Robin Williams: His best impressions
Video: Looking at the best of Williams' many impersonations
Tuesday 12 August 2014
President Barack Obama put it best: Robin Williams was “an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan and everything in between.”
Yet while many remember Williams mainly for his acting roles, his stand-up routine was just as enthralling and littered throughout his repertoire was an uncanny ability to impersonate. Not just the famous, but to take on a range of accents. He did this of course in his films: the Genie in Aladdin did a mean impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ed Sullivan and more.
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Donald Rumsfeld, Winston Churchill, Billy Connolly, Christopher Walken, Keith Richards
When he sat down with Michael Parkinson in 2002, the Yorkshireman could not get a word in edge ways for the opening ten minutes as Williams reeled off a smorgasbord of jokes and impressions. He mocks former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, imitated Winston Churchill and Edwina Currie, and pocks fun at his friend Billy Connolly.
The clip above also includes a brilliant impression of Christopher Walken and Popeye in a porn film, as well as a short and simple impression of Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards.
Williams sat down with Ellen DeGeneres two years ago and impersonated the Apple iPhone's Siri, imagining what the computerised voice would sound like if it was actually a French person.
Kevin Spacey is often cited as the master of the Jack Nicholson impression, but Williams showed Graham Norton three years ago that he could more than hold his own against Spacey's impersonation of the legendary actor.
Williams absolutely nailed Al Pacino's raspy tone, as well as telling the great line, "If you put Robert Di Niro in a dryer, you get Al Pacino."
Mrs Doubtfire: "I do voices"
"What do you mean, 'you do voices?'" asks social worker Mrs. Sellner to Williams' character in Mrs Doubtfire. Cue a jump-cut montage of a whole range of Williams impressions. The Sean Connery is particularly masterful.
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
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- 3 Scottish referendum 'English question': Tory MPs call on David Cameron to create an English first minister in wake of No vote
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
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Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
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Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
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Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
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