Dear Robin Williams,
We must, to some extent, say, “Goodbye Mrs. Doubtfire. Goodbye Andrew Martin. Goodbye Dr. Sayer, and John Keating”. These are only a few of your many selves that you leave behind. But all of them are part of you. I followed your career since Mork and Mindy, when I was amazed at this new kind of funny, yet sensitive character.
In Bicentennial Man you showed us what it means to be human. In Mrs. Doubtfire you wrapped the heartache and pain of a broken family in laughter and bonded the pieces together. In Dead Poets Society, you became the teacher all students want, and changed the lives and perceptions of real students out in the real world. In Awakenings, you released patients from the prison of their own minds that had kept them immobilized for years.
You were, and always will be, an original. I think your fans knew you had problems, and could often be over the top. But it just breaks my heart that someone so alive and brilliant as you is gone. That Roman candle that was you exploded onto our world and dazzled us for little while. The best quote I ever read about you was from Rita Kempley of the Washington Post in a review on Mrs. Doubtfire: “Williams is to funny what the Energizer Bunny is to batteries. He keeps going and going and going.” We never thought that seemingly endless energy might one day burn out. I wish we, your fans, could have told you how much you have meant to us before now. But, perhaps that would have been a burden you didn’t need.
Thank you for all you’ve given us. Thank you for a lifetime of laughter, and devotion to your calling — a devotion that has brought many of us some relief from the pain you so obviously knew.
Thank you, Robin Williams,
Your devoted fan, Linda Smith