×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Barry Levinson Remembers Robin Williams: ‘We All Lost a Friend’ (Guest Column)

Academy Award winner Barry Levinson directed Robin Williams in the first of his four Oscar-nominated performances, as the Armed Forces Radio DJ Adrian Cronauer in “Good Morning Vietnam.” Director and star went on to collaborate twice more, on 1992’s “Toys” and 2006’s “Man of the Year.” In addition, Williams guest starred on the second-season premiere of the Levinson-produced NBC series “Homicide: Life on the Street,” playing a tourist whose wife is killed during a hold-up on the streets of Baltimore – an appearance that earned him an Emmy nomination as Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

He was amazingly funny. Not the usual tell a joke funny. Some other kind of funny. A funny that defies all imagination. When he was on, he was the human version of a fireworks display. Funny ideas and characters traveling almost at the speed of light. “How is that possible?” More than one person has asked me over the years when Robin would go on a long wild comedic routine off the top of his head, “Where does he come up with this? Where does it come from?” There is no answer to the question. Genius cannot be explained. There are only a few among us who pass through this world with an ability that can’t be described or the process understood.

What makes his death so difficult to understand is the question “How can someone so funny be so sad?” We can reflect on it, try to understand it, analyze it, but nothing will truly answer the question. The fragility of the man, his sensitivity, his deep feelings for life….all that allowed for him to carve his comedic sensibilities, were the same feelings that took his life. He felt too much perhaps?

There was always a kindness to Robin. An inquisitive man trying to understand the madness of mankind. But when the comedy motors were off, you could sense the vulnerability of the man. There was always a sense that he could easily be hurt. And if he were hurt, how quickly could he heal? A bleeder in a world of sharp edges. There was an innocence to his thoughtful intelligence. If there were an endangered species list for mankind, he would have been first on that list. He was perhaps too delicate for this difficult world. We lost one of a kind. We all lost a friend.

More Film

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD Related Glenn Close on Working With Robin Williams on Her First Film 'Mrs. Doubtfire' at 25: Inside the Making of the Robin Williams Classic The [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Related Glenn Close on Working With Robin Williams on Her First Film 'Mrs. Doubtfire' at 25: Inside the Making of the Robin Williams Classic Brothers Adam and Aaron [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

  • Derek Tsang Hong Kong actor Derek

    'Better Days' Director Derek Tsang Lands in World Cinema Spotlight

    Hong Kong actor-director Derek Kwok-cheung Tsang has recently found himself in the spotlight of the world of cinema, but for the wrong reason. Tsang will be joining a Hong Kong filmmakers panel at FilMart on Thursday with Sunny Chan (“Man on the Dragon”) and Pang Ho-cheung (“Love in a Puff”). The 39-year-old filmmaker was expecting [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content