Top 5 Robin Williams Performances
Today marks what would have been Robin Williams’ 65th birthday. But rather than be down in the dumps, we’re here to celebrate the live and times of one of the greatest comedic actors of all time. And to do so, we’ve put together a list of what we think are his greatest ever roles. Enjoy!
5) Aladdin (1992)
The early 90s were a hectic time for Robin Williams with films like Hook, Toys and The Fisher King all doing well at the box office. And while we love him in pretty much anything that isn’t ‘Jack’, it’s clear some roles suited him better than others. But what could be more perfect for Williams than playing a larger-than-life blue genie?
“10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck!”, bemoans the Genie as he bursts out of the lamp. From that moment, you knew you were in for something special as Williams delivers one-liner after one-liner without ever having to carry the movie. It’s even more impressive given he improvised a large chunk of his dialogue. Aladdin and Robin Williams were a match made in cartoon heaven and his performance will go down as one of the best in animated history.
4) Insomnia (2002)
But Williams wasn’t always whirlwinding around our screens. He often gave audiences something subtle and sometimes downright sinister. One of the best examples of Williams’ ability to deliver out and out eeriness was during Christopher Nolan’s remake of the Norwegian noir film Insomnia in 2002.
Williams plays a truly chilling and creepy villain named Walter Finch, a crime writer suspected by police detective Will Dormer (Al Pacino) of having something to do with the murder of a 17-year-old girl. His performance was understated and profound, and illustrated just how diverse and talented an actor Williams was.
3) Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
We don’t know about you but we struggle to read out the title of this film without hearing Williams’ voice booming it out over the antennas, which is probably a sure indication that Good Morning, Vietnam was all about him! The film was so successful, it earned him his first Oscar nomination and first Golden Globe.
Good Morning, Vietnam depicts the wartime experience of Adrian Cronauer, a real life larger-than-life character who was a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service. The film is set in Saigon during the war and Williams was perfectly cast, bringing his sharp wit and on point impressions to Cronauer. The performance is even more incredible given that much of it was ad-libbed.
2) Good Will Hunting (1997)
Having already earned Academy nods for Good Morning America, Dead Poets Society, and The Fisher King, Williams finally bagged his first Oscar for his work in the stunning Good Will Hunting. In the film, Williams plays widowed therapist Sean Maguire, who patiently gives orphaned genius Will Hunting a parent figure he never had.
The film relies on the believability of the relationship between Damon and Williams, and without such a controlled and tender performance from both, the film could have come across as unsubtlety pulling on the heartstrings and not the genuine heart-warmer it became.
1) Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
It couldn’t be anything else, could it? It almost seems perverse that a role which defines an actor as talented and diverse as Robin Williams is him dressed as an elderly woman for virtually the entirety of the film. But on the other hand, Williams was the best comic actor of his generation and nothing demonstrates this more than Mrs Doubtfire.
Williams plays Daniel Hillard, a divorced father who disguises himself as a half-Scottish elderly nanny so he can spend more time with his three adoring children. Yes, it’s hilarious and the cross-dressing gives Williams ample opportunity for one-liners and some hilarious shtick, but it’s his ability to create something genuinely moving which means his portrayal of Mrs Doubtfire tops our list of Robin Williams’ best ever performance.