Robin Williams: His best impressions

Video: Looking at the best of Williams' many impersonations

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The Independent Online

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.

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.

Jack Nicholson

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.

Al Pacino

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.