For The Win

In a touching tribute before Game 5 of the World Series, the San Francisco Giants had the three children of the late Robin Williams out to throw the first pitch.

The video board played a tribute to the late actor and comedian, and then William’s son Zak, joined on the mound by his siblings Zelda and Cody, threw the pitch to Billy Crystal.

The Williams family issued this statement:

The team showed this clip on the video board before the game as well.

Viewers at home didn’t get to see the moment, unfortunately, but hopefully MLB will…

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Film Syrup

Written by Colleen Rowe, Film Syrup Founder/Managing Editor

“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.” –Susan Schneider, Wife

I decided to write a tribute to honor the request of Susan Schneider, Robin Williams’ wife, from a fan’s (my) perspective.

Robin Williams was not simply an actor I watched a on a television as child, but a part of my childhood that helped me to laugh, cry, and accept life for what it was: monotonous, confusing, specific, and often, quite beautiful. I have never personally met him and I never expected I would, but he was the type of actor who made fans like me feel like they knew him. A walking enigma, sometimes sporting green tights, I felt like my life was positively altered by his presence on screen. There are many…

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Running Inside Me

Jumanji. Hook. Dead Poets Society. Popeye. Good Will Hunting. Aladdin. What Dreams May Come.

What do these movies have in common? A great story? Sure. A happy ending? Of course. But these movies weren’t only amazing because of their screenplays. All had one amazing common denominator: Robin Williams.

As I still try to grasp around the details of Williams’ demise and accept the fact I will never see him on my screen in the near future; I do however have a smile on my face when I think of all the movies I grew up with. My childhood was awesome because Robin Williams was in it. I got to see my imagination come to life with his performances and for that Robin, I thank you. I thank you for the laughs. I thank you for the tears. I thank you for your generous heart. You were the epitome of a…

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THE ELECTRIC WIT AND TENDER HEART OF ROBIN WILLIAMS

August 28, 2014

Like millions of others, I knew Robin Williams as a famous actor and comedian extraordinaire. I was also familiar with some details of his personal life, like that he had a house in San Francisco, was married more than once, and was a recovering addict. Other than that, I didn’t know much about him.

On the other hand, I’m not sure how much the details circulated by the gossip and celebrity industries tell us about a person. It seems like the more minutiae we are peddled — what the celebrity eats, who he is seen with, behind-the-scenes gossip about his quirks and idiosyncrasies — the less a sense of him we really form.

But, as is the case with all genuine artists, I think it is also true that the connection we feel to him through his performances is absolutely real. Whether he finds expression as a painter, writer, musician, dancer or actor — there are some aspects of an artist we can only really know through his work.

Many fans first encountered Robin Williams on the TV show Mork & Mindy. That was also the case with me, but I don’t remember the show so well anymore. If ever it finds its way onto the rerun channels, I’d like to check out Williams’s lightning wit and spontaneous inventiveness in their first broad public reception.

But I will never forget my first screening of “Dead Poets Society” which happily coincided with my first exhilarating weeks at university.

In the film Williams plays a sympathetic, soulful and irreverent English teacher at a 1950s boys prep school. The film follows a group of seniors as they form a secret club to read aloud expansive and daring poetry in a forbidden, spooky nighttime cave. As they become inspired and emboldened by the camaraderie of their poetry society, the sparkling and evanescent words, and the antics of their fearless teacher, Williams, they begin, with mixed results, to learn the consequences of their exultant motto carpe diem.

It is a movie with many themes — the tribulations of coming of age, the value of mentorship, class and societal expectations and restrictions, and the desires of the soul weighted against the imperative of earning a living. It also celebrates the transformative potential in art — in this case, poetry — and the power and meaning of inspiration.

It was one of many movies, like “Patch Adams”, “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “Good Will Hunting”, where Williams plays a variation on a theme: an iconoclastic, funny, creative and deeply moral presence whose rare combination of spark and goodness influences the lives of others.

The more we came to know Williams — not only through these performances but in his many appearances on talk or late night shows — the more it became clear that he was not simply handed a lot of great lines, but pulled many of them out of the air in virtuoso riffs that awed and dazzled even the most jaded, seen-it-all host.

So inescapable was Williams’s unusual combo of improvisational gusto and sensitive perceptiveness that I think that it was impossible to completely strip either of these traits from his roles. He was not the kind of actor who disappeared completely into a part. Instead it was as though we saw Williams as he would be in another life as a dazzlingly fast-witted and compassionate doctor, teacher, shrink or wartime DJ.

Williams rarely played a figure of authority but he was often a de facto moral leader — the light that shines in moments of darkness or doubt. He was the wise and laughing prophet who delivers sincere and believable pep talks, radical understanding and truth-telling, and, on the emotional side, compassion and a sense of wonderment in the crazy and strange miracle of life.

When I saw the news of his death, which quickly turned to news of his suicide, various images of Williams in his many guises flashed through my mind. And I was saddened to think that they will all now be informed by his tragic end.

But I also think it is important not to mistake the end for the whole story. It would be a disservice to his incredible life and artistry to allow his departure to overshadow his entire legacy.

I have always been struck by the fact that you can know someone for years and years, and, in spite of your best efforts, never really jibe with them. On the other hand, it is possible to know a part of someone you have never met through a meaningful, almost magical, connection to their art.

Someday soon I plan to see “Dead Poets Society” again. Some parts will undoubtedly be hard to watch, especially the last scene where the boys defy convention by staging a courageous, spontaneous tribute to Williams — their sad, and, in some ways defeated, departing leader — who is deeply heartened by this final, touching gesture of love and gratitude.

It is indeed a heart-wrenching ending. But of a wonderful, unforgettable story.

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Now, we can understand why RW did what he did.

Deadline

The suicide of Robin Williams touched a nation in ways that the passing of few celebrities has. Maybe it was his electric wit, his iconic TV and film roles, the way he moved so seamlessly from comic to dramatic work, or even the fact that a mention of his name brings a smile to most everyone. The sudden realization that behind that imprinted image of impish happiness, there was a man unhappy enough to commit such a desperate act is difficult to process, until his grieving wife Susan Schneider disclosed that he was suffering early-stage Parkinson’s disease.

Robin Williams Former Time Warner chairman Jerry Levin thinks that the latter disclosure will become one of many lasting legacies of Williams’ life and career. For the very first time, Levin discloses here that he too suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and explains the toll that the physically debilitating disease might have begun taking on…

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RobertB • 3 days ago
Robin Williams: R.I.P.
By Bob B (8-12-14)

Light your candle, bow at your altar,
Let tears fall from your eyes,
Say a prayer, stop and reflect,
Hear the world’s cries.

Robin Williams—actor, comedian,
Talent extraordinaire,
A one of a kind entertainer
With gifts beyond compare—

Has made a sudden and early exit;
He’s finished his final show.
His play has ended, the curtain has fallen,
And we are left feeling woe.

Since HAPPY DAYS and MORK AND MINDY,
Williams had warmed our hearts.
His smart, manic comedic brilliance
Was a mastery of the arts.

His success in DEAD POETS SOCIETY
And GOOD WILL HUNTING were factors
That proved that Williams was truly one of
America’s leading actors.

His remarkable range, his comedic timing,
His unpredictability,
Could catch us off guard. He astounded us
With expert acting agility.

GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM; MRS. DOUBTFIRE;
ALADDIN… There were so many!
Think of a role he wasn’t good at;
I can’t think of any.

The play WAITING FOR GODOT led Williams
To successfully engage
In performing the role of Estragon
On the Broadway stage.

Such a versatile actor he was!
It’s like we’ve lost a friend.
To lose him in such a sudden manner
Is hard to comprehend.

We never know the ghosts that haunt
Another person’s life.
We can’t always know the pain they suffer—
Their inner struggles, their strife.

We tend to think that comedians live
A life of laughter and bliss.
We see the clever and funny side;
We seldom see the abyss.

What a tremendous loss to the world!
What a shining star!
Know that you touched our hearts profoundly,
Robin, wherever you are.

APeer Recieqwccolades from Peers from

TIME

Comedian Margaret Cho grew up in San Francisco, a city with such close ties to Robin Williams, who died Aug. 11 at age 63, that its own mayor released a statement about his death. Here, Cho remembers the late actor as a generous and supportive paternal figure in the San Francisco comedy community:

He was the first celebrity I ever met. My parents owned a bookstore in San Francisco in the ’70s and ’80s. My father made Robin autograph a copy of The World According to Garp for me. When I started comedy in San Francisco in the ’80s, Robin would hang around the clubs I started doing shows at and grew up next to. He would always come in, and then later, of course, we would always see him in clubs here. He was the patriarch of our little clan of comedians in San Francisco. All of us…

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All About Robin

TIME

Outside the Marin County home where Robin Williams was found on Monday after taking his own life, fans and friends had left about a dozen memorial bouquets by Tuesday morning. Some brought closed notes addressed to “Robin.” Others wrote their messages out in the open, like one on a pink, heart-shaped piece of paper that reads: “You’ll be missed! xoxo.”

One of the locals who came by to pay their respects was Agne Correll, the owner of an art gallery in nearby Mill Valley, which Williams had frequented. She brought flowers and her 7-year-old son — whom she said she wanted to teach the tradition of paying respects after someone from your community dies. “I didn’t know [Williams] personally, but I felt like I did. We all feel like we’ve been in his life,” she said of those who lived nearby in the area, which is north of San Francisco.

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When the curtain comes down….

WhenEFTalks

Robin-Williams-robin-williams-32089778-2798-2798To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.”
— Charlie Chaplin

That quote has been a favorite of mine for many years. It’s never felt more achingly true than tonight, as I sit here processing the death of Robin Williams. How painful and beautiful to read the spontaneous outpourings all over the internet tonight…fans, and friends, and thousands of ordinary people, expressing their admiration for his talent, their shock and sadness at his passing.

I’m also reminded of words James Taylor sang twenty-years-ago, about the death of his friend, John Belushi.

“John’s gone found dead he dies high he’s brown bread
Later said to have drowned in his bed
After the laughter the wave of the dread
It hits us like a ton of lead”

Comedy and tragedy always exist as two sides of a coin. We laugh because we know how to…

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Depression is like trying to rappel up Niagra Falls. It is the boogeyman in the closet and under the beds that waits to surprise us when our guard is down and we thought we were safe. Antidepressants are the tools we have – but for some, the “zombie” effect – NO FEELINGS AT ALL – is like a living death…and at least the despair and despondency were real FEELINGS. Exhausting, but nonetheless real.It is the exhaustion that we succumb to. Because the human body and mind can only sustain levels of pain for so long before a complete shutdown occurs. The unrelenting anxiety of the unknown, the absolute dread of continued prolonged suffering without any ease causes the exhaustion which results in a meltdown…think of the Japenese Nuclear reactors. For some, the end result is insanity…a permanent visit to Neverland. For others it is a one-way ticket to Foreverland…a return “Home”.

“American Pie”

[Intro]
A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But February made me shiver
With every paper I’d deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn’t take one more step

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

[Chorus]
So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 1]
Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now do you believe in rock and roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
‘Cause I saw you dancin’ in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

[Chorus]
I started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 2]
Now for ten years we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me

Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Lenin read a book on Marx
A quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

[Chorus]
We were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 3]
Helter skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance

‘Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

[Chorus]
We started singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Verse 4]
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Outro]
I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I’d heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play

And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
Singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die”

[Chorus]
They were singin’ bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye
And singin’ “This’ll be the day that I die”

Submit Corrections DON MCLEAN Lyrics.

Somehow, I just KNOW that this song is what Robin Williams heard in his head, when his depression took him over the edge. And forever away from all of us, who now shed tears of sorrow rather than tears of laughter. I will never again be able to hear this song without thinking of him. Shazbot and Bangarang, Robin.