age film that shows that a little inspiration can go a long way. As English teacher John Keating, Williams teaches his students that you only live once and it is important to follow your dreams. This 1989 film, directed by Peter Weir, features an impressive young cast of future stars including Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles. “O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,” Williams says, as he recites Walt Whitman's classic poem in one of the film's best scenes.

  • Mrs. Doubtfire
    “Mrs. Doubtfire” is the type of film that should be an absolute trainwreck, but thanks to the genius of Robin Williams it has become a belov
    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

    Mrs. Doubtfire” is the type of film that should be an absolute trainwreck, but thanks to the genius of Robin Williams it has become a beloved childhood movie. The 1993 film centers on divorced dad Daniel Hillard (Williams), who dresses up as a loveable old woman so that he can spend more time with his children. Again, Williams wields his physical comedy to perfection while connecting with audiences on a deep level through complex human emotions.

  • Good Will Hunting
    Though nominated for Academy Awards on three previous occasions, Williams finally took home an Oscar for his role as Sean Maguire in the 199
    Miramax Films

    Though nominated for Academy Awards on three previous occasions, Williams finally took home an Oscar for his role as Sean Maguire in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting.” As Sean counsels the brilliant, but reckless Will Hunting, the two men develop a deep friendship that challenges them both to push their lives in new directions. This classic film officially introduced the world to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also won Oscars that year for Best Screenplay.

    ***

    Robin Williams will truly be missed, but his legacy lives on through these films and countless others that will continue to inspire and entertain generations to come.

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