A sad farewell to legend of film Robin Williams

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TRIBUTES have flooded in for actor Robin Williams, who was found dead this morning, in what police said was a suspected suicide at his home in California.

Entertainment reporter Chris Broom shares his memories of the legendary actor:

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

‘This morning many of us woke up to the shocking news that Robin Williams had died.

As a kid I remember watching Mork and Mindy on TV, with his zany antics as he attempted to relate to and fit in with humanity. I always enjoyed his little chats with Orson and his ‘Nanu-nanu’ catchphrase.

After that his career went on to scale far greater heights as he moved more into cinema - using his comic skills to great effect in films such as Good morning Vietnam, or the cross-dressing Mrs Doubtfire, and as the voice of the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin.

But it was The Dead Poet’s Society that really struck a chord with me. As a neurotic adolescent, his portrayal of the inspirational teacher John Keating who got his students to challenge conformity and orthodoxy was the one that hit home.

Some of his later films were too shmaltzy for my taste, but there was no denying his great talent as an actor - a talent that ultimately won him an Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting.

But all of this hid a darker side as Williams had struggled with his demons throughout his career, and it seems that one of them finally, tragically, caught up with him.’

Williams, 63, had been grappling with severe depression recently, according to his press representative.

In a statement his wife Susan Schneider said: ‘This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.

‘I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.’