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R.I.P. Robin Williams

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  • R.I.P. Robin Williams

    I was tempted to put a question mark in the title.
    Why?
    Because my first awareness of this came via Twitter, and that tweet was from the person's Facebook page.

    A woman who calls herself a Hollywood Blogger (name of Bambi Kuche) says Williams died today at his Tiburon (CA) home at age 63.
    She said the coroner termed it "suicide by aphyxiation".

    I get USA Today, the NYT and WaPo in my mail, and there's no "breaking news" reports about this yet.

    If true, it's sad (even though I've never been a Robin Williams fan).
    He's always been so vibrant and seemingly happy in his talk show appearances.

    But waiting for confirmation!

    ADD: It's confirmed! Reaction has been swift and widespread!
    Last edited by aaronk; 08-11-2014, 11:21 PM.

  • #2
    CNN confirms, for what that's worth.
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/showbi...html?hpt=hp_t1

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    • #3
      NBC broke in and reported it about 5 minutes ago ( 7:20 pm est).

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      • #4
        There seems to be no shortage of bad news lately. And how ironic for a comedian to die like this. Quite overwhelming.

        Remember how he used to wear those colorful running shoes (New Balance?) back when hardly anyone but runners was wearing shoes like that?

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        • #5
          Nanu nanu. For all the marvelous stuff he did, that was unsurpassed IMO.

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          • #6
            Robin Williams with a (tenuous) track connection. If you check the staffbox of T&FN back in the '60s you'll find the name Paul Mack as an editorial assistant. Part-time worker as he was going to school (getting a teaching degree at San Francisco State, as I recall). He left the magazine shortly before I got there, but he used to come down and visit once in a while.

            While working his way through school, he used to do standup comedy and was fairly decent at it. Then one night, as I recall his telling the story, he was in the wings waiting to go on and there was a new guy on the stage knocking the audience dead. It was, of course, Robin Williams. Mack at that point said, "What's the point in my even going out there?" I can't remember if he simply turned and walked away at that point or if he did a half-hearted set, but that was his last appearance. Williams (as we all know) was just that good.

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            • #7
              Williams's track connection was a bit more than "tenuous".
              According to some tweets I saw (including a photo of him in his team uniform!), he ran a 1:58 800 while in HS.
              He also ran cross country.
              (This would have been probably around 1968 or 1969, as he was born in 1951.)

              Another tweet I saw had a Robin Williams quote.
              I don't know if it was his philosophy on the matter, or a one-liner from his stand-up routine, but he was quoted as saying.....

              (paraphrased) I love cross country. On a track, I feel like a hamster.

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              • #8
                Williams is identified as one of the 440 runners in a 3:22 4 x 440 on his HS team - seems that would at least rival his 1:58

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                • #9
                  Williams is identified as one of the 440 runners on a 3:22 4 x 440 on his HS team - seems that would at least rival his 1:58

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                  • #10
                    A moving remembrance here:

                    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opi...,3274587.story

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                    • #11
                      I remember he was on Carson one night, and he started doing some shtick where he made a noise as though the the crowd was roaring its approval at him (kind of a hoarse whispering effect - as though heard from afar). Even though he was doing it for himself, he seemed to be visibly encouraged by it and became more and more manic - which brought more crowd roars (still from himself). It became apparent that he literally FED off that kind of affirmation, almost as it were a fix he needed. Of course the studio audience started going (real) nuts and Johnny couldn't shut him up. They eventually went to commercial with him still going strong. I agree with the statement form the link above - how can that kind of infinite energy be stilled? Only by himself, I guess. He once said that all his material was based on Jonathan Winters' riffs, and I can only imagine that was JW's (a comic master himself) greatest compliment.
                      Last edited by Atticus; 08-12-2014, 07:06 PM.

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                      • #12
                        How deeply ingrained was Robin Williams in the Bay Area psyche? The San Francisco Chronicle today devoted 3/4 of the front page to him, and then 3 full pages inside.

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                        • #13
                          This clip shows the true measure of his genius and his humanity -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD9QAAEfQEA

                          One of the funniest comedians and most talented actors ever.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gm View Post
                            This clip shows the true measure of his genius and his humanity -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD9QAAEfQEA
                            One of the funniest comedians and most talented actors ever.
                            Boy, does that bring back military memories! I'll say something blasphemous (which I'm SURE Williams was also thinking!): whenever I heard 'Retreat' (flag lowering ceremony) esp. at the Naval Academy where ALL motion stopped and suddenly everyone faced Mecca, I mean, the flagpole, it was a surreal experience - everyone has simultaneously lost they mind, turned into alien robots and are returning to the Mother Ship. I 'respected' the ritual, but I sure didn't get it. I guess that's because I have no problem with people BURNING the American flag - that's a privilege I was in the military to protect. Truth being, however, I always wondered why they just didn't emigrate; if America is so bad you have to disrespect it THAT much, essentially dishonoring everyone who lost their lives fighting for that flag, just leave.
                            Williams showed extraordinary restraint (and humor) in his response.

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                            • #15
                              I can't imagine anyone hanging themself. How can life be that bad?

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