6 Roles to Remember the Bright Side of Robin Williams

actor Robin Williams

Robin Williams | CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

The world was left stunned by news of the loss of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams in 2014. Throughout his long career, Williams proved his versatility as a performer again and again in a wide range of diverse roles that crossed all kinds of genres. While he certainly made his mark in dramatic films, like Dead Poets Society and his award-winning turn in Good Will Hunting, he was by far most known for his ability to spark laughter in both moviegoers and co-stars. Here are six roles that helped make Williams a comedic legend.

1. Mork and Mindy

The comedian first made a name for himself on the ABC spinoff of Happy Days, which ran from 1978 to 1982 and co-starred Pam Dawber. Williams played Mork, an alien who comes to Earth from Ork, a small egg-shaped spaceship. The role gave the world their first taste of Williams’ incomparable comedic chops and earned him his first Emmy nomination for lead actor in a comedy series.

2. Good Morning, Vietnam

After the end of Mork & Mindy, Williams entered the world of big screen comedies with a particularly stellar performance in this 1987 war comedy. The actor earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor in the role and a Golden Globe win for his role as Adrian Cronauer, a fast-talking DJ on Armed Forces Radio during the Vietnam War. The film was included in the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 comedies in 100 years in 2000.

3. The Fisher King

The eccentric 1991 comedy drama starred Robin Williams, as a homeless man who gives an arrogant and suicidal talk radio host (played Jeff Bridges) a new purpose in his life. The performance earned him a third Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and a Golden Globe win in the same category.

4. Aladdin

Williams helped define millions of childhoods with his hilarious, wisecracking performance as the Genie in Disney’s classic Oscar-winning animated film, Aladdin. In addition to helping the 1992 movie become a critically appraised hit and the highest grossing film of the year, Williams also received a special achievement award at the Golden Globes for his performance.

5. Mrs. Doubtfire

Williams once again showed off his impeccable comedic timing playing Daniel Hillard, a father who impersonates a kindly British nanny in order to spend more time with his kids. His standout performance helped the now beloved 1993 family comedy garner $219 million at the domestic box office and earned Williams a Golden Globe Win.

6. The Birdcage

Williams was at his funniest playing gay cabaret owner Armand Goldman in the 1996 adaptation of the French comedy, La Cage Aux Folles. Directed by Mike Nichols, the film, co-starring Gene Hackman, topped the box office during its debut, eventually earning $185.2 million total worldwide.