You’re free, Genie.


I feel like I’ve lost a close friend. I know I’ve never met Robin Williams, but his body of work has had a profound influence on me throughout my entire life. It’s crazy to think how many movies he did, for children and adults alike. From the craziness of Aladdin’s Genie, to the seriousness of his roles in movies like Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting, he was my all-time favorite actor.

His movies seemed to parallel my life for a while there… In the mid 90s, when my parents split, Mrs. Doubtfire had come out and made me feel everything. It was a heart wrenching movie at times, but he made the best out of it all and I think that had a profound impact on me and how I carried myself through that same situation. This ending scene resonated with me and it’s the first time I believe a movie ever hit me. I’ll always remember this scene, as I’m sure any other 90s kid with divorced parents does.

Later on he played “Jack” a story of a boy who had a disease that made him age prematurely. I used to babysit a little boy named Clinton, who had Progeria, a form of similar disease. You don’t actually grow tall and look like an adult, like the movie, but your body ages far faster than any normal person’s. Most children with progeria only live to be around 8 or so. My friend, Clinton died at 6 years old in 1999 and this movie I watched a million times to help me cope. Nobody played “kid” better than Robin Williams. He never lost his sense of joy and abandon, which is what made him perfect for movies like Jack, Hook, Jumanji, etc. It’s what reminds me to remember to play.
As somebody who doesn’t like to talk about things that are bothering me (which I’m aware of and working on), it helps just to feel sometimes.  His movies made everybody feel. There’s no way you could watch Robin Williams and not laugh, cry, or just feel his sincerity of every single role he played. One of the coolest things he did was tour for the USO. He did shows for our troops for nearly 15 years. I’ve always compared Robin Williams to Bob Hope, another of my favorite actors/comedians who also made frequent USO tours to lift the spirits of the troops and just love seeing photos and videos from his stops. Here’s one of his most famous:
The way Robin Williams’ put expression into his characters gave us all the ability to relate to him. It didn’t matter if he was dancing around the house while vacuuming, or playing somebody as serious as a doctor, therapist,  or teacher, it felt like we were watching somebody we really knew.
I don’t know of another movie that talks about love as well as in What Dreams May Come. This movie can be a hard one to watch, but the way it expresses love in one the most enduring ways I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen it, please do.
“Is that a kind of occupational hazard of soul mates? One’s not one without the other?”
“It’s not about understanding. It’s about NOT giving up.”
So thank you, Robin for your kindness, your amazing ability to tell a story, your sincerity in your work, and for making us feel it all. I’m sorry you had to go through what hell you did. I hope you are now finally at peace.
Robin McLaurin Williams
1951 – 2014
If you or someone you know is going through depression or having thoughts of suicide, please call 1.800.273.8255.
Or message me. I’ll chat too. : )
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  1. What a touching post. While I never dealt with the issues in any of the movies Robin was in, I agree that I FELT his character and felt I could relate to him.

    Genie, you’re free…..

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