Throwback Thursday :: Gone But Not Forgotten (#4)
I read a quote a while back that said a person dies two deaths in their life. Once, when they die and again when the last person who remembers them dies. That's always stuck with me. With that in mind, Throwback Thursday will pay homage to those we've lost but not yet forgotten with the hopes of placing a memory in someone anew so they can live on a bit longer. Here's this weeks Gone, but Not Forgotten.
Robin Williams (1951-2014)
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Chicago-born, Williams started as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1951, Williams joined the drama club in high school and was accepted into Juilliard School in New York, the prestigious American academy for the arts.There, he was encouraged by a teacher to pursue comedy.
The actor was first known for his zany portrayal of an alien in the 1970s TV show Mork and Mindy, a character first seen in the sitcom Happy Days.
He was a regular stand-up comedian while continuing to act in such films as Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs Doubtfire and as the voice of the genie in Aladdin.
While many of his roles were in comedies, Williams won the Oscar in 1998 for best supporting actor as a therapist in Good Will Hunting.
Read Vanity Fair's Inside the Final Days of Robin Williams
Robin Williams was never boring. He had so many memorable performances, it's impossible not to forget or overlook many of them. But here are a couple scenes that made Robin Williams so great in my eyes:
Jonathan Winters (1925-2013)
Jonathan Harshman Winters III was an American comedian, actor, author, marine and artist. Robin Williams credited Jonathan Winters as his main comedic influence and idol. Williams first saw Winters on television at age 8 and paid him homage in interviews throughout his career. Williams was inspired by Winters's ingenuity, realizing, he said, "that anything is possible, that anything is funny. . . He gave me the idea that it can be free-form, that you can go in and out of things pretty easily." Winters never had to worry about anyone stealing his bits because no one else could do them.
Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, to Alice Kilgore Rodgers, who later became a radio personality, and her husband Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an insurance agent who later became an investment broker.
When he was seven, his parents separated. Winters' mother took him to Springfield, Ohio, to live with his maternal grandmother. "Mother and dad didn't understand me; I didn't understand them," Winters told Jim Lehrer on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer in 1999. "So consequently it was a strange kind of arrangement." Alone in his room, he would create characters and interview himself. A poor student, Winters continued talking to himself and developed a repertoire of strange sound effects. He often entertained his high school friends by imitating a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
During his senior year, Winters quit school to join the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 and served two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Upon his return, he attended Kenyon College. He later studied cartooning at Dayton Art Institute, where he met Eileen Schauder, whom he married on September 11, 1948.
Winters' career started as a result of a lost wristwatch, about six or seven months after his marriage to Eileen in 1948. The newlyweds couldn't afford to buy another one. Then Eileen read about a talent contest in which the first prize was a wristwatch, and encouraged Jonathan to "go down and win it." She was certain he could, and he did. His performance led to a disc jockey job, where he was supposed to introduce songs and announce the temperature. Gradually his ad libs, personae, and antics took over the show.
After achieving some success in the Ohio radio market, Winters set out for success on a larger stage in New York City. He promised his wife he'd return to Dayton if did not make in a year. He had $56.46 in his pocket when he left. With a career spanning more than six decades, Winters also appeared in hundreds of television shows and films, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Eileen and Jonathan were married for more than 60 years. She died in 2009 of breast cancer and Jonathan passed away four years later of natural causes in Montecito, California.