I was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Robin Williams yesterday.
First off, let me say that I was NOT Robin Williams' greatest fan -- I must admit that there are other numerous other entertainers I favor. But I liked Mr. Williams a great deal, especially in his dramatic movies, such as Good Morning, Vietnam, The Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting. I was really a bigger fan of Jonathan Winters, from whom I would guess Mr. Williams learned a great deal of his improvisational techniques.
At this time, all indications are that Mr. Williams took his own life. That is what affects me the most. On the outside, he seemed so upbeat and so carefree. Of course, his numerous battles with depression, alcohol, and drugs are well-documented, but he masterfully hid the darker side of his life from his public.
It is difficult for me to understand how life can be so unbearable that one resorts to suicide. I wake up each day, happy to be alive, and I look forward to an even better tomorrow. I cannot imagine what it must be like to feel that life is so terrible, and that tomorrow will be even worse -- so bad, in fact, that you must kill yourself. It is especially depressing when that person is young. And the pain that loved ones endure following such acts must be great.
Mr. Williams was no longer young, but he still had many years ahead of him, and his talent was immeasurable. He was so quick and witty and clever, that anytime you saw him, you expected something special to happen. How much of his acting -- even in scripted roles -- was actually improvised on the spot?