Robin Williams dies: From Flubber and The Fisher King to Aladdin - the actor's eccentric career in pictures

The world is mourning the loss of a comic genius and talented actor

The late comic and actor Robin Williams has died aged 63, after a distinguished and diverse career spanning almost four decades.

Williams, a stand-up comic and brilliant impersonator, was perhaps best known for his quirky humour and ability to ad-lib his way through performances and film scripts.

His enduring career on screen would involve stints as an alien for four series of Mork and Mindy, see Williams don a dress, wig and an impressive set of fake breasts for his role as a Scottish housekeeper in the comedy Mrs Doubtfire, and provide the unforgettable voice of an excitable genie in Disney classic Aladdin.

Steven Spielberg, who also worked with Williams on the Peter Pan spin-off, Hook, described his long-time friend as "a lightning storm of comic genius", adding that "our laughter was the thunder that sustained him”.

The star took leading parts in family-friendly blockbusters such as Jumanji and Flubber, but also tackled more serious topics in dramatic roles that saw him captivate audiences and surpass widely-held expectations of him as an actor.

The 1990s drama Awakenings saw Williams portray a British neurologist who administered a drug to catatonic patients that briefly awoke them from decades of catatonia. His turn as the caring but painfully shy Dr. Malcolm Sayer was both uplifting as patients ‘awoke’ and devastating as they returned to their former states.

1990: Robin Williams and Robert De Niro star in 'Awakenings' 1990: Robin Williams and Robert De Niro star in 'Awakenings' Later in the same decade, his performance as grieving therapist Sean Maguire in the 1997 drama Good Will Hunting would see him awarded his only Oscar after three nominations, a touching moment that led him to warn in his acceptance speech: “This might be the only time I’m speechless.”

Williams went on to demonstrate his dexterity as an actor even further by undertaking an unsettling, psychopathic role in One Hour Photo, where he played a photo lab technician obsessed with a family who frequented the store.

Video: The death of Robin Williams

In 2005, Williams was cast in Christopher Nolan’s psychological thriller Insomnia as reclusive novelist and murderer in an unsettling and much lauded appareance.

The 63-year-old has been remembered in a series of tributes from across the world today, with his friends, fellow actors, family and directors mourning the loss of one of the "most inspired and gifted comic minds, as well as one of this generation's greatest actors".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?