Adventures In Celluloid

Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things film.

Dominic Corry: Five key Robin Williams film roles

Robin Williams never stopped pushing the limits of his versatility. Dominic Corry analyses five key film roles that demonstrated his range.
Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, One Hour Photo and Mrs. Doubtfire.
Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, One Hour Photo and Mrs. Doubtfire.

1. The World According To Garp (1982)

His first post Mork & Mindy role, Williams' low-key performance in this fantastic John Irving adaptation showed he didn't need to be manic to win over audiences. He further proved this with films like Dead Poet's Society and Good Will Hunting.

2. Good Morning, Vietnam (1989)

Williams' manic stylings found a natural home as an army DJ in this hit anti-authoritarian comedy. The unfettered Williams on show here was re-deployed with even greater success in the Disney animated smash Aladdin.

3. The Fisher King (1991)

The point at which Williams (and director Terry Gilliam) found genuine pathos in the actor's rapid-fire delivery. It generated Williams his third Oscar nomination (after Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poet's Society), but he wouldn't win until Good Will Hunting in 1998.

4. Mrs Doubtfire (1993)
Williams' movie presence reached critical mass with this hugely successful family comedy that saw the actor devour the screen in drag as a matronly babysitter.

5. One Hour Photo (2002)

As store clerk Sy Parrish, Williams accessed a clearly deep reservoir of darkness and played against his cheery public image in this unnervingly creepy thriller. Williams' clearly relished challenging his public persona, and spent the next decade subverting it in films like Insomnia and The Night Listener.

* What were your favourite Robin Williams roles? Post them below ...

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