Jamie Neish: Tragic end for comic genius Williams

Robin Williams. Pic: Getty

Robin Williams. Pic: Getty

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IN an extremely sad turn of events, Robin Williams died late Monday night after a lifelong battle with depression that caused him to take his own life.

The 63-year-old actor, who has never shied away from his struggles, was one of the best actors of his generation - an unrivalled comedian and immensely talented actor.

He was perhaps better known for his comic performances, stemming from his early days as a stand-up comedian. He’s simply terrific in Mrs Doubtfire, Aladdin, Hook and Jumanji - all of which have become quote-worthy, timeless classics.

These, among others, were the roles that celebrated his enviable, almost effortless ability to entertain audiences - and brought him the enormous fan base that I’m sure, like me, were in shock when the news of his death broke.

He was also able to turn in darker, more serious roles when required. In One Hour Photo, he played a photo technician with a sinister side, while in World’s Greatest Dad, he delivered a beautiful performance as a single father dealing with the suicide of his son.

These dramatic roles were perhaps more poignant as they allowed audiences more of an insight into Williams as a person, his dealings with depression and the weight he felt upon him. You could always sense when watching him perform that there were ‘goings on’ under the surface, and these roles brought all that to light.

It’s a tragic loss not only for his family, but for the film world. He was an energetic, gifted, warm-hearted actor who always put entertaining others first.

He will always be remembered. And his already loved films will enjoy a new lease of life. His death, as awful as it was, will also hopefully encourage other sufferers of depression to seek out help.

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