As a stand-up comedian and an outstanding actor, Robin Williams created a niche for himself during pioneering in San Francisco comedy renaissance. In a span of over 30 years, Williams became a prominent figure in Hollywood movies, not just in the comic genre but also as an actor who brought life to evergreen characters like Dr. Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting (1997), John Keating from Dead Poets Society (1989) and Adrian Cronauer from Good Morning Vietnam (1987).
For an ordinary person with extraordinary talent and energy, the path from rags to riches and glory was not easy for Robin Williams. He was very popular as a stand-up comedian and his performances fetched him two Grammy Awards. It was his success as a stand-up comedian that got him to movies. He found success but it came at the cost of exhaustion which ultimately led him to drugs. But nothing could dampen his spirits and success or so it seemed.
Robin Williams’ characters and his unique performances took him to the pinnacle of fame and money. His performance inspired a lot to make lives extraordinary and seize every opportunity. His role as Dr. Sean Mcguire was an inspiration to many therapists. But beyond his smiles lied a grim reality. Though his performance could leave millions of people laughing their guts out, it could not hold a candle to Robin Williams because he was a victim of depression.
One of the questions that Robin Williams’s suicide raises is that how much depression can be masked. And the possibility that depression can happen to anyone- rich, poor, successful, strong- it does not exclude. And it can happen to some person who might be least expecting it.
It is easy to pretend nothing is wrong while you crumble from within. Robin Williams, a stand-up comedian who left the audience laughing until they had a stomach ache suffered from severe depression. May be it had started way back when he was young and like many misguided people he took shelter in drugs and alcohol.
Robin Williams was a comedian who always gave us food for thought. He reminded us as Dr. Sean Maguire that all that happens in our life is not our fault. Unlike his role in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, he did not wait for a second chance. He vanished behind the curtains while the audience still needed lot more from him.
He left a lot unsaid, but even in his death he reminded the world that the one who makes us laugh the most might be the person struggling to hold himself together. Charlie Chaplin once said that “I love the mirror the best, because it never laughs when I cry.” The audience waiting to be entertained seldom knows or cares if the actor is crying behind the smiles.
Robin Williams’s death anniversary reminds us the uncomfortable truth that the world and the life is crude but a twinge of madness always helps.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.